Whether you saw it coming or not, being laid off from your job can feel super jarring. It can be difficult to know how best to proceed after a layoff, especially when you’re feeling shocked and out of sorts.
Being laid off can really throw you for a loop. But it doesn’t have to be devastating for your career. In fact, you may even find yourself feeling grateful that this happened someday. Really.
Frankly, it all depends on how you handle this challenging situation; There are some things you can do that will help you to successfully recover after being laid off.
1. Understand it for what it is
First of all, it’s important that you keep in mind that there is a huge difference between being fired and being laid off. You shouldn’t take this personally. Instead, understand it for what it is. You were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The organization you worked for needed to make some changes. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to understand why your department was chosen for the cuts, or why you were laid off instead of others. Thinking about it won’t help you to understand the logic. You weren’t fired. You were laid off. Keeping this in mind should help you to move forward.
First of all, it’s important that you keep in mind that there is a huge difference between being fired and being laid off. You shouldn’t take this personally. Keeping this in mind should help you to move forward.
2. Negotiate for severance and support
You might feel like you’re in a bit of a haze when you first get laid off. So, don’t sign anything right away. Instead, take any documentation home with you and take your time looking it over. Next, make an appointment to sit down and talk with HR. Prepare to ask them any and all follow-up questions that have come up. Advocate for yourself as much as you can. Ask about receiving severance. See how long your benefits will continue. Inquire about recommendations, job leads, or anything else that might help you to move forward. They might be willing to help you more than you think.
3. Assess and reflect
You may feel a bit panicked right after being laid off. But try to take a deep breath and give yourself just a little time anyway. You don’t have to act right away. In fact, you might not make the best professional decision if you do. You don’t want to act out of fear. Instead, give yourself a little time. Reflect on where you’ve been and assess where you want to go next. Catch up a little with friends and family, or work on some household chores that you’ve been putting off. You want to launch this next stage with a positive attitude. Taking a bit of time to relax and reflect should help you get there.
4. Fill in the gap
Layoffs can happen suddenly. Naturally, that could mean a break in employment. However, there are some things you can do to make sure that there isn’t a gap on your resume. Think about some new projects that you can take on to fill that time. Maybe you can do some volunteer work while you collect severance and work on landing a new gig. Perhaps it would make sense to take a class or two in order to sharpen some of your skills. Think about what’s right for you and your career and fill the gap in a way that feels exciting and right to you.
5. Know your worth
It’s so easy to focus on getting a job offer when you’re hunting. But, you don’t want to be so excited about that end-goal that you forget about the negotiation step. Salary negotiations are super important, and being prepared for them will help you get the job done. So do your homework in advance. Use PayScale’s Salary Survey to find out what professionals like you should be earning. You can base your negotiations around data. This should help you get the compensation you deserve when you find your next position.
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