These are notes I took a few days after I was laid off. I have left them mostly as is, not correcting grammar or spelling, because I think that partially reflects my mood at the time.

Day 4 and 5:

Hmmmm. As I note in day 5 notes, I didn’t take notes yesterday! I got up early and worked out for over an hour. Apparently I was going to take the advice a friend gave me and work out a lot. It was random, and I took notes to develop an actual routine (note…hahahahaha, that didn’t happen).

More and more people have started reaching out, as news spreads at work I’m gone. It’s nice that so many people say they’ll miss me. I’m really feeling the lack of friends here in Portland now, because a better, in person, support network would be helpful. Started signing up for Meetup groups to meet people (note, sigh, I went to one and it didn’t do it for me, I really need to get out more).

Interestingly, I took a note stating I’d change my blog to be about getting laid off! I sent the separation agreement to a lawyer today. Probably could have saved that money, but it seemed like the right thing to do. Julianne was more emotional about everything today. She had spent time with her networking friends in the morning, sharing what happened. I’m still not as emotional about this as I thought I’d be. I encouraged the boys to talk to their finance offices at school, maybe we can get more aid or something.

Looking back nearly a year later, I’d add these thoughts and comments:

First….we did not get more college financial aid. I’m sure that was related to the amount of stocks and cash we had set aside for an emergency, ironically. I was  somewhat surprised that our younger son’s school didn’t make any changes, but our older son only had 1 semester left, and was at a public university, so no surprise there. Even though it was not offered because we had so much savings….it is better to have savings and not get aid, than to need aid. Really.

I  recommend having a lawyer look at any documents that your company wants you to sign. If you can’t afford one, there are some resources out there (they are almost universally local, so I have not added links to them). There was nothing unusual about the agreements I had to sign, but my former employer was good at laying people off, and knew the drill. Yours may not.

My notes are very devoid of actual feelings, which in retrospect seems odd to me. I know I was having feelings of doubt and fear and even a little anger, but there is almost nothing in my notes about that. I wonder how much I was avoiding my emotions, and if I would have transitioned to something else faster if I had acknowledged them more.

Julianne’s friends, most of whom she has made through networking for work, have been great at supporting us. Not only in helping her be more successful at work (from advice, to referrals, to just being there), but also as friends helping her (and me) get through the stress of these days. Not sure they know it, but we are thankful.

What were your reactions that first week that you were laid off? Let us know in the comments, or by emailing us at ideas@laidoffbetteroff.com.

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