Being laid off from work is stressful.
You were doing your job and investing time and energy into the company.
Then, one day, everything changed.
The company went in another direction or had to make budget cuts and you found yourself unemployed.
Getting laid off is especially tough when you do not see it coming.
But even if you had no backup plan, it's not the end of the world.
You will get through this tough time better than before!
The question is, what should you do now?
In this article, we provide some important steps to take if you have been laid off from work.
The first four steps will help you take care of financial and end-of-job matters.
The last four steps will assist you in the next vital phase: looking for a new job.
1. Get That Last Paycheck
Do you know when your final paycheck is coming?
Did you receive it already?
It is important to know when you have received your last paycheck so that you can adjust your budget accordingly.
(You also want to make sure you get that final check!)
Also, see if there are any additional payments for which you are eligible.
These may include:
- Accrued paid vacation
- Sick leave
- Back wages (a.k.a. back pay)
Some states require companies to pay for sick leave or paid vacation time that remains unused, in the case of layoffs.
Look into this to see if you are eligible.
When you're not getting a steady income, every little bit helps.
2. Check Severance Pay
Some companies offer severance pay, depending on various factors, such as:
- The duration of your employment
- What position you worked
- Company policies and contractual agreements
In some cases, you might also be able to negotiate details of a severance package with your former employers.
While employers have no legal obligation to offer severance pay, some companies have helpful policies.
You never know unless you ask.
3. Look Into Employee Benefit Eligibility
In addition to asking about severance pay and other additional payments, find out if the company offers continued employee benefits.
Some employers will provide healthcare coverage or life insurance for a set amount of time.
You may also file for unemployment.
Depending on your particular work situation and whether you are eligible, unemployment benefits can help tide you over until you find a new job.
4. Call Those Loan Providers
Laid off from work means not being sure when the next steady paycheck will come in, which can be a cause for concern.
Yes, you may have received a decent severance package.
Still, if you have bank loans, car loans, etc. make a call to see if you can set up a payment plan; or better yet, get a forbearance (break in making payments).
This can help you in two ways:
- Protect your credit rating
- Cut down on your monthly bills
You will want to take care of these financial matters immediately so that you can fully focus on the next steps, which will directly assist you in landing a new job!
5. Update Your Resume
While it is fresh in your mind, update your resume with your prior job.
At the same time, you can opt to redo your resume completely.
If you have no idea where to start, or what kind of resume is ideal for candidates these days, you can to utilize a resume writing service.
Find My Profession is a top-rated professional resume writing service with a focus on senior and executive-level job seekers.
Resumes used to require a boring template style, but you can take this opportunity to make yours fresh again.
(Check out these Resume Writing Tips for Career Change.)
6. Prepare for Interviews
While your resume is the item that will get you in the door, your interview skills will be what lands you a position.
If you have been working at one job for a while, you might have grown rusty on the interview front. That's nothing to be embarrassed about.
But you will need to brush up on those interview skills.
- Look into what kind of questions you will be asked.
- Consider what answers will cause you to stand out among other candidates.
- Take time to prepare solid and effective answers in advance.
(For more tips, read 8 Ways to Prepare Yourself for a Job Interview.)
7. Let the World Know You Are Available!
Time to let the world know your former job is a thing of the past.
The good news? You are now available again!
- Bury the negative emotions of being laid off.
- Let others know you have a positive attitude as you seek employment.
No one hires people that need saving.
People get hired when they are positive, confident, and ready to contribute.
Make full use of helpful online sites.
There are many that can help you in job hunting and social networking.
(Update LinkedIn using these 19 Essential LinkedIn Profile Tips.)
8. Believe It’s a New Beginning!
The important thing to remember about being laid off from work is this:
It had little to do with you.
You were not fired.
So, this is a chance for a new beginning!
Yes, you do have to act fast to stay paid while you look for new employment.
Maintain perspective and remember that all jobs, at some point, must end. Yours just happened to be a surprise ending.
- Mourn the loss
- Learn to laugh about it
- And move on
By all means, this is not a reason to panic.
Fear of loss is the enemy of progress.
You want to start working again as soon as possible, so don't worry about things you cannot change.
See this as an invitation to do something bigger and better!
(For more information on what to do after being laid off, see our article You Got Laid Off...Time to Work!)
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