Author: Jojo Varona
Job searching after a layoff may be one of the hardest things you ever do. You could be in shock without knowing what your next steps will be. You may be eager to get back out there, or you could want to take your time and hide under your covers for months. First off, it's important to remember that whatever you are feeling, those feelings are valid. Beyond that, there are some concrete steps you can take that will help you move forward.
Here are a some steps you might consider taking after you get laid off:
Don’t wait to start your job search. If you don’t have an updated resume, get one done immediately. Ask your current employer or managers if you can use them as a reference. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated. Use your network to see who is hiring.
Try temping or contract work. Go to a staffing agency and see what they have while you are looking for more permanent work. There are many instances where a temporary assignment can lead in to something more substantial.
Don’t pass up an opportunity to explore new avenues. There may be opportunities in other industries that are similar to what you are doing. Your skills and experience could be transferable to other types of work.
Don’t burn bridges. Remain professional and try not to speak negatively about the job or management, especially in a public forum like social media. Return any company equipment and data provided to you. Ask for performance feedback, find out if the layoff will affect your ability to receive positive references, get the answers you need from HR about benefits, severance, and other details, and transition your workload as graciously as you can.
Don’t leave without your personal belongings, and be sure to ask questions about what the layoff entails. Find out about your health coverage and how long you will be covered. Find out about your accrued compensation, unused PTO, retirement savings, and if there is a severance package.
It can be tempting to wait out unemployment or a severance-package period to get serious about searching for your next job, but that could be a considerable career misstep. It is easier said than done but don’t let the layoff affect your confidence. You may find out that this setback could be a blessing in disguise and can lead to better opportunities.