A layoff does not necessarily mean disaster. It is possible to survive a layoff if you take charge of the situation and remain confident. You never know, a layoff can be your first step to a successful career in the future. A layoff from a company does not mean termination of your career.
Earlier, layoff meant bad employee performance or conduct. Today there can be many an extraneous factor that can result in layoff of thousands of employees. With the entire world economy reeling under a recession, it is not uncommon to hear of employees receiving the pink slip.
Layoff can be stressful. But a little planning and handling the situation without panicking can go a long way in living through this period. Managing a layoff requires not just financial management skills but also ample emotional management skills.
List of benefits an employee can claim from the employer
Outplacement benefits for an employee include:
- Severance pay (negotiable)
- Accrued vacation pay
- Pension benefits
- Overtime pay
- Sick pay
- Profit sharing, if any
- Job search assistance
- Resume building assistance
- Administrative assistance
Dos and don’ts for people facing layoff
- Prepare and accept the situation completely
- Speak to your management about the various benefits you are entitled to
- Request for a laid-off letter instead a fired letter
- Ask for a reference letter from the company
- Register for unemployment compensation at your local State employment office
- Check on your continuing health and life insurance coverage, and COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act - gives employees and their families the option to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for a limited period of time payment).
- Do not compare yourself with others who have jobs
- Look at the situation as a failure on your part
- Do not hide it from others that you have been laid off
- Do not get into a shell and neglect yourself
Surviving a layoff
Remember that layoffs can happen to anyone and not just you. In such situations you should be in a position to handle your emotional, financial and future job aspects.
Coping up emotionally
- Stay calm and have faith in yourself. Connect with old contacts and explore options
- Have a positive outlook, remain confident
- Keep yourself engaged.
- Look to your family and friends for support. Speak your heart out so that you can unburden yourself
- Do not allow stress to overrule you. Work out and make it a point to remain physically active.
- Set your goals clearly and work towards achieving it,however disheartening it may sound
- Do not put yourself down.
- Enroll yourself in a support network
Coping up financially
- Plan on how to generate money for the next few months
- Work out on the various benefits you are entitled for and ensure you receive all of them
Work after a layoff
- Be proactive and start to look out for a job immediately
- Register with various job search engines
- Start looking at a new career. Meet up with a life or career coach and work out on the various options available
- Try to educate yourself, pick up a course that can help you towards a successful career
- Be open to ideas; listen to people who have hands-on experience. Check out on the various possibilities and options available as per their guidelines
- Work for a non-profit organization until you find a job, so that there is no break in experience
Tips to survive a layoff
File for unemployment: Filing for unemployment is crucial for people who have lost their job. This is highly essential for people those who are completely dependant on their pay-check. Based on the law of the State you belong to, you can file for unemployment after a pre-determined waiting period.
Update your resume: Keep your resume up-to-date and add on skills that you have acquired recently. Post your updated resume on job board sites. Hand out resumes to people who you think can help you.
Stay connected: Collect information from your co-workers regarding vacancies they are aware of. Staying connected offers mutual support and helps in sharing job-related tips too.
Minimize expenses: Cut down on extravagant expenses.
Credit re-payment: Ensure you repay a minimum amount on your debts. If you receive any monetary compensation from your office, make sure you save it in order to repay a minimum amount on your credits every month.
Remember being laid off does not mean end of the world. Just stay clam and focused towards your goal of finding another suitable job.
When you are employed once again, remember to:
- Pay off accumulated debts from the balance severance and emergency fund
- No job is secure, ever-changing global scenario and economy uncertainty can snatch your job away from you, any minute. So be prepared to face the axe.
- Build an emergency savings fund and plan and work towards your monetary independence