Whether you planned to stick with a company for the entirety of your career or you were viewing it as a stepping stone of experience, being on the receiving end of a message letting you know that you’ve been laid off usually feels like a punch to the gut. Even though over 40% of all adult workers will experience being laid off during their work life, it’s hard not to feel defeated. But if you think about that statistic, it also means that 40% of workers experience a layoff, and the majority of those workers find a way to get back up and keep moving forward and upward in their professional lives. You are not alone.
So what’s the secret to making it through being laid off and finding a new job?
Take A Breather
The first step is to take a breather. Your temptation might be to jump right into the job hunt, and for some people, they become their best selves in a crunch-time situation such as being laid off. If that is you, then go get ‘em!
However, if you feel that punch to the gut impacting your mental health, then it’s important to do some self-assessment of your mindset before you jump into the job search. Set up an appointment with your therapist if you have one, spend some time brainstorming and getting yourself built up by friends, and take a little bit of time for general self-care in whatever way works best for you to lift yourself up and feel ready to move forward with a positive mindset toward the future.
During this time period right after a layoff, make a list of your accomplishments so that you can remind yourself of your talents, your work ethic, and all you can contribute in your future role. But don’t just stay in the past! Take time to think about what you want to achieve as well. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut after you lose a job, but most likely, you changed some in your time with the company, so it’s good to assess how you’ve changed. This period of self-reflection might teach you that you need to move in a different direction career-wise as you look to the future.
Assess Your Situation
Once you know that your mindset is positive and ready to move forward, it’s time to get down to business and deal with your situation. As a part of this, you’ll want to be sure that you receive communication from your previous employer that specifically identifies the fact that you’ve been laid off as a part of a reduction in force rather than due to performance. If they don’t provide that for you automatically, ask for it. This request is not uncommon, and it can provide you with peace of mind moving forward.
Next, ask for letters of recommendation from peers and supervisors. These updated letters should include information about specific projects you’ve contributed to, ideas you nurtured, your professional relationships, and other work-ethic related information. You can ask them to include specific information that you know they are aware of and can expound on.
This is also an important time to ask people if you can use them as references and to make sure you have their most current contact information. You don’t want references receiving surprise calls, and your heads up will give them time to think about what they are going to say. It also ensures that they don’t avoid the phone call or think that emails are junk mail.
You’re also going to want to apply for unemployment as soon as possible after you lose your job. This is another great reason to have a letter from your previous company confirming your laid-off status. Unemployment is both a state and federal effort to help eligible workers remain on their feet between jobs. As long as you’ve paid into unemployment, you shouldn’t have a problem getting that help.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor is very helpful through their informational page, How Do I File for Unemployment Insurance? Because each state has different requirements and expectations related to unemployment payments, you can use CareerOneStop to look up your individual state’s information.
Now that you have those bits and pieces under control, it’s time to update your resumé and LinkedIn profile. Indeed is currently the top job search platform, so they know a thing or two about how to get a job. They offer their Top Resumé Formats that you can use to revamp your work history. You might be surprised at how good you feel about yourself after doing a bit of a resumé makeover!
You can use the list of accomplishments that you created and your thoughts about what you want for your future to reassess the direction your resumé is headed in. Identifying the key words that certain industries’ automated searches will be looking for will help you prep your resumé and be more attractive during the job hunt.
Plan For The Future
Once you’re standing on solid ground and are ready to move ahead, it’s time for the preliminary job search. Take some time to research about what roles you possibly are qualified for that you never before considered, and then start applying with your fresh mindset and fresh resumé at the ready.
If you’ve done the preliminary job search and you’ve decided it’s not quite what you were hoping for, it might also be time to sign up for courses that could help you move forward on a new career path or enhance your current skillset. Anymore, you can take online courses for significantly cheaper and with far less of a time commitment than any time in the past. In fact, courses through schools like Washington Tech can be completed as quickly as you can finish the work. Adding a career certificate to your resumé will add on to the many options you’ve already got spread out in front of you.
Getting laid off can be painful, scary, and downright depressing. But it’s also a time of possibility, faith, and positive movement toward a better future. If you just keep moving forward, you’ll soon see that your future is bright!
Washington Technical Institute
Washington Technical Institute’s fully online certificates can be completed in a matter of months, with daily or bi-weekly start dates. Such flexible start dates make these programs unique and much more accessible for our students. Most of our certificates can be earned as a self-paced program, meaning that you can work at your own pace to complete your work, even finishing early if you have the time and motivation to do so. An additional benefit of WTI’s programs is that we offer affordable pricing and monthly payments to help our students leave school without debt.
Although our goal is to help our students graduate their programs with little to no debt, we also recognize that some students might need to utilize a loan for their educational investment. We are excited to announce our partnerships with Meritize Financial Assistance, Climb Credit, or Ascent, student lending companies focused on financing career-building programs.
If you’re ready to enroll and start working on a plan for the personal and professional benefit of professional development, you can register for your program online through our website. Still have questions about our programs? Feel free to call us at 800-371-5581 or text us at 952-465-3702 to speak with an admissions specialist.