"Laid off and looking"

The Wall Street Journal has a blog following some out-of-work MBAs. A piece of advice I noticed right away and agree with is that the seeker needs to take time for other parts of their life (exercise, etc.) because looking for work is not a full-time job (at least not the all-encompassing full-time job that many are accustomed to). The job search leads to interviews and it sure is good to go into those with some balance and perspective (and without the bleary eyes that come from staring at your computer all day long).

Anyway, saw some really good stuff here for folks in transition and for the rest of us. I really would have liked to have seen more writers from outside the financial services sector (heck, there are even some non-MBA job seekers that should have a voice but that is a topic for another blog). But still, worth a read.

Comments (11)

  1. Wine-Oh says:

    Heather- The WSJ.com blog is a great tool and resource. Thanks for posting it. Being that its over a week that I have joined the ranks of the laid off, it is comforting to read stories of other people’s experiences and hear what they are doing to move forward. 2 things I’d add to these stories (if I were chosen).

    1) No matter how upset you are about being laid off, maintain a positive stance when leaving. People need references and such and if its a negative experience, that will leave a lasting impression. For me, the signs were there. My job was redundant. other departments were being laid off. I was not upset or shocked. I chose to focus on the achievements, accomplishments and good times had while I was there.

    2) Start a Facebook or LinkedIn Alumni page. This is great for networking, posting job leads/recruiters. I am all for this as long as I have first refusal of the job. (ie if I am not qualified, and pass, I send it to the job board). Also if the board turns negative or people start bashing former co workers, I am outta there. Not joining any pity parties. Again focusing on the good.

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    Good ones, Wine-Oh.

  3. Bad_Brad says:

    I’ve never been out of work since MBA school, but something I learned while I was there is that any social event is a networking opportunity.  And I would define "social event" very broadly – basically, any time you are not by yourself.  This time of year, Christmas / Holiday parties, Church gatherings, pick-up basketball games at the gym, etc.  Mention in passing that you are looking and you will be surprised at what might come up.  The worst that can happen is nothing.

  4. Bill Wagner says:

    I read these blogs with strongly mixed feelings.

    On the one hand, I do feel for anyone that looses a job in a layoff.  It’s a hard process. It happened to me twice early in my career, and I think that’s why I currently work as hard as I do to avoid using a layoff to navigate tough times. So far, our company is going through its second downtown without trimming staff. we even plan to grow next year.

    On the other hand, if we do believe in capitalism, and if there’s any price for failure, all these folks need to find jobs that involve asking ‘do you want fries with that?’  They’ve proven themselves to be complete failures at economics, finance, and management.

  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    Bad_Brad, this is so true.

    Bill wagner – Why do you have to mess up an otherwise OK comment with the nastiness? It really impacts your credibility (especially when you consider that your last paragrpah doesn’t even make sense).

  6. Bill Wagner says:

    Nastiness?  I’ll plead guilty.  I said I had strongly mixed feelings.  

    Why?  For years, I’ve been reading the best and the brightest of the financial industry literally cheer each increase in the unemployment rate for Michigan. We’re expecting to pass 10% (the wrong way) in 2009, even with the recent auto loans.  When the people in this article are the very folks cheering your friends and neighbors losing their jobs, their homes, and their futures, it’s hard to work up real sympathy. It’s easier to feel some satisfaction that they are finally feeling the same pain they so often cheered.

    It’s not necessarily how we want to be, but it’s certainly a strong undercurrent to our human nature: wishing ill on those who wished us ill.

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    Bill, you said "anyone who loses their job in a layoff" so it wasn’t clear that you were just talking about the financial folks. Your comment appeared to be directed at anyone who was laid off (yikes)! I can understand some bitterness at the financial services industry. Though really, I do think most of the misdeeds there were done at the top. I can understand better knowing that you didn’t mean any and all victimes of layoffs. Because there are some really good folks out there looking righ tnow.

  8. daniel says:


    This is an excellent post on an excellent blog. I am into week 6 now after my most recent layoff; this is layoff #2 of 2008. This is the worst one yet as the entire economy seems to be cracking. Just wanted to thank you for your good attitude and helpful suggestions.



  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Of course! Good luck in your search, Daniel!

  10. Frank says:

    Hi Heather,

    Just came across this site and I think it’s a great service for people in similar situations. I thank you for it.

    I am into my 9th week now and not an MBA. I agree that victims of these lay-offs come from all fields, most very decent folks suffering due to the greed and incompetence of a few who are probably the ones deciding who stays and who goes while preserving their own.

    I come from the architectural field, was laid off during the first round back in November from a well know international firm, who incidentally just went through their second round of lay-offs this week.

    The situation will probably get much worse before we see a change for the better. In the meantime what I am doing to keep my sanity it’s keeping a positive mindset, improving my skills while learning new ones, taking a course or two in subjects that can help me move on to a new career if the need warrants it.

    Best of luck to all,


  11. HeatherLeigh says:

    Frank – while I don’t object to most of your comments, I have to disagree with your point that people are suffering due to greed and incompetence. No companies have control of the economy.

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