Oh no! You’ve just been laid off!
Being laid off can shake your foundation to the core. It can happen to the best of us; the result of unforeseen circumstances that are no fault of our own. First and foremost, DON’T PANIC. Follow the steps below, and you’ll be well on your way to your next career opportunity.
Read all of the documents that you receive from your employer. Be sure you understand every word and term of your severance agreement. Your agreement might include career outplacement services, so scan it closely, with an eagle’s eye. These are resources that you have coming to you, and you will want to take advantage of.
Apply for unemployment assistance ASAP—that’s what it’s for! Act quickly to take advantage of all the available unemployment benefits, trainings, counseling, and programs.
As soon as you find yourself laid off, immediately sort through your budget. Don’t make any expensive purchases. If you don’t know how to budget, check out Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps. It’s a great resource for getting your finances in order.
There are many programs that can help you supplement your income. For example, Keep Your Home, California can help you pay for your mortgage. Look for other resources related to health care and job retraining, too.
Take advantage of outplacement services offered as a part of your severance package. Some can include career coaching, résumé writing, special hiring, and networking events. You might even hire a résumé writer or career coach to help you brush up on your self-promotion skills. You’re going to need them!
Tell those closest to you about being laid off. They can’t help if you’re not honest. Here is a very informative article with tips that can help them understand how they can help.
Get Up to Speed
Think of being laid off as time to catch up on industry changes, and an opportunity to supplement your skill set. Are you concerned about finding work, and feel that you need new skills? Take a class at the local community college, or at an online resource, like udemy.com or edX.org.
Find an accountability buddy to help you stay on track as you look for a new job. It’s likely that some of your former coworkers are in the same boat as you are, so reach out to them, or look for a job hunters’ networking group in your area.
Get Out of the House
Since most new jobs are found via networking, not job boards, commit to once a week networking. Need ideas? Check out groups related to your favorite professional associations, your alma mater, or some of your favorite conferences. MeetUp.com is a great resource for networking opportunities. A Final Thought . . .
Once you find yourself laid off, it’s tempting to spend all of your time looking for a new job and trying to find work, but be sure to balance your search with some personal activities that you enjoy. A great tip for cutting stress is to workout, or meditate on a regular basis.
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