Saturday, August 15, 2015

23 Ways to Recover From a Company Layoff


You heard about it in the news. Company layoffs – Sony, Microsoft, Citrix, Blackberry, Lexmark, Qualcomm, eBay, American Express, Halliburton, Kraft Heinz, and the list goes on and on. 

Losing your job, especially when it’s due to no fault of your own can be devastating. Remember that it’s not your fault. Don’t blame yourself. These things happen and are out of your control. 

Most employees are laid off due to a company:  reduction in headcount (downsizing), need to reduce salaries, need to reduce benefits. Unfortunately downsizing is usually not thought out properly and good employees sometimes get laid off while poor performing employees remain employed. 

Layoffs can affect a few employees or hundreds or thousands of employees. Companies conduct layoffs to reduce expenses and increase profits. Sometimes it is successful sometimes it is not. Here are 23 practical ways to survive being laid off.

  1. Emotions. Take a few days to examine your emotions and acknowledge your situation. Review your situation and identify lessons learned to help you in the future.
  2. Assumptions. Don’t make assumptions and assume that only employees or only managers get laid off. Don’t assume that because you received a good annual review, just got a promotion and have been with the company for 5 years your job is safe.
  3. Words. Use your words carefully when telling others when you are no longer at the company especially with recruiters and when filing unemployment. If your company had a layoff state that. A layoff is not the same as being fired. You lost your job along with several other employees.
  4. Pay attention. Pay attention to rumors and signs that a company might be “restructuring”, “laying off”, “reducing costs”, “reducing headcount”, etc. Signs include: a hiring freeze, no recent hires, travel budgets or training budgets are reduced, pension plans are reduced or halted, tuition reimbursements are halted, technology upgrades are halted, salary increases are reduced or halted, and bonuses are reduced or eliminated.
  5. Be Proactive. When layoffs start to occur especially in your department start looking for a new job. Decide what type of job you want, where you want to work, the industries you want to work in and the types of companies you want to work for. Don’t discuss your plans with co-workers, managers or anyone at your job.
  6. Update. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Avoid using the “visible to the public” options when posting on job websites such as Monster or Career Builder.
  7. History. Request a copy of your personnel folder from your HR department. Offer to copy the file yourself and use the words "just for my own records." Make a copy of everything in the file then sort the documents later at home. Request a copy of any documents you signed on your first day of work including any non-compete agreements.
  8. Recognition. Store all recognition files and emails on an external drive.
  9. Clean. Remove all personal items from your desk after hours or on the weekend. Delete all personal files and emails from your computer. Stop using your work phone for personal calls.
  10. Email. Update all profiles, listservs and other accounts that are linked to your work email address and link them to your personal email address.
  11. Social Media. Don’t discuss your company, the layoff or have any work discussions on social media. This may affect your future job opportunities. Also remove any negative, offensive or questionable posts or pictures from your social media profiles.
  12. Clothing. If you don’t normally dress up when you go to work, keep a suit and dress shoes in your car so if a company calls you for an interview you can schedule one quickly.
  13. History. When looking for a new job verify if the company had layoffs in the past 5 years or so. Go the company’s website and review the financial reports for the past 3-5 years.
  14. Expert. Talk to a financial advisor about the best strategy for your 401K, pension plan and stock options.
  15. Money. If you are owed money from your last paycheck, vacation and/or earned sick leave contact your state Labor Board to find out state laws and options available to you.
  16. Services. Take advantage of any services your former company offers and use them.
  17. References. If possible get at least 3 references from the company: one from your previous supervisor, one from a manager in another department and one from a former co-worker.
  18. Network. Go to as many networking events as possible that are within your budget or that are free.
  19. Training. Take training courses or go back to school to learn a new skill. 
  20. Plan. Create a job search schedule. Set aside time each day to do specific tasks: 9-11am research companies, 10am-noon call companies, email contacts; noon-1pm eat lunch, 1pm-2pm review blogs and read articles about finding a job, 2-4 apply for jobs, and 4-6 attend networking events.
  21. Spending. Reduce spending by 30-50%. Stop using credit cards. Pay for all items with cash. Buy only things you really need. Refinance loans to lower monthly payments.
  22. Business cards. Get personal business cards made that you can use when attending networking events with sites like List your personal email address, cell phone number and your general title plus your specialized skills, awards, certifications or degrees.
  23. Letter. Request a letter from your Human Resources department stating that you were laid off that includes the layoff date and the reason for the layoff. You may need this when going on job interviews or applying for unemployment.

To find out about daily job layoffs, company bankruptcies, and store closing visit

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