5 Tips To Get Back on Your Feet after a Layoff

Five Tips To Get Back on Your Feet after a Layoff

Layoffs are never fun, but they don’t have to be the end of the world.

A giant wave of layoffs has swept across industries in the past few months. The boom in startup culture is slowing, and the funding environment is deteriorating, leading to companies cutting down staff size. The unpredictability of the upcoming economic recession has also taken a toll on multinational tech companies, like Netflix, Uber, Facebook and Amazon. They have all instituted hiring freezes and are letting go of employees. As of July 2022, more than 30,000 tech workers have lost their jobs in Silicon Valley. 

Instability has made its way into every industry. If you have recently been laid off, it is natural to feel scared and lost. Yet, there are things that you can do to pull yourself together. Here are five tips to help you figure out what to do when you get laid off:

Figure out your finances

The first step is to figure out your finances. How much money do you have saved up? Do you have any debt? What are your monthly expenses? Do you have an emergency fund? This is the time to be honest about your financial situation. Once you have a clear picture of your finances, you can start figuring out your next steps. 

Also, apply for unemployment insurance or other aid the government provides if needs be. Many countries, such as the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K., offer unemployment benefits to their citizens. While you can’t rely on these benefits for too long, it can make things easier for a bit, especially if you have regular expenses, such as a mortgage, child care, family and medication.

Start job hunting

Beginning your job search as soon as possible is important if you’ve been recently laid off and under financial pressure. The sooner you start looking for a new job, the better your chances of finding one before you run out of funds. Look at all available resources, including online job boards, interview tips, networking events and career fairs. Update your LinkedIn profile and resume, and explore the career options that suit your interests and experiences. 

Reach out via professional networks, like LinkedIn or personal ones built over time. According to Terry B. McDougall, an Executive Career Coach and author of Winning the Game of Work: Career Happiness And Success On Your Own Terms, it is crucial to tell your network you are looking for a job immediately, as your network can potentially tell you about the “hidden jobs” in the field and even connect you with them. “The more people you look out for, the quicker you’ll land a job,” he says.

Take a break

For some that can afford a mid-career break, it might not be the worst idea, as career breaks are not looked down upon now as before. After a layoff, it can be tough to look at the positive sides, but you can take this opportunity to reflect on your career path. Reset your goals, learn new skills and analyze your previous work experiences to determine your progress. Take a vacation if your budget allows. Revamp your resume and prepare for the next step in your career. 

Vida Thomson, the founder of Flourish Career Consulting in Vancouver, says that some of her clients who found a new job they like, have taken some downtime from work. This helps them evaluate what they weren’t enjoying about their last job and their life. If you’re feeling burned out, maybe it’s time to consider a career break. 

What’s more, you can now even add a “career break” period to your LinkedIn profile. Thomson believes the new feature highlights how people are now more open-minded about career breaks than before.

Talk it out

Don’t bottle up your feelings about the layoff. Find a supportive friend or family member to talk to, or join a layoff support group. This can help you get rid of the emotional baggage before you move forward. 

Understanding that a job loss is a painful experience, leadership and career coach Stacey Staaterman suggests being mindful of the emotions accompanied, such as loss, rejection, disappointment and anger. You don’t want to carry the bitterness of losing your job into your next job, as recruiters and employers might sense your grudges during interviews, which can lower your chances of getting a new job. 

Consider starting your own business

If you have a great business idea and sufficient funds, one option to consider after a layoff is starting your own business. This can be a great way to take control of your career and earn an income that’s more stable than freelance work or contract gigs while still having flexibility with work hours. 

According to 2021 survey data released by Salesforce, 32.9 percent of new entrepreneurs started their business during the pandemic because they were furloughed or let go from work. However, bear in mind to not romanticize entrepreneurship because it is no easy feat. You will be taking a lot of risks and facing various challenges along the way. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of going down this route: 

  • Make sure you have enough savings to cover your personal and business expenses for at least six months.
  • Do your research on what type of business will be most feasible and profitable right now.
  • Create a detailed business plan
  • Look into funding options, such as bootstrapping, small business loans or crowdfunding.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of a layoff, don’t despair. You can do plenty of things to make a comeback and find a new job that’s even better than your old one. Even if you are safe with your job for now, you should always be prepared because a layoff or resignation can happen at any time. Follow the tips outlined above to stay calm and renavigate your life quickly in times of change.

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