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What to do if you are laid off?

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Getting laid off is tough, and being unemployed is even tougher. You don’t know how long the down-period will be. A few months, or is this going to last a few years? So what can you do?

1)      The first thing to go after your bi-weekly paycheck is your self-esteem. We have identified ourselves, our egos and personalities with our career, our work, and what we do. If we did great work, we think we are great too. If we make a mistake, we take it personally. This is typical employee mindset. Now that you are not producing, your self-esteem takes a hit and you may not have much to fall back on.

There are a few things you can do. First, detach your self-esteem from your work. This is a key attribute for entrepreneurs and creative types. If they were to identify with their work, and the work failed, or was rejected, or boring, or got bad reviews, would think they are a bad artist? No.  Instead they choose to think that it was just a bad piece of work and they will learn from it and try again. They are not “bad”. And if they create something that is wonderful, do they take all the credit? No, they humbly believe that the creation came from outside themselves. Keep this attribute in mind as it will help you with your journey as you learn to create value. This attribute will allow you to put your ideas “out there” without fear and procrastination.

2)      Next, stop looking for the same old job you just go laid off from. If you have been laid off, most likely so have many others, and the market is just not hiring right now. Instead look for other opportunities. You can find opportunities by looking for gaps in markets, paying attention to peoples pains and frustrations, and by observing, reflecting, and making new connections. Look for new channels to distribute your talents such as freelancing websites.

3)      Learn the word “Value” and what it really means.  Why were you getting paid at your last job? What exactly was it you were providing? In a word, it was Value. Employees usually provide Value with their expertise and time spent doing what one is good at. But there are many more ways to provide value to a market. When you are laid off it just means that the middle-man (your employer), who was between you and the client, has been removed. With no middle man you now have to look for clients directly for yourself. You need to learn more about how to market and sell yourself and your skills.

These two things make money: Creating a product (Product Development) and getting it out to the world (Marketing)

Here are a few ways to provide value:

·         Simplification

·         Problem/Pain Solving

·         Convenience

·         Esthetics/Design (making things beautiful)

·         Time Savings

·         Networking/Referrals

·         Information/Consulting/Knowledge

·         Providing Data

·         Providing A Unique Combination of skills and abilities

These are all things people are willing to pay for besides your expertise and time.

New skills you should learn are:

1)      Teach yourself Lateral Thinking, google it, read this book, and this article.

2)      Adopt a Growth Mindset. Realize that your brain changes itself. Value effort over results. Work hard and congratulate yourself for trying. Become better, smarter, change your type, become what you want to be.

3)      Volunteer, It’s important not to become isolated and depressed. Keep yourself feeling good, connect with new people, give your value, make connections, always look for opportunities, and get out there and help people.

4)      Join or Create a Meetup Group: Public speaking, entrepreneurship, book clubs, small business/consultant marketing etc. Continue learning and push your comfort zone, build new skills, and surround yourself with positive people whom you admire.

In the end you will have to decide if you want to stay an Employee looking for Work, or Turn yourself into an Entrepreneur looking for opportunity. Below is a list of some key differences.

Employees tend to look for security, Entrepreneurs look for opportunities.

Employees look for a boss or middle-man to find them clients, entrepreneurs look directly for clients and market themselves.

Employees ask for direction, Entrepreneurs break new ground and learn to give directions.

Employees try to get value per hour, Entrepreneurs try to give value on a massive scale.

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