Getting laid off can be a traumatic experience. Unlike being fired, a lay off is usually unexpected and at no fault of our own. People often feel blindsided and unappreciated when they are laid off over another employee, so it can be a tough pill to swallow upon hearing the news.
You have every right to feel upset, angry, or even scared about what’s next. And while giving yourself time to mourn over your job and find peace is essential, here are a few things you should do immediately after experiencing a lay off.
Ensure You Get Everything You Are Owed
Take a look at your contract: does the company pay out sick and PTO days if you are laid off? Do they offer a severance package? Many companies have different protocols for when someone is laid off vs. fired or quit. Ask the HR manager, check your contract and make sure that you get the full extent of what is offered to you. You may have left the office in shock and did not get the chance to ask these questions. If so, don’t worry, it is perfectly normal to contact your employer the next day to get your answers. In addition, be sure to ask them when, and how, you will be receiving your last paycheck and for what amount it will be.
Consider Unemployment Benefits
When you are laid off for a job, it usually means you were not at fault. Because of this, you are most likely eligible for unemployment benefits. This will vary from state to state but it’s smart to check what you qualify for—these benefits can give you monthly payouts that will help you pay bills and support yourself and/or your family as you enter into your job search.
Ask for a Reference
Unless you had a bad relationship with your boss or supervisor, it’s smart to ask for a letter of recommendation before you cut ties. When you leave a job without another job lined up, it can be a red flag to employers who may assume that you were fired. A letter of recommendation from your previous boss will clear this up and let any new job prospects know that you were valued.
Set Up Alerts
You may be the type to rush home and begin applying as soon as you are laid off, or you may need some time to process what happened and what is next. Either way, you should set up job alerts as soon as possible. Get an idea of what is out there currently, and ensure that you don’t miss a dream opportunity because you weren’t looking soon enough.
Set a Plan
There is a lot to think about after a lay off that doesn’t necessarily include a new job. You will need to figure out your health insurance for the time you are out of work, how you will pay bills, and how you will support your family, hobbies and more. Sit down and set a plan for the foreseeable future: reset your goals, create a budget and get prepared for an amazing new opportunity ahead.
If you were laid off or fired, you may want to seek the help of a recruiter to get you back into the workforce more quickly. The experts at The Goodkind Group can help you find what you’re looking for. Give us a call at 212-378-0700 or visit our website to learn more about our services.