« Let Serena Williams Multitask | Main | Men feel more conflict in work/life balance »

Insights from women who lost their jobs

    I feel like there's a lot of worried workers out there. You know it's bad when Glamour Magazine, known for fashion and beauty, takes on the topic of job security. If you are one who is worried about losing your job, or if you already lost it, here are some insights from women who have been there from this month's Glamour with some of my own input added in.

What I Would Have Done Before I Lost My Job:

      "I Wish I'd Asked for Extra Work" Brooke Gorman of Dallas feels she should have raised her hand for more projects and established more work relationships. You should put yourself out there and create a name for  yourself, Gorman says.

     "I Wish I'd Kept Track of My Network" Marivel Mendoza of San Francisco says since she never thought she'd lose her job at a cosmetics company, it hadn't occurred to her to create a database of work contacts that she could download to her home computer. When she left the office, she left all of her e-mail address and phone numbers. She says if she was more careful, she could be using those contacts in her search now. (This point was hammered into all journalists during a Webinar I participated in last week.)

    "I Wish I'd Had An Emergency Fund"   Amanda Johnson of New York City says before she got booted from Lehman Brothers, she was putting away money for big purchases and kept digging into the fund. Now she's temping to get by. She wishes she put the money in a fund that she couldn't touch.

    "I Wish I'd Paid Off Debt When I Could"   If you're still getting a regular paycheck make an effort to pay down debt. Isadora Quintanilla of California says she hadn't and then got let go from a healthcare company. "It's hard to make payments on your credit cards and loans when you are on unemployment," she says.

     "I Wish I Hadn't Been in Such Denial" (I hear this so often from people I interview for articles) Amy Richter of Scottsdale, Ariz, says she was in the subprime mortgage world and scared to try a new line of work. She kept jumping to different sinking ships. Finally, she went into medical marketing (using her existing skills) and is doing well.

    "I Wish I'd Known That I Would Be OK"   I find this the most insightful and inspiring. Jessi Walter of New York City says she was a casualty of a merger. For a year beforehand, she had run cooking classes for kids and decided to try it full time. She says it's hard, but also fun and exciting.

   Here's My Addition to the list --- I wWish I had Spent Less time Worrying About Being Laid Off  As I venture out on my own to become a freelancer or contractor with my newspaper instead of an employee, I see so many opportunities I never really considered in the past because I was worrying about the state of the newspaper industry. My eyes are open now and I have enthusiasm that I haven't had in many years.

    What do you wish you knew or did differently during this time of upheaval in the workforce?