You’ve just been given the word — you’re being let go. Laid off. Downsized.

That bites. Definitely bites.

Yes, even as the economy is slowly recovering, companies still lay off workers. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that more than 152,000 workers were laid off in November 2010 (the most recent statistics available). So you certainly aren’t alone in losing your job.

Small comfort, we know.

But before wallowing in a puddle of pity for too long (we recommend ranting and raving and wailing the “Woe is me!” whine for just two or three days, tops), it’s time to take action. Action will get you results. It may start slow, it may take weeks or months, but momentum will build. We promise.

First of all, file for unemployment (if eligible) as soon as possible. If you wait, you may find that you won’t be paid for the time you were unemployed before you filed.

Get in touch with your former employer’s human resources department and/or your union (if applicable) to see if the company/union offers access to outplacement help. Many companies today do, and these services (which can give you great job search advice, help with your rèsumè, etc.) are invaluable. Use them.

In fact, check around for other non-profit organizations that offer help with your job search, job placement, and so on. You’ll be surprised how many organizations are out there to help out-of-work individuals.

As you conduct your job search, we highly recommend you look at is as your “job.” That is, get up and get dressed as you normally would (although you don’t need to wear office-style clothes; just don’t hang out in our pajamas). Stick to a schedule. Give yourself at least three to five tasks to do each day (more can make you feel overwhelmed).

In addition, write your goals — and be specific. Don’t just say “I’ll find a job by June.” Instead, write “I’ll find a job as a marketing manager by June 1, one that is located no further than 10 miles from Manhattan and one which provides me with at least five percent more in salary than my previous position.”

Stating specific goals does wonders for your mind. Look at this written goal each day, a few times a day. Place it on a note card in various spots in your home and car. You’ll be amazed at how laser focus on what you want helps you get it!

Sit down with your family members and let them know that things may be tight for a while. Let them know this is just temporary but that everyone needs to pitch in to help the family get over this hump. You may have to make what your family feels are draconian cuts (no more unlimited texting plans, no vacation this year, no gym membership, or new iPod, etc.) Try to put the situation in a positive frame — you and your family will work as a team to make it through this tough time. You’ll all become better for it (and you will!).

Lastly, but most importantly, no matter who you turn to for help in your job search, understand that it’s your job to find a job. People and organizations may help you, but it’s you who will find yourself work.

With that  in mind, one of the first steps you should do after a layoff is to bring your rèsumè to Winston Resources. We can help you find your next position — or provide you with temporary assignments while you search — with some of New York City’s finest firms. Contact one of our recruiters today.

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