Being laid off can be a miserable experience, even if you don’t like your job and were planning on leaving soon anyway. But like other career challenges, a layoff can be turned to your advantage. Make sure that you do the following if you’ve been laid off in order to give yourself the best platform from which to move forward.
– Work with your employer. The human resources department at the company that is laying you off may be willing to help you out in a number of ways. They may craft a narrative of your exit that makes it appear voluntary while still reporting it as a layoff so that you can collect unemployment. Alternatively, they may offer you help in finding a new position elsewhere.
– Collect your contacts, termination letter, and paycheck. Before you leave your office for the last time, ensure that you download your email contacts and bring them with you. Doing so will help you to jump-start the networking process as you look for a new position. You should also make sure you have a letter describing the circumstances of your termination so that you can quickly file for unemployment. In addition, you should receive payment for your work, including unused vacation days.
– Get a recommendation. If you’re being laid off for reasons outside of your control, you probably still have a good relationship with your supervisor. Ask them for a recommendation as quickly as possible, while the particulars of your employment are still fresh. You may want to ask them to specifically mention that your layoff was not for performance reasons.
– Calm down, and then take stock. If the layoff hits you hard emotionally, give yourself time to process it and get back into a positive mindset. Then look at your finances and evaluate how much income you’ll still be bringing in and how long you have to conduct your job search. Doing so will help you to make a plan for the future.
– Be gracious. Send a farewell message to your co-workers that is as positive as possible. Mention all the good things about the job and the time you have spent with them. Leaving a good final impression will help you to maintain professional relationships after you move on.