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7 Priorities You Should Address Immediately After a Layoff

7 Priorities You Should Address Immediately After a Layoff
photo by Ellen November

Chair throwing, keying someone’s car, blowing something up. If you’re laid off, these and many other emotions may run through your head in the first few days. And as satisfying as these may be, it’s always more practical to process through your feelings and get your priorities identified and covered. This can give you peace of mind and a place to start the journey into your next opportunity. Let’s look into some of the top things you can do to start cutting through the cloud of thoughts swirling through your head and begin taking your first steps.

  1. Unemployment Benefits – Finances should be a hot priority. Severance pay or not, if you were separated for a qualifying reason (no misconduct, you didn’t quit, etc.) file immediately for your unemployment benefits.
  2. Budget – Make a temporary budget based off your new income, factoring in income from any investments, rental properties, or side business in addition to your unemployment pay.
  3. Insurance – There’s no “off-the-hook since you’re in transition” with an emergency room visit or expensive diagnosis. So I never recommend just winging it without insurance until your next job. You can try to get on your spouse’s policy, choose a policy on your own (a local broker like Dudley Carter 615-415-4328 or perusing a site like Health Insure can help you with this at no extra cost), or if you’re not married, check for many options (with the government paying part of your monthly premium in most cases based on your estimated income for the next 12 months). Another option is companies like Cowan Benefits that you can find through the COBRA coverage from your current employer. They can help you find a similar plan usually at a lower cost.
  4. Mental Health – Right out of the gate, you probably feel shocked, unappreciated, angry, etc. It’s a good idea to talk to someone besides your spouse, partner, or best friend about these emotions and work through them in order to “get the chip off your shoulder.” Ask for time with your pastor or a Stephen Minister (Google “Stephen Ministers” + your city to find churches who can get you in touch with one.), and feel free to meet as regularly as you need. Further, you can Google for job search support groups in your area.
  5. Physical Health – Staying fit is not only good for your body but your mind, mood, and attitude as well. Take this opportunity to start exercising regularly (even if it’s just walking for 30 minutes daily). And keep up the good work if you already have a fitness routine.
  6. Career Coach – Establish a relationship with a Career Coach at your local Department of Labor or a recommended life coach. This person can give you valuable advice on your Action Plan, Résumé’, and current insight into all things job search as you begin to have questions.
  7. Elevator Speech – Very soon at a party, family function, mixer, etc., you’ll have to answer the question, “What do you do?” Craft this 30 second schpiel that will cover your background, key things at which you’re successful, and a few top job titles to represent what you’re seeking and help people begin to keep you in mind as they hear of job openings.

Also, check out these 2 helpful videos:

3 Important Things to do to Get Your Unemployment Benefits Started After a Layoff

Job Loss & Staying Obamacare Compliant

Looking for a new job? Want to get what you want fast? Check out my book, Here Today, Hired Tomorrow, and subscribe to my blog ( for free advice on your job search.

The 5 Basic Principles of Succeeding in All You Do

The 5 Basics of Success
Photo by Mike McCusker

Success takes hard work, creativity, ingenuity, great ideas, intelligence, and so much more. None of that will do you any good however if you don’t have a strong foundation—a foundation made up of the basics. This is where the majority of people fail. They may have a great idea and be the smartest person in the room, but if they ignore the basics, they will fail every time. Don’t be them.

The Success Basics:

1. Be on time – There’s an old saying that will always hold true: Early is on time. On time is late. Late is fired. There is NO excuse for being late. Know where you are going, how to get there, where to park, how to get in, whom you are meeting with, and what you need. Period.

2. Read – If you don’t know what’s going on in the world, you can’t compete. If you don’t read news sites, magazines, news, fiction books, non-fiction books, and anything else your can get your hands on, you will not succeed. The most successful people in the world read—just ask them.

3. Thank people – No one succeeds without help; I don’t care how smart or well connected you are. Write thank you notes, acknowledge help, say “thank you,” buy gifts, and share in the wealth—whatever it takes to let everyone who does anything for you know you appreciate their efforts.

4. Help others – This may be the most important thing you can do to succeed. The more you help others succeed, the more they help you succeed. Some call it karma. Others call it doing the right thing. The more you help others succeed, the stronger your reputation grows as THE person to do business with. Everyone will want you.

5. Follow through – Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. If you say you are going to be somewhere, be there. If you say you are going to finish a project, finish it. If you say you are going to send something, send it. Never make someone wait to do their job because you haven’t done yours (read #1 again).

This is not rocket science—this is common sense. Use it. I guarantee you will succeed in 2016.

–Dayna Steele

Dayna Steele is the creator of and the author of seven books including her latest, Surviving Alzheimer’s with Friends, Facebook, and a Really Big Glass of Wine. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for her free, relevant success tip here—it’s been called “ridiculously sane advice.”

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4 Tips for Acing A Panel Interview

Preparing for Success in Panel Interviews
Photo by John Seven

Talk about feeling like a piece of meat being roasted on the grill! Years ago, I underwent a panel interview for a position, and saying it was a tough experience is an understatement. So when I saw this short article in the February 2015 issue of the AMA’s Marketing News magazine, I knew I had to share it with my readers. Thanks to Ms. Garlieb for the permission. Read on…

Stepping into a panel interview—one in which more than two people are interviewing a job candidate at the same time—can be a little more challenging than a one-on-one meeting. While the basic principles are still the same whether you’re speaking to one person, or to a group of managers, there are some specific ways to prepare for a panel interview so that you aren’t caught off guard.

1) Know your audience – The best way to be calm and prepared for a panel interview is to know how many people will be interviewing you and what their roles are. Contact the person coordinating the interview a couple of days in advance, and bring copies of your resume for everyone.
2) Introduce yourself, and establish familiarity – Some candidates just walk into the room and sit right down in the chair. This is only going to show the interviewers that you are nervous and are just following every other candidate’s pattern. By introducing yourself when you first walk in and shaking each interviewer’s hand, you present a calm and professional presence. Also, this is a good time for you to give each person a copy of your resume.
3) Balance your eye contact – As you answer questions and explain your skills, look around at each of the interviewers. At the end of your answer, look back at the person who originally asked the question. Be careful not to look like a bird and “peek” at the interviewers. The less shy or stressed out you seem to be, the more you will be perceived as confident and competent.
4) Focus on the value that you can provide to the employer – Don’t let the number of people in the room distract you from including details and results in the examples you share about past experiences. Ultimately, the candidates who show confidence and professionalism toward the interviewers will move on to the next stage in the hiring process—and closer to a job offer.

by Stacie Garlieb, President of career consulting firm Successful Impressions (used by permission)

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Looking for a new job? Want to get the one you want faster? Check out my new book, Here Today, Hired Tomorrow.