Point Lookout: a free weekly publication of Chaco Canyon Consulting
Volume 2, Issue 52;   December 25, 2002: What's So Good About Being Laid Off?

What's So Good About Being Laid Off?

by

Layoffs during the holiday period of November 15 through January 15 are far more common than you might think. Losing your job, or fearing that you might, is always difficult, but at this time of year it's especially helpful to keep in mind that the experience does have a bright side.

When bad things happen, we tend to forget to look for the bright side. One technique for finding new perspectives is reframing. In reframing bad news, you try to find alternate ways to view what has happened so as to bring out the good.

Take being laid off. We often see only the dark side, especially during the holidays. Not minimizing the dark side, here are some reasons to be thankful when you get a layoff notice.

  • Don't have to worry about being laid off anymore
  • Looking for a new job is a full-time job — it's easier to find time for it now
  • Every day is casual day — not just business casual — really casual.
  • Collect unemployment without guilt
  • Run errands when there's no traffic on the roads
  • No longer have to deal with your old boss
  • No time sheets
  • One good thing about
    being laid off: you no longer
    have to worry about
    being laid off
    Save 35 cents on Tabasco sauce by clipping coupons
  • Home at a decent hour all the time every time
  • Don't have to listen to traffic reports
  • Traffic reports now seem hysterically funny
  • Gives you the insight you need to support friends in the same spot in the future
  • Lower income taxes
  • All your books are now in the same place
  • No more email from Security about new parking restrictions
  • Eating much less takeout
  • Cooking real food, then eating it sitting down
  • Afternoon movies
  • New job bound to be better than old job
  • More time with the kids
  • Reading for fun
  • Sitting down to dinner as a family much more often
  • Dry cleaning bills zeroed out
  • Got accrued vacation in cash
  • Dating
  • No longer have to deal with survivor guilt
  • Don't have to wear a badge any more
  • Can use the health club in mid-afternoon when there are no lines
  • Can actually use the health club
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Get to the produce department before the produce gets picked over
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    No more cellular leash
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Read more things like this
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Finally see the Grand Canyon
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    No more bags of liquefied lettuce in fridge because of unanticipated three-week trips to the Far East
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Vacation whenever
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Network for yourself instead of your employer
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Can always use the same bathroom
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    No traveling to exotic places and seeing nothing but the hotel
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Catch up with friends
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Browse in bookstores
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Biking, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, climbing
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    No more working dinners at 9pm
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Save big bucks on day care
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    No worries about what to do with the kids on snow days
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Less wear and tear on expensive clothes
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Low-mileage discount on car insurance
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Jacqueline Suzanne and PDQ Bach
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    While sending out resumes, get interrupted by your four-year-old with urgent drawing of moon
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Rediscover your spouse
  • The Grand Canyon

    The Grand Canyon. Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

    Two words: the package

If you face layoff soon, or if it's already happened, see what you can do to extend this list. Go to top Top  Next issue: Saying No  Next Issue

The health effects of a positive outlook have been suspected for some time, and research in the area is expanding the evidence. Two examples available on the Web are:

  • Toshihiko Maruta, MD; Robert C. Colligan, PhD; Michael Malinchoc, MS; and Kenneth P. Offord, MS. "Optimists vs Pessimists: Survival Rate Among Medical Patients Over a 30-Year Period." Mayo Clinic Proc. 2000;75:140-143. More
  • Laura D. Kubzansky, David Sparrow, Pantel Vokonas, and Ichiro Kawachi. "Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full? A Prospective Study of Optimism and Coronary Heart Disease in the Normative Aging Study." Psychosom. Med. 2001 63: 910-916. More (search for Kubzansky)

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The regard we have for others as people is sometimes influenced by the regard we have for the work they do. Confusing the two is a dangerous error.
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See also Emotions at Work for more related articles.

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An outstanding example of the Utility Pole anti-patternAnd on June 8: The Utility Pole Anti-Pattern: Part I
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