Robert's tips for the recently laid off:
These are some things that I figured out the last time I was let go from a good job. If you have never been through it before, it can be a very scary time in your life. Hopefully these will help someone:
1) Start the unemployment process now. If you were given a big check (pay in lieu of notice), you will have to wait 60 days or so before you can start drawing benefits).
2) See if you can get small contract gigs through local recruiters. I did this and was able to get through 7 months and only use half of my total unemployment.
3) Remember that getting laid off does not reflect on what you have to offer or on you as a person.
4) Start living like a poor person. If you don't need it, don't buy it. My project car has remained unfinished due to my tightness but I was able to pay my other car off and I am pretty close to making a lump sum payment to UT to pay off my student loans.
5) Redo your resume to include everything you have ever done. I wasn't even looking for a Telecom job when my employer found me and I have learned to like it.
6) Talk to people. Keep your self in good spirits. People can tell when you are depressed, hurting or desperate and it hurts in interviews and led to me blowing a really easy phone screening. I have not gotten a job through friends in several years but that is because I don't keep very many friends.