Sunday 22 September 2019

You’ve been laid off, now what? A list of everything that you need to do next

Alice Murray - Independent Jobs

It’s the phrase no one wants to hear, ‘’We value your hard work but unfortunately, we have to let you go.’’

Despite the thriving labour market, layoffs still happen every single day. Budgets are scrapped and teams are restructured, people lose their jobs and have to start again. If you find yourself in this position it’s important that you know what to do.

What do you tell your family? How do you find a new job? When should you reach out to your network? We answer all these questions and more below.

Talk to someone

First things first, you need tell someone what has happened. Ring your mum and cry down the phone or meet up with your best friend for some beers and a rant. You need to let off some steam with someone that you know and trust. Once the initial shock has worn off you can start to tell the rest of your inner circle. Remember that people will want to help so tell them exactly what you need e.g. ‘’I really need someone to listen’’ or ‘’I don’t want to talk about it for a few days.’’ They can follow your lead.

Take a second

If you didn’t see your termination coming then you’re probably in a state of shock. You need to take a few days (or weeks depending on your financial situation) to process what has happened. You don’t want to start your job hunt full of negative emotions. You will not be in the right headspace to connect with old colleagues or interview for new roles. Take some time to process.

Find out your rights

Your rights will vary depending on whether you were fired for a reason or if you were simply laid off. If you were laid off you may be entitled to severance pay. Contact your HR manager and arrange a meeting to get more information. Make sure that you know when you are receiving your last pay cheque. You should also check if you are entitled to annual leave, overtime or back pay. Review your pension and health insurance plans (if you have them).

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Clear your computer

Before you leave your current job, remove any personal information from your computer and your desk. That means deleting passwords, your search history etc. However, you will want to keep any contact information, performance reviews or anything you might need for your job search.

Get ready for the job search

Once you are in a good place you can start to look for another job. First of all, you’ll need to update your Jobbio bio. Make sure your employment history and skills are up to date. You’ll also need to clean up your social media accounts. Remove any comments or photos that don’t reflect the image that you want to present (a picture of you taking shots on holiday probably isn’t the first thing an employer should see when they Google your name).

Move on

The final step is to move on and leave the experience behind you. Before you attend interviews, prepare a brief statement that discusses the business reasons behind why you were let go. Focus on the things that you enjoyed about the role and what you learned during your time there. Don’t bad-mouth your former employer. It could come back to haunt you.

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