Dos and don'ts after you've been laid off
It’s never easy to be on the receiving end of a layoff. However, being made redundant does not mean that you should despair for too long. Instead, think of the time as a transitional phase between chapters that will help you to bounce back even stronger. If you are feeling a little lost, then take a look at the following tips of what to do and not to do after being laid off.
Do a financial assessment
Being laid off can put an unexpected dent in your financial planning. It’s crucial to do an immediate financial assessment, including an overview of your savings, financial obligations and how long you can survive without a stable income. This will tell you whether you need to find a new job right away or if you have some time to reassess your career and potentially change your path. A financial assessment will give you the confidence and motivation to make the right choice.
Do apply for jobs
The day you receive the bad news should also be the day you start looking (and applying for) a new jobs). Especially if you want to keep your break as short as possible. You shouldn’t waste any time (unless you want to become your own boss or switch careers). Even if you decide you want to become your own boss or switch careers. But no matter what you choose to do, you should start working on that plan as soon as possible. Remember that, even after having found a new role, it can take up to one or two months before you actually can start.
Do go out and connect
It’s easy to feel down after a layoff, but you should do the exact opposite, but instead of holing up and avoiding people, now is the time to be a social butterfly. Go to industry meetups, talks and events, as connecting with your professional peers is what will get you back on track. Don’t be afraid of the ‘what do you do’ question when meeting new people – if you don’t feel comfortable to talk about the lay-off, you can just say that you are taking a break or are looking for new opportunities to challenge yourself. So, go on and turn negatives into positives.
Don’t start slacking
Without a full-time job you have to worry about, you’ll find yourself with a lot of free time all of a sudden. While ‘taking it easy’ may sound like a good idea after all the hard work and stress, it’s better to keep a routine. There is no reason to sit your desk all day without any good reason but keeping yourself busy will help you adapt better when you go back to work. Besides applying for jobs, your routine could also include regular workouts, meeting industry peers and mentors for lunch or coffee, volunteering, and enrolling in upskilling courses.
Don’t burn bridges
It may be tempting to leave in dramatic fashion, taking everyone else down and throwing wild accusations at your former boss, it won’t be very productive. First, the word might spread in the industry that you are a bad employee. Second, you never know when paths cross again.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself
Whether the layoff was your or not, don’t dwell too much on the past. While some objective reflection won’t hurt anyone, there is no need to become a cry-baby and tell anyone that is willing to listen how terrible your life is. What’s past is past, and you can’t change it anymore. So, make sure you learn the lessons that need to be learned and move on into a positive future.
By any standards, a layoff is a hard fact to accept. However, it’s not necessarily a reflection of you as a person or skill level. So, hold your chin up high and work through it.