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Experiencing a layoff or being let go can be devastating. But rule number one is to recognize that layoffs aren’t personal. Keeping your mind focused on the future will help you pull through this difficult period. It’s best to acknowledge any feelings of anger, fear, sadness, shock and uncertainty and direct yourself toward a career transition. 

Understand that layoffs or reduction-in-force events are not the outcome of poor performance but, in fact, they arise for business reasons, such as mergers or acquisitions, company restructuring or a weakened economy. Other reasons may include:

  • Downsizing
  • Plant closures
  • Reduction in operational costs
  • Relocations

This is not uncommon. It’s likely you’ve heard of tech giants, such as Google letting go of many workers from various departments. Statistics indicate that in 2023 a whopping 1.64 million people were laid off in the United States. 

Being laid off is hard. You’ll find yourself battling a whirlwind of emotions – but brave through it. Remember, the right attitude and direction can open doors of opportunity for you in the future. Let’s explore 7 positive ways by which you can cope with this challenge and emerge stronger than before. 

1. Take Time to Process the Layoff

Don’t push your feelings away and don’t shy away from expressing them either. It’s ok to feel shocked, saddened, angry or frustrated. Take some time to accept what has happened and remind yourself that this is not personal in any way. Understand that you are not alone and that losing a job is not uncommon. Did you know that 40 percent of Americans have been laid off or terminated from a job at least once? Perhaps you could consider spending time with family and friends or engaging in your favorite hobbies. Once you’ve processed the layoff in your mind, it’ll be easier to move on from here. 

2. Check for Health Insurance Coverage

Reach out to HR or your concerned department and check the status of your health insurance coverage. Some companies allow coverage for outgoing employees until a certain period. If you still receive health insurance coverage for, let’s say, an additional month, take it positively and hit the pedal on your job search. 

3. Enquire About Financial Matters

Don’t hesitate to approach your company and enquire about your final settlement. This should include your last pay, any vacation and/or sick leave, overtime, additional bonuses, etc.

You also must discuss Severance Pay. This is granted to employees upon termination of employment. Normally, it is a certain portion of your pay for every year that you have served in the company. 

Finally, find out what you can and should do with a retirement account and/or stock. You may not have to make any quick moves on either of these but it’s good to know up front what your options are. 

4. File for Unemployment Compensation

Don’t spend too much time fretting and worrying about your loss. Be quick to register for unemployment support. If you become eligible, this benefit can serve as a safety net and help you cover routine expenses during the interim period. Some states also provide individuals with job search support. Hence, register promptly to receive all the support you can get. 

5. Save Important Projects/Work

Keep a record of important projects that you’ve worked on. Perhaps you can convert your best work into a portfolio to highlight to future employers. If you’ve worked on developing a new product or been part of a successful campaign, remember to note important dates and figures — and refer to them during your upcoming interviews. 

6. Request References

Use your networking skills and request job references from your supervisors and colleagues. Good job references and impressive letters of recommendation can become your passcode to success. These are excellent to present to potential employers and can increase your chances of being the perfect job match. 

7. Build Your Resume and Optimize Your Profile

You’re almost there! But before sending job applications, ensure that your resume is up-to-date. Things change rapidly, so ask yourself when was the last time you reviewed and updated your resume. Is this the preferred format being used now? Run a quick search and update as required.

Job networking sites are soaring with impressive profiles, so you’ll want to take some time to update yours. Be sure to add updated and relevant information. Keep it simple yet professional. You may even consider guidance from professional services that will help you write your resume, cover letters and optimize your online profile. 

Get Support From Crosworks

Are you clear and confident about your next target job but need help in making it happen? Crosworks’ Job Search Strategies program guides and supports you through all phases of developing and executing a job search. 

We provide valuable insights to navigate the current marketplace and share tips to help you break through the clutter to land a job that fits your target. Contact us today to begin your journey to the next stop in your career.. 


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