Let’s be frank. Being laid off from work sucks. You were doing your job, but the money to pay you ran out or the company restructured. If you got laid off, the chances are you were not the only one. It is a confusing time. In fact, over the last five years, more than 20% of the US workforce has experienced being laid off from a job.
Some say, irrationally, that getting fired is better than being laid off from a job. You know why you get fired, but rarely do you have an answer to the question, “Why was I laid off?”. The job just ends and you are told some templated response to reduce confrontation. The real reasons are known only by those who made the decision to lay people off.
Is this the time to sell your car, take out dangerous loans with high-interest rates, and plan for the Apocalypse? NO! Try the following below. You may not have a job, but it is time to work.
Spread the word! You are on the market again!
It is time to let former colleagues, friends, family, and anyone you consider to be a professional reference know, “I got laid off. I need to find work.”
Check out the fine print on all contracts BEFORE…
When you initially were hired there may have been an agreement to offer you severance pay in the case of you being laid off.
Check old agreements or talk to your HR representative BEFORE you sign anything after the layoff. The last thing you want to do is sign away your rights to severance pay or legal rights to sue.
The language of that last document you sign will not be geared towards doing you a favor. Watch specifically for ways companies protect themselves in the form of non-competes, NDA’s, or lower-than-normal severance packages.
File for unemployment immediately
Even if you have a job waiting in the wings and do not find it necessary, file for unemployment anyway. You are protecting yourself and giving yourself a budget to continue to look for work.
Also, no one ever really knows how long they will stay out of work or what will happen next. If you do get hired before unemployment goes through, never cash the check and cancel the unemployment.
Get yourself ready to look again quickly
Keep your work regimen up
We do not always think about the fact that our job was a “workout routine” of sorts. You got up at the same time every day. You went to work. You prepared for your job and you had a set time to relax.
And now...You got laid off.
The very next day after being laid off, when you do not have to wake up and everyone goes to a job, it hits you, “Oh man! I am unemployed!”
Instead of standing still, worrying about the fact you got laid off, replace your regimen with something else. Ideally, you should replace it with your new job of trying to find a job. Keep in mind, applying online is just one method of looking, but it is not the only one!
Seek out people who inspire you
To close, we share a post from a recent blog by Nadia Noel-Anglade. She writes about how to reinvent yourself after a job loss.
One of the most important things you need in your life during difficult times are people who support you, not with negative ideas and criticisms, but those who want to help you progress in your career!
The next time you find yourself in the shoes of that 20% of Americans who were laid off in the last five years, do not say, “I got laid off. I am in trouble.”
Try saying, “I got laid off. It is time to get to work!”.
(For more information on what to do after being laid off, see our article What to do After Getting Laid Off From Work)