“Have you ever been laid off?” your interviewer asks you and you begin to sweat. Without sweating, calmly answer, “Yes,” or “No.” Being laid off is no reason to feel shame. A layoff differs from a termination. A lay off is the same as being downsized and occurs when a company either cannot afford to pay your salary or no longer has work for you to perform. Millions of people have been laid off from their jobs and you may be just one more of them.
When you are laid off, some companies offer severance packages, meaning at the time you are laid off, the company gives you additional money or benefits for an extended period of time as a means of compensating for your job loss. Such packages are welcome gifts especially when you had no idea your job would be cut.
If you are laid off, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor and don’t hesitate to apply for them. The Department of Labor also offers valuable resources such as job-related seminars, access to career-related computer programs, information about educational opportunities, job listings, and much more at no charge whatsoever. While the process of applying for unemployment benefits may seem tedious or cumbersome, the monetary benefits are helpful in paying for necessities while you find another job.
After you are laid off, you may be angry and upset about your job loss. Emotional reactions are understandable. On the other hand, layoffs can be an opportunity for you. Ask yourself:
- What job will I seek next?
- What do I want my new future to look like?
- What new co-workers will I meet?
- Will I make an even higher salary than I did before?
Initially, your career future may be uncertain for you, but when it does arrive, you can tell yourself, “If I hadn’t been laid off from my previous job, I never would have found this new one.” And, after the word “new,” in all honesty, your goal is to be able to insert the word “rewarding!”
We hope this is helpful to you! Terry L. Wynne, Ed.S., LPC, BCC, Associate Career Coach at HallieCrawford.com.