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December 25, 2002 Volume 2, Issue 52
 
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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
  • No more cellular leash
  • Read more things like this
  • Finally see the Grand Canyon
  • No more bags of liquefied lettuce in fridge because of unanticipated three-week trips to the Far East
  • Vacation whenever
  • Network for yourself instead of your employer
  • Can always use the same bathroom
  • No traveling to exotic places and seeing nothing but the hotel
  • Catch up with friends
  • Browse in bookstores
  • Biking, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, climbing
  • No more working dinners at 9pm
  • Save big bucks on day care
  • No worries about what to do with the kids on snow days
  • Less wear and tear on expensive clothes
  • Low-mileage discount on car insurance
  • Jacqueline Suzanne and PDQ Bach
  • While sending out resumes, get interrupted by your four-year-old with urgent drawing of moon
  • Rediscover your spouse
  • 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
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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)

Go For It: Sometimes It's Easier If You RunLove the work but not the job? Bad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? This ebook looks at what we can do to get more out of life at work. It helps you get moving again! Read Go For It! Sometimes It's Easier If You Run, filled with tips and techniques for putting zing into your work life. Order Now!

Your comments are welcome
Would you like to see your comments posted here? rbrenFOFhgzxGFtVcPcBcner@ChacGSQuLmNJmcxXdXGhoCanyon.comSend me your comments by email, or by Web form.
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More articles on Emotions at Work:

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However perceptive we become about what can anger us, we still do get angry once in a while. Here are four steps to help you deal with your own anger.
Two coffeesWhen You Need a Lift
When we depend on praise, positive support or consumption to feel good, we're giving other people or things power over us. Finding within ourselves whatever we need to feel good about ourselves is one path to autonomy and freedom.
A straw-bale houseResponding to Threats: Part I
Threats are one form of communication common to many organizational cultures, especially as pressure mounts. Understanding the varieties of threats can be helpful in determining a response that fits for you.
A field of corn severely stunted by droughtToxic Conflict in Virtual Teams: Virtuality
In virtual teams, toxic conflict sometimes seems to erupt spontaneously. People who function effectively in co-located teams can find themselves repeatedly embroiled in conflicts that seem to lack specific causes. What triggers toxic conflict in virtual teams?
A diagram of effects for compulsive talkingCompulsive Talkers at Work: Addiction
Incessant, unending talking about things that the listener doesn't care about, already knows about, or can do nothing about is an irritating behavior that harms both talker and listener. What can we do about this?

See also Emotions at Work for more related articles.

Forthcoming Issues of Point Lookout

Langston Hughes, poet and leader of the Harlem RenaissanceComing September 2: That Was a Yes-or-No Question: Part II
When, in the presence of others, someone asks you "a simple yes or no" question, beware. Chances are that you're confronting a trap. Here's Part II of a set of suggestions for dealing with the yes-or-no trap. Available here and by RSS on September 2.
Navy vs. Marine Corps tug off war in Vera Cruz, Mexico ca. 1910-1915And on September 9: Holding Back: Part I
When members of teams or groups hold back their efforts toward achieving group goals, schedule and budget problems can arise, along with frustration and destructive intra-group conflict. What causes this behavior? Available here and by RSS on September 9.

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I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenpLKseqXScqLcyxPEner@ChaclzzINxzrybzgtMOIoCanyon.com or (617) 491-6289, or toll-free in the continental US at (866) 378-5470.

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Go For It: Sometimes It's Easier If You RunBad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? Learn what we can do when we love the work but not the job.
101 Tips for Effective MeetingsLearn how to make meetings more productive — and more rare.
52 Tips for Leaders of Project-Oriented OrganizationsAre your project teams plagued by turnover, burnout, and high defect rates? Turn your culture around.
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