February 23, 2023

Got laid off? Here's what you should do next

Sometimes stars don't line up the way we wish they should. Even after several years at your dream job, it can end abruptly, and no one can be prepared for such a situation. There are many business and financial reasons for a company to go through laying off its employees. It's unpleasant, but life moves on for both parties. If you happen to get laid off, here are some tips for what to do.

Step 1: Get all info about your termination 

After unpleasant news, the first typical response is to hide in the darkest corner and cry. If you wish to do that, please do. But after you are done – make sure you get all the information about your termination. You will need it for several reasons. 

Firstly, get the company's explanation for laying off its employees. And whether there was no other position to transfer to and stay employed. Secondly, secure this information for your future employer when you are going through interviews. The best is to provide a constructive reason why you were laid off, to show that it wasn't due to your skillset or performance. Third, understand it for yourself. It's better to know the reason and not have any questions than to stay in the dark and doubt yourself, losing all your confidence. 

Step 2: Don’t burn bridges 

Another typical response after the crashing news is to burn bridges and never talk to anyone in that company again. However, you never know where your life will take you. Maybe you'll be a highly demanded professional one day, and your ex-company would need an expert just like you for their one-off project. In a scenario when you burn bridges, you won't get such a client, or it will be just too weird to talk. 

No matter the grudge you hold, be sure not to burn bridges. Unfortunately, there's always a business reason for laying off employees and if you happen to experience one – just accept it. Get that feedback, collect all needed info about your termination, and leave without drama.

Step 3: Give yourself some time 

The next step is the most important of all. It would help if you got time to recover before starting anything else. If you still have negative emotions from the whole experience, write them down on paper and then throw them away. Speak with your friends, go through all details, and get tired of it. You will need to close that chapter, but only after you're through all emotions connecting you to that experience. 

Don't rush yourself. Now it's the perfect time to find the balance again, spend more time with yourself, and do what you love the most. It can be hiking, yoga, cycling, or walking with dogs. Enjoy this time, spend it properly, and get yourself fully recharged. 

Step 4: Rethink your career

Use this time to rethink your career. Maybe the job you were doing wasn't for you, or it wouldn't bring many opportunities in the future as you wanted. Now it's time to do some analysis and map out your career. Get some pen and paper and write down everything you do well, the top skills you have, and your strengths with weaknesses. Don't forget to imagine what would be your dream career and think of ways to get there.

The whole analysis might be a bit overwhelming, so that's a great chance to get yourself a mentor. It can be a person from the area you worked for or the area you think of going to. Mentor will help you go through this experience and find what's the best for you. Sometimes you just need to feel supported; a mentor can help you with that while guiding you to your next career step. 

Step 5: Get these interviews going

Congratulations, you're ready to start working again! Once you release yourself from negative emotions, find your balance, and map out your career – it's time to go through job portals and LinkedIn job offers. Again, don't rush. The best is to apply for fewer positions but the right ones —quality over quantity. 

Get out there, share your job experience, and describe your best skills. Attend these interviews and regain your confidence if you lost some on the way. Show hiring companies that it wasn't the worst but the best part of your career journey, where you understood what you needed from your career. Many companies will appreciate it and won't think much before hiring you. 

For some, to be laid off is a negative experience, but for others, who follow the steps above, it can be a life-changing event where one gets to rethink the career. It's a perfect time to slow down and get your priorities right. It's hard to be laid off, but if you do – you got it! 

Would you like more practical tips for dealing with a layoff? Get our free layoff worksheet! Follow it step-by-step and fill out all the fields to help understand your situation (and yourself) better and prepare for your next step!

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