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Tips to Make a Layoff a Good Thing

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Summary: While no one really wants to be laid-off, the event can be a positive experience if you follow these tips to make the most of the opportunity to find a better job.

The unexpected loss of a job can be a real confidence shaker. You set a plan for your career only to hit a bump that sends you in another direction. Take advantage of the opportunity because you never know how it may turn out or what bigger and better things may result from the change.

Career expert Suz O’Donnell has noted, “Everyone I know who has ever been laid off ended up in a better place because of it. Some of them stayed in the same role, but went to a company they liked better and others completely recreated themselves by finding something they found more meaningful.”

There are probably plenty of people that you know that have been laid off and did not come out of the event as successful. This is because they did not follow these tips to make the most of the layoff.

Steps to take immediately after being laid-off:

  • Be alone to allow yourself to react on how you feel. This may be screaming, crying, laughing, or whatever emotions you feel at the time. Take a few minutes after receiving the email, letter, or face-to-face notification to go to your car or someplace else to be alone.
  • In order to stop yourself from going into a panic, put the situation into perspective. Maybe you were planning to quit and this is just the shove you needed to recreate yourself. A layoff does not necessarily reflect badly on your performance, it’s more a representation of the company’s poor performance.
  • Turn to your significant others to tell them the news. The support and discussion about being laid off will help put the event even more into perspective.

Steps to take within a week after the layoff:

  • Use the free tools and coaches that often come with a layoff to set up a meeting with a career services coach. Look into your passions and strengths to build a strong resume that can translate into new opportunities. They will have also have access to recruiters.
  • Solidify connections with those at the company and hit up your network to get the word out there that you are looking for any word on new opportunities. Make sure everyone has your personal email so that they can reach you.
  • Clear your computer’s hard drive and desk of all personal items. If there are things you want to keep off the computer, bring your our external hard drive or USB. Do not take things home that are not yours, like that special stapler. Keep your exit professional so that there will be no reason for you to be unemployable with a new company.

Steps to take within the first month:

  • Get the list going of new positions and job roles that you would like to explore. Being laid off gives you the chance to redefine what job role you would like to take on next.
  • Research companies and locations that you want to be a part of. Now that you are without a job, you may as well make the most of it and find a job that you really want.
  • Take a break from it all and enjoy a vacation. With layoffs comes a severance package, so use some of it to go on a little trip. A change of scenery may bring fresh ideas to mind about where you want your future to go.

Steps to take within the first three months:

  • If you have not already secured a new job, send out more resumes and work on perfecting your interview skills. The more resumes you send out, the better your chances of landing interviews.
  • After meeting with potential employers, be sure to follow up and send thank you notes to every person you spoke with. Clear up any questions that were left at the end of the interview. Remember that the interview process with some companies can take months so be patient and courteous in your follow up calls.
  • Pick up volunteer opportunities or a hobby to keep you busy. Just sitting at home will make you go stir crazy. Volunteer work will keep you involved in the community and may bring employment opportunities that you weren’t expecting.

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Photo: flickr.com

Tips to Make a Layoff a Good Thing by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin