If you are laid off from your job there are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. Keep your emotions in check and do not get angry. In most cases of large scale reductions in force, there is buzz going around in advance that something is going to happen. When you are confronted with it, it is normal to become upset but do not act on those feelings. You won’t regret holding back but you will regret losing your cool.
2. Don’t take it personally. We’d like to be able to control our lives and shape our destiny through the sheer force of will, but sometimes things happen to us that have absolutely nothing to do with what we’ve done or who we are. This is one of those times.
3. You need to keep it professional as you will need to get a recommendation. You may want to line up a recommendation in writing as soon as possible. Volunteer to write it yourself. If a letter is out of the question or doesn’t arrive in a timely fashion, ask your boss to send you a short e-mail; even a one- or two-line testimonial will do. Get your boss’s permission to put his or her direct phone number on your résumé and give this out at job interviews.
If outplacement is offered by the company, take it. You may need some coaching during this time.
If outplacement is NOT offered, ask for it. In most cases people will have 21 days to sign a separation agreement. Demand career coaching services as part of your severance. If cash is offered instead of coaching, take the coaching.
Construct an elevator pitch about what happened in this last job for networking and interviews. Remember to always speak positively about the former employer and focus on moving forward in a positive way.
Develop a campaign for a new opportunity and become a self promoter. Have your resume and social profiles as current as soon as possible.
Yes, it’s dispiriting to get laid off, but keep in mind this is where new opportunities are born and they may lie just beyond the horizon, which would have been unavailable had you stayed where you were.
Bottom line: Taking the high road and staying positive is challenging enough when all is going well. The real test of your character comes from how you respond when things are at their worst. Following the above guidelines will help you show the world—and yourself—that nothing, not even the loss of your job, can hold you back from success.
For more advice on what to do when you get laid off, watch the video below: