Laid Off? Here’s Your Roadmap to Reemployment and Resilience

Getting laid off can cause a whirlwind of emotions. Luckily, there are steps you can take to build your resilience. Layoffs can occur when companies realize they need to grow more quickly than anticipated or need to restructure the team for better results. Usually, it’s not the fault of employees.

Prepare for Interviews

During an interview, it’s important to be honest about your job loss. Focusing on your skills, experiences, and what you can offer the company is also important. When discussing your work history, it’s okay to mention your layoffs in your resume (this would take up valuable real estate), but you can address them in your cover letter. You can explain that you left due to a mass layoff or downsizing beyond your control. What to do if you’re laid off? It’s essential to have a contingency plan before you’re laid off to prepare for the potential loss of income and stay afloat financially during this time. This includes creating a budget, evaluating your financial standing, and exploring unemployment benefits, if applicable. Consider taking an online course during this time, as it can help you acquire new skills and expand your resume. Lastly, you can also inquire about outplacement services, which may be provided as part of your severance package. This can include resume writing, interview coaching, and career guidance.

Stay Positive

It can be easy to dwell on negative emotions when you lose your job, especially if the setback is out of your control. However, you must focus on the future and find ways to stay optimistic. Resilience can help you build a strong foundation for professional success. Remind yourself that you were laid off. Even if the company struggled and needed to cut costs, it’s not necessarily your fault. Take the opportunity to upskill and gain new skills to enhance your resume. Using this time as a chance to grow can help you feel more confident when interviewing for a position. Be honest when discussing your layoff with potential employers, but don’t only bring it up sometimes. You can also ask HR to provide you with a letter that you can present to future employers that confirms the reasons behind your layoff were not due to your performance. This will help ease the transition for you and the hiring manager. It’s best to leave the release off of your resume, as doing so takes up valuable space that can be used to highlight your accomplishments and skills.

Build Your Network

It’s important to build a network that supports you during tough times. Reach out to people in your network who can provide support and encouragement and ask them for help when needed. Connecting with other former company employees through groups or by attending company events is also helpful. When discussing your time at your previous employer in interviews, focus on what you learned and how you’ve grown due to your experience there. This demonstrates to potential employers that your layoff isn’t personal and that you’re eager to find a position that aligns with your career goals. It can be unsafe to reveal that you were laid off, but it’s becoming increasingly common in today’s job market. Additionally, there is no longer the stigma that once existed about sharing your employment status with others. By being honest, positive, and resilient during your job search, you can confidently overcome your layoff and land a flexible job that fits your needs.

Take Advantage of Outplacement Services

Many companies offer outplacement services to help laid-off employees find new employment. These services can include career coaching, resume assistance, and networking opportunities. It would help if you took advantage of these resources to give yourself the best possible chance of finding a new job quickly. Some layoffs happen due to economic factors, such as a recession. Others occur because a company needs to cut costs, including payroll. Other reasons include downsizing, restructuring, or the company shutting down entirely. Whatever the reason, laying off team members is never an easy decision for any business. As a business leader, showing compassion for those impacted by a layoff is important while being realistic about the situation. Providing outplacement services indicates that you care about your team and want to do everything possible to ensure they can find new jobs. It can also save your company money by reducing unemployment claims and other related expenses. Before you start applying for jobs, ensure you’re eligible to receive your severance package and understand how long you’ll be able to claim unemployment benefits (again, requirements vary by state). This way, you can plan when you won’t receive income.

Apply for Unemployment Benefits

Losing your job can be extremely stressful, especially when determining how long you will have to go without income. Fortunately, many states have unemployment insurance programs to help individuals during this difficult time. While every state has its agenda, most follow federal guidelines. Generally, you must be unemployed through no fault to receive benefits. For example, you could qualify if you lose your job due to reduced force or were downsized for economic reasons. Once approved, you can file weekly claims to get paid each week. You can file your claim online, over the phone, or in person. The Department of Labor will review your claim and send you a Monetary Determination letter. If you are still looking for more than the Monetary Determination, you can request that they use an alternative base period to calculate your benefits. This will increase your weekly benefit rate. You can also opt to withhold taxes from your weekly benefit payments.