How to Respond to a Layoff

November 6th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

How to Respond to a Layoff

If you haven’t had the pleasure of being laid off then you haven’t experienced reality.  Some business need to layoff employees.  Right or wrong that’s reality, so what do you do?

Did you see it coming?  Even a little?  If you DO react now and check out Monster for signs and check out ManagerTools for more details.  One of my favorite points from ManagerTools is listen to rumors.

Ok so what do you do:

  • BEFORE it happens
      1. Keep your head about you.  If you even think there is a chance of layoffs start the process now
      2. Find out if you’re going to be paid out for any benefits like vacation pay or sick pay as you’ll likely be losing some of these benefits.
      3. Take a day off here and there to go to interviews and/or work on your resume or even get a new designation / certification.
  • AS it happens

Yes I’m going to give you advice on what to do  as someone tells you that you’re laid off

      1. Stay calm, stay calm, stay calm
      2. It’s them and not you (repeat this)
      3. It will be over very quickly because they want you out of their office as much as you don’t want to be there
      4. Ignore any comments you hear like:
        1. It has nothing to do with your performance
        2. It’s just business
        3. It’s not personal
        4. You’ll be ok
        5. Hopefully the organization will be ok

The reason you’re going to hear these things is because it’s not easy for anyone to give the news and they’re filling up dead air because you’re in shock.  They’re making a really poor attempt to make you feel better which it will not.

      1. Don’t attempt to communicate with coworkers as you’re being walked off because you’re really not in the right frame of mind.
      2. If you’re lucky you can negotiate a consulting or contractor relationship for a short period to help carry you financially during your search for a new job
      3. Even more lucky would be a severance package with pay and even in some cases a job seeking service, ask about these
      4. If you can stomach the additional questions ask if you can pay for health benefits for an extra month
  • AFTER it happens
    1. Keep your head about you and be calm
    2. As soon as humanly possible get back on a working schedule with sleep time and wake time.  Literally behave as if you’re going to work each day.  KEEP BUSY.
    3. I had a friend go so far as to recommend leaving the house as if you’re going to work
    4. STOP asking if it’s your fault
    5. STOP asking if you could have done something better to prevent it from happening
    6. STOP replaying the conversation with HR or your boss in your head
    7. STOP imagining your conversation with loved ones about how you won’t be getting a check soon
    8. Don’t be surprised if you are called back for missing equipment, documents or keys – Be nice and cordial and don’t be negative
    9. Do NOT be surprised if people you thought you got along with don’t communicate often or even at all with you any more.  They’re scared for their job and they are probably concerned about getting on the wrong side of someone.  It has nothing to do with you and even if it did it will do you no good to chase them down.
    10. Think about who you have good relationships with and the same day ask them if they would be willing to write you a recommendation letter that you are willing to draft for them about how you serviced them.  This includes your boss and her boss.
    11. Consider volunteer work either in your current field or a new field if that’s your direction
    12. Finally start the job search the very next day and refer to the How to Build Resumes Article
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