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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What to do if you get laid off

As I sit bundled up in my living room on a cold night, I warm myself by the computer and write this blog entry for Miss Orinda, who made a request in the comment section of the post below to give an update on the seminar tonight on journalists looking for jobs after working at newspapers.

Interested readers would probably be best served by going to the One Big Bang web site or contacting Luther Jackson or Sara Steffens of the Newspaper Guild for details, but here's my quick rundown and a test of my short-term memory:

A panel of former Contra Costa Times journalists gave their tips on how to find a job after newspapers. All but one left well before the layoffs in the past year, and left on their terms. They stressed that journalists' skills are well regarded in the corporate world and are in demand. And that when inteviewing for a job, getting along well with the interviewer and showing real enthusiasm for the job are necessary. Job areas that should be considered include public relations, government, public companies, universities and freelance work.

There was also a handout at the meeting from the California Media Workers Guild. Contact the guild at http://www.mediaworkers.org/ for more information, but here are the basics of what to do if you get laid off:

1. Contact the Guild immediately to get help at the bargaining table and for technical assistance.

2. Don't sign anything immediately. Take time to read the severance package and get your questions answered.

3. File for unemployment. File online at www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/ Benefits in California are capped at $450 a week for 26 weeks with extended benefits available.

4. Attend a Rapid Response workshop. The company or the Guild will often arrange a formal meeting with local government officials to explain services available to the unemployed.

5. Begin networking and informational interviews. Join LinkedIn.

6. Visit a One-Stop Career Center.

7. Find support, including family and friends to deal with grief, depression and feelings of failure.

8. Create a routine and don't waste time getting started.

9. Know thyself and create a first-class resume and cover letter.

My additions would be to joing CPC Job Connections in Danville, a huge networking group; volunteer if you have time, which can lead to job leads; learn new skills as soon as you can, such as Internet skills.

4 comments:

Miss O. said...

Great post and valuable advice. I would not count out freelancing either - I got my first FT job after I wrote freelance stories then met the editors. Thanks Aaron

Anali said...

I just found your blog while Googling how to find out the day of the week that unemployment benefits are sent out in Massachusetts. Well, back to my search! Nice blog you have here and good luck with your job search.

EA said...
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