With the current economic situation, many companies have begun downsizing their workforce in preparation for the future. This means that many people may know someone who has lost their job or been impacted by the economic downturn. To help navigate this difficult situation, I want to offer some guidance on what steps to take if you are affected by a layoff at your company.
Review company’s severance package: Understand what benefits and compensation are being offered and if it’s sufficient or not. I have often seen multiple people who didn’t reach out to their ex-employer to ask for their COBRA benefits, rehabilitation services, and much more. Thus, you should take advantage of these benefits by closely reviewing your severance package.
Apply for unemployment benefits: Many people who are laid off are eligible for unemployment benefits, which can provide financial assistance while they are looking for a new job. You shouldn’t be shy to take advantage of this benefit, after all you have paid into the system for this specific situation.
Create a budget: With no salary coming in, it is essential that you control your expenses, so that you can manage your lifestyle within your means. Thus, I highly recommend you to make a budget to manage your expenses, and prioritize bills and necessary spending while looking for new opportunities.
Create a plan: After being laid off, your natural instinct is to look for another job right away or take a small break before starting to look again. Regardless of your end goal, I encourage you to create a plan and make a schedule for your break, searching and applying for new jobs, networking, and updating your resume and online presence.
Network: So far, I have been very fortunate to find a job on referral, and hence, I never had to actively look for a job. Thus, I recommend you to reach out to your friends, family, and professional contacts to let them know you are looking for a new job and to ask for leads or references.
Update your resume: While applying for the new opportunities, you should remember to tailor your resume to specific job positions and industries, and make sure it is error-free and easy to read, so that it doesn’t get stuck in the application tracking system (ATS) and has a better chance of getting viewed by an actual human.
Take care of yourself: Obviously, this is going to be a difficult journey, if you haven’t been laid off before. But don’t let the stress and uncertainty of a layoff get you down. Eat well, exercise, and take care of your mental and emotional health more than anything else. If you are physically and mentally fit, then you will be able to conquer anything.
Learn new skills: Even though learning new skills might be at the bottom of your list, since you must be focusing on finding a new opportunity as soon as possible, I still recommend you to invest some time in either learning new skills or refining your existing skills. This investment will pay off while you are interviewing for your next opportunity or in the future when you are solving different problems.
Look for job retraining programs: Many governments and private organizations offer job retraining programs to help laid-off workers acquire new skills and find new jobs. I highly encourage you to take advantage of these programs to seek professional help if needed. If the layoff caused significant financial and emotional distress, don’t hesitate to reach out to a financial advisor or mental health professional for help.
I hope these steps help you to cope with the situation and begin planning for your next career move.
Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi