What should you do when you receive a layoff notice? What’s the best way of surviving a layoff? How should you handle being unemployed? If you’ve lost your job, you’re not alone. There are always companies that are cutting jobs or restructuring operations. It’s a normal part of conducting business in today’s economy.
1. Don’t panic!
When layoffs hit, the immediate reaction of those left behind is often panic. Overcome this panic and anxiety by developing a plan for what you’d do if you got laid off, too. As long as you have your health and are willing and able to work, you’ll be okay. US unemployment rate is at its all time low. There is plenty of work available. Don’t just limit yourself to local jobs though, think globally. A lot of places allow remote work these days.
2. Create your layoff budget
With a big income change, it’s important to look at your finances to ensure you can survive without a job for as long as the search takes; this means figuring out which expenses can be cut.
You should also consider filing for unemployment benefits. It may take a few weeks to process your application, so it’s best to start the process as soon as possible.
Be ready to document your job-hunting efforts. This is a standard requirement to receive unemployment benefits.
Consider your options for short-term income. These include freelancing, signing up with a temp agency, and taking on-demand work (for example, driving for a ride-hailing service). This can help bridge the gap between full-time positions (but may affect your eligibility for unemployment).
Update your budget or create your first. This will help ensure you know exactly how much you need to earn each month to cover your expenses.
Call your creditors. Many lenders are willing to adjust your payment schedule if you’re experiencing financial hardship. The best time to negotiate is before you’ve missed any payments, so make these conversations a priority if you have significant debt.
Cut expenses you can live without. These might include premium streaming subscriptions, house-cleaning services, and wine-of-the-month-type clubs.
Get creative to save money. A layoff is less stressful if you can make your budget work. Some habits that can help are preparing meals at home, choosing generic and budget-friendly foods, line-drying laundry, walking or biking instead of driving, and adjusting the thermostat.
3. Update your resume
This is something that we should all do, but it doesn’t always get the attention that it should. I was told a long time ago that your resume should be more than two pages with a max of three bullet points per employer. That may work in some cases but not all.
You may find that it may be necessary to keep more than one type of resume depending on the type(s) of jobs you are looking for, so that the resume is specifically tailored to the type of job you are pursuing.
4. Never give up
Don’t leave any stone unturned. You may just find that a company that passed you by today for another applicant may come back to you when that person leaves to move onto greener pastures. I would have never thought that could happen but I have seen it happen twice in the past year.
Look to Your Future!
Strangely, being laid off can be a good thing. We often stay in jobs we don’t like out of inertia – too busy, or not quite unhappy enough to make the effort to find a new job. A layoff pushes us “out of the nest” into an involuntary job search — which can lead to a better job, a promotion, a career change, and, even, more money and happiness!
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