When the Layoff Comes; Some Strategies to Ward off Pink-Slip blues.(FAMILY TIMES)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 15, 2002 | Go to article overview

When the Layoff Comes; Some Strategies to Ward off Pink-Slip blues.(FAMILY TIMES)


Byline: Karen Goldberg Goff,THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Alan Carter could see layoffs were coming at the Northern Virginia high-tech company where he worked. In June when office morale was dipping lower and it finally was his turn to be handed a pink slip, he was somewhat relieved. Three months later, Mr. Carter, the sole breadwinner for his family of four, has been alternately bored, anxious, hopeful and fed up. His summer was spent working on two projects - finding a job and reworking the family ledger to make sure his modest severance package stretched as far as it could.

Gone are dinners out and a fancy vacation. In are coupon clipping and networking for a potential job lead.

The scene in Mr. Carter's house is similar to that in many families around the region, as thousands of jobs in the telecommunications industry have been eliminated in the past 18 months.

"The first thing I did was go through my Palm Pilot and write down every single person I knew," says Mr. Carter, a pseudonym for a Northern Virginia man who signed a confidentiality agreement with his employer upon taking his severance package. "I had five or six pages of people to call to network with. What I found was of my friends in the software and telecommunications industry, about 80 percent had been laid off at least once in the last two years. I had one lunch set up with a friend to inquire about working at his company, but he just called to cancel. He was laid off, too."

Mr. Carter is in good company, but it is hard not to take a job loss personally. Losing a job can mean damaged self-esteem, tension in relationships and, in many cases, panic over how the bills will get paid.

"The reality is, you shouldn't take it personally," says Nancy Collamer, a Connecticut career counselor whose husband was laid off last year. "But being unemployed is among the top five stressors in life. Our identity is very much wrapped up in our work. There is a whole emotional side to losing your job. You lose your routine. You lose your support system. It affects everything, and you need to understand that."

After the initial shock wears off, some steps should be taken to get a handle on the situation, Ms. Collamer says. These steps might not lead to a new job any sooner, but they may help families feel like they are in control of the situation.

"Sit down and say, 'What can I do something about?'" she advises.

The first item: Take a hard look at the financial situation. That begins with reviewing the separation package and signing any papers for severance pay and health insurance coverage. Then look at where expenses can be cut.

Mr. Carter had money in the bank and four months of severance pay, but he, his wife and two young children still had to re-evaluate their spending this summer.

"We have not gone out to eat," he says. "We reduced our cell phone plan. It was nice to realize how much money we were spending on junk."

Angela Morris, 43, of Sterling, Va., was laid off twice from high-tech jobs in 2001. Even with a part-time consulting business and income from her husband's job, she says she was in "such financial straits."

"I came up with a worst-case scenario," says Ms. Morris, who six months ago took a new job for 25 percent less pay. "I have a condo that I rent out, and I thought at the very worse, we could move into it. We gave up the cleaning lady. We said we would give ourselves a certain number of months to see how things went. My car was paid off, but I thought about selling it. It is so easy for experts to say we all should have three to six months of expenses set aside, but that is really difficult to do."

Communication is another key point to getting through the situation, Ms. Collamer says. That means talking with family members and with others in a similar situation.

Judy Mueller, director of the Women's Center, a Vienna personal and career counseling center, says even young children should be told about the situation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

When the Layoff Comes; Some Strategies to Ward off Pink-Slip blues.(FAMILY TIMES)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.