Just Lost Job - Coping/Job Hunting Advice Needed

So today I was informed that, after 3+ years of employment at a small Internet advertising agency as their resident SEO expert, I would be losing my job due to them losing their biggest client a week or so ago. My last day will be on 12/16. I’m currently numb and in shock, but recognize that it’s been a while since I job hunted and am not above asking for help/advice, so here I am.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  1. Canceled Netflix, Gamefly, Livejournal and other unneeded monthly expenses.
  2. Set up a separate Google Voice number for potential employers, to keep it separate from personal calls.
  3. Arranged with certain agencies (car payment, insurance, etc) to make staggered payments rather than whole payments to stretch out my money as best I can.

What I need to do:

  1. Update my resume (which my current employers will help me with).
  2. Get letters of recommendation from my current superiors (which they’ll gladly write, I’m told).
  3. Once resume is updated, post to all job hunting sites and Craigslist to look for full-time and freelance work.

That’s all I can think of so far, so if anyone has any tips, I’d be happy to hear them. Thank you for your time.

Apply for unemployment ASAP once your last day hits. It can take a while for it to kick-in, so its best to do it before you run out of money. Don’t feel shameful about it either, just think of all the taxes you’ve been paying into it over the years.

1.) Apply for unemployment
2.) ???
3.) Profit!!!

I’m currently paying the IRS for back taxes on 1099’s, will that affect my ability to receive unemployment?

Start selling stuff you don’t need (games, dvd’s, old consoles, hobbyist items, whatever). Because it’s still several weeks from Christmas, but the shopping season has started, now would be a good time to start selling/shipping that stuff. Try to place a few ad’s at amazon/ebay/craigslist whatever, before it’s too late for buyers to be interested in buying your goods online, due to shipping delays etc.

I don’t know what the IRS can do to you, or whether they are garnishing wages etc, but consider calling them and seeing what your options are for adjusting whatever payment plan they may have you on. You should still file for unemployment asap though, just remember that you need to pay taxes on that income too, and California doesn’t always deduct it for you unless you specifically request they do so.

Make updating your resume a priority. You will feel a little better when you’ve sent it out to a couple of places, because you’ll be in control of at least that part. It was the first thing I did the day I got laid off and while I was still crushed, it made me feel better to be proactive.

Oh, to add to the list:

Unsubscribed to the Bargain Thread. ;)

Why would you cancel your subscriptions so soon?

What are you going to do with all of your time? I was unemployed for a while too, but I had money saved up that lasted me about 90% of that time.

I don’t have much of a savings, sadly. Was just starting to build one after paying off lots of debt and making lousy financial decisions in the past, so I have to stretch out what I have.

Ah… sorry to hear that.

Hopefully you have collected a large backlog right? I burned through a bunch of mine during my 7 months unemployed.

I have a huge backlog. I’m looking at my resume now, and thinking freelance work for the time being to bring in more-than-unemployment level income.

Wait, people actually pay for Live Journal?

Sorry to hear all that, Brian. I’ve got two specific pieces of advice:

  1. Create a family budget if you don’t already have one and stick to it. A simple Google Docs spreadsheet will do, and I have one that my wife and I use and I could send you a template version if you like. If you need help creating a household budget there’s tons of stuff on the Internet and at your public library.

  2. Exercise. If you’re going to have some extra time on your hands, you might as well take advantage of it. Exercise reduces stress, improves your mood, and after a while it’ll make you look better in your interviewing suit.

On the job hunting front, make sure everyone you know with any amount of familiarity knows that you’re on the job market. Networking is the best source of job leads. Send e-mails, tweets, Facebook updates, letters, whatever.

Cory, yes, paid accounts get a lot of extras.

Jamie, budget, got it. I’m gonna try to exercise, but recent issues with my ankle and knee might make it problematic. I was gonna use my insurance to see an orthopedist, but alas…

Work any contacts/connections. Has anyone you worked with left the company for greener pastures in the last few years? Shoot them an email to let them know you’re looking. Also immediately email your group of friends with same.

Linkedin.com and don’t forget about COBRA.

I haven’t had to look for work in a while. Do people still use Monster.com and those sort of sites for job searches? I had pretty good luck with it back in the day. I also used the temp agencies to tide me over. Not the greatest health care benefits, but it was a revenue stream. I didn’t care to be on unemployment and enjoyed going into a job, even if it was just a temporary deal.

Good luck, Brian!

I know plenty who do. I’ve had an account there for 11-12 years, but only gave them money once. (Made the weaboo in my username non-obvious)

In my case, my solution to being unemployed was enlisting after 9/11, don’t think military service is that practical a solution for many folks though.

So I found my resume – thankfully Monster had the latest copy since, for some reason, it wasn’t on my machine – and have been spending some time tweaking it. Tomorrow I’ll start blasting everyone and their mother with it across job sites, classified sites, friends and so on.

I’ll be honest in that I had a good cry earlier, and am fucking terrified, but I’ve been in worse spots than this, and I don’t plan to let fear or sadness slow me down. :) Thanks for the kind words and support so far, folks. If y’all have any other advice – or know someone who needs SEO work – feel free to shoot it my way. Thanks again! ;)