Laid Off Twice, Not So Nice

by Sara Clemence on October 7, 2009 in Unemployment

two fingers glove 200What do these three people have in common?

Susan Guldenschuh, an HR supervisor in Kentucky

Russ Singletary, a researcher now working for an Atlanta company

Attorney Inna Efimchik

Laid off? Close.

All three are victims of a phenomenon that seems particular to this downturn: The double layoff. (I should actually be on this list too—read to the bottom.)

With the recession in its terrible twos and the unemployment rate expected to rise above 10 percent, it should be little surprise that some people have taken an extra job hit from the downturn. There are probably even some triple layoffs out there.

Organizations that have managed to stay afloat are going under. Companies that weathered earlier phases of the economic storm are now running out of resources and having to downsize—maybe yet again, as my former employer did this week. And as a new hire you’re likely to be the first to go.

It can be a tremendous blow to feel like you’ve landed on your feet, only to be knocked right back on your ass. Today, the Wall Street Journal offered some advice for those laid off twice. I don’t think there’s anything in the story that specifically helps the double-laid-off, but the tips are useful for anyone seeking a job. (Check out additional advice on our Laid Off 101 page.) For example:

  • Don’t let stigma get you—be up front about what’s happened. “I have been laid off twice in the worst economy in 50 years.”
  • Don’t let yourself feel like a loser. It will come through in your job interviews and keep you from finding a new position. (Read How Not to Look Desperate.)
  • Do take advantage of social networking. Complete your LinkedIn profile, and use Twitter to communicate your knowledge about your industry. Put the links to your profiles in your email signatures.
  • Do volunteer somewhere that has a connection with a company you want to work for.

I’d add one more: Come up with a name for your situation. At the end of 2008, I was laid off from my job at  magazine publisher Conde Nast. A few weeks later the company rehired me to work at Domino magazine. The beloved pub folded that very day. And voila—pre-fired enters the lexicon! And yes, I now have a job.

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