3 Steps to Take NOW if You Get Laid Off

    2 min read time

    Well....that escalated quickly!

    Through no fault of your own, you find yourself suddenly out of a job. Now what?

    The first question to answer is: Is this unemployment temporary — or permanent?

    If you’re out of work due to the Coronavirus pandemic, your employer may have furloughed you temporarily. If that’s the case, your efforts will be focused on getting through this temporary period of unemployment. If your employer has permanently closed, or if you’re looking to change jobs or change careers, you’ll have different actions to focus on. lay off

    Let's talk about what you need to do if you are finding yourself in that second bucket.

    1. Steady Your Finances

    I know we all freak out about how bills will get paid and if we will be able to land a new job before the funds run out.

    One of the biggest mistakes so many people make after losing their job is not adjusting their finances IMMEDIATELY. With the uncertainty of the global pandemic, you could be out of work for weeks or months. The sad truth is that no one knows right now.

    My thoughts? Aim to conserve as much cash as you can to adjust your lifestyle to your new (hopefully temporary) financial reality. Make a list of current expenses and see where you can make cuts. Determine which monthly expenses must be maintained (mortgage and car payments, utilities, groceries) and which you can do without for now. Once you know what you’ll have to live on (unemployment benefits and savings, for example), you can determine if you need to find other sources of income.

    2. Figure out how to spend your time

    Without a job to go to every day, your days may seem endless and filled with a mix of emotions -- unless, of course, you have children at home that you’re suddenly in charge of teaching!

    When it comes to time management, consider taking some time to think about where you want your career to be one year from now, and five years from now. Take the opportunity to move yourself closer to these goals. Now may be the perfect time to focus on personal development. Are there skills you can work on? Look for free and low-budget online classes!

    For example, the eight Ivy League universities are offering hundreds of online courses to the public at no charge. Many other course platforms are making courses available online, such as Coursera, edX, Rosetta Stone, Alison, and LinkedIn.

    With many of the free courses, you can also secure a certification for an additional fee which may be resume and LinkedIn worthy! Bonus!

    3. Stay connected

    Seek support from others during this time. Don't become a hermit. In-person gatherings are highly discouraged, but you can still utilize technology like FaceTime and Zoom to meet up virtually with friends, family, and even co-workers.

    Finally, please make sure to take care of yourself! Self-care can go downhill when we are at home and not having a plan of action each day. Eat right, try to get at least some movement or exercise each day, and get plenty of sleep. Take advantage of the programs and services available to you so that you can be well-prepared for what’s next. 

    Times of crisis reveal the kind of person we are. Being laid off from a job is tough, and if you factor in a global pandemic, it makes it even more overwhelming. But you can use this time to your advantage. Gather your thoughts, come up with a game plan, and get back out there. 

    I’m confident that you’ll come out of this stronger if you decide to rise to the challenge. You have what it takes. Press on!