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3 Things to Focus on When You’re Laid Off

Thanks to the novel Coronavirus, 2020 consists of a job market and financial situation that’s pretty close to devastating. With businesses struggling to stay open or having to close operations altogether as a result of stay-at-home orders, many workers have been met with a pink slip. Employers are trying to figure out how to survive in this new normal, and the unemployed are forced to navigate a very crowded job market.

Whether you’re expecting the layoff or the news catches you completely off guard, it’s important to keep perspective and focus on these 3 things to ensure a successful restart or redirection of your career when you are laid off.

Leave on good terms

There’s nothing more deflating than receiving the news of a layoff when there’s nothing you could’ve done to prevent it from a performance standpoint. You could be the hardest working person, one of the top performers, the most loyal employee, and you still might have to clean out your desk. There’s no handbook telling you how to react in a situation like this, but you need to handle it with as much grace as possible. It’s never easy to keep your emotions in check when you suffer a layoff, but colleagues will remember you based on your exit. Keep that in mind as you are identifying your support network because these are the people who can be your champion en route to the next move. If your boss is included in this group, and even if they aren’t, uphold integrity and professionalism upon release. Create a plan with your supervisor to pass along any work or knowledge you have and relationships you’ve nurtured to other colleagues. This strategy can help set the company up for success.

Ensure financial security

It can be an emotional time when a layoff is experienced, but it’s important to think logically. After leaving on good terms, getting your financial ducks in a row should be step 1A. The first thing you should do is apply for unemployment benefits. It will most likely not supplement what you were making, but it will help to fulfill some of the financial burdens. Next, make sure you read all of the material given to you or sent to you regarding your health insurance. Don’t let coverage lapse. Even if you only choose to coverage catastrophic occurrences, it still keeps you protected. Lastly, update your budget. If you haven’t jumped into the world of Excel spreadsheets, now’s a better time than ever. Putting this together gives yourself an idea of how to keep you and/or your family afloat financially.

Search for job prospects

Searching doesn’t mean rushing in, but it does mean you can prepare yourself for the job market. There’s never a better time to re-evaluate the direction you’re going than when you’ve been given the gift of time. Figure out what direction you want to go before jumping into a search. Once you have clarity on next steps, it’s time to update your resume, optimize your LinkedIn profile, and reach out to your networking circle. Your digital footprint and reputation is sometimes the first experience hiring managers or recruiters have with your personal brand when looking to fill open roles, so make sure your resumes and LinkedIn profile convey the message you want.

What would you recommend to someone who’s lost their job with or without warning? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out 7 Tips for Job Searching During a Crisis.