Layoffs occur in large and small companies alike, and it is difficult to know exactly what to do next in such unstable times. Know what to do to take charge of your life after a layoff, and begin your career search with these important tips.
Begin your life after a layoff when you receive the news. Many human resources offices provide severance packages, and some companies even have professional development packages. An industry professional tells those in this situation to negotiate four weeks worth of pay for each year at the company. Make sure that you receive pay for any unused vacation time as well. Read through the documents from human resources thoroughly, and verbally affirm the elements of the package. Remember, there is no way to hurt your current job by asking for more.
Even if you expect it, life after a layoff is stressful and even depressing for some. Do not let emotions get in the way of a graceful exit, as it might influence a future recommendation. Avoid discussing the matter with co-workers or doing anything you regret later. Speak to your family and close friends out of the office. It is natural to experience anger and sadness.
Adjust your Finances
The American Association of Retired Persons recommends that you take a look at your budget and savings after a layoff. Reduce your spending immediately after a layoff even though you receive a severance. This helps prepare you in case you do not find new employment before your severance ends. Cut out non-essential items from your budget. Familiarize yourself with the rules for unemployment insurance in your state. Know how long you have to file an application and begin to file, if necessary.
Before you start your career search, look at your layoff as an opportunity to decide if you are on the right path. A career specialist in an article in Forbes Magazine suggests that you take a few days to assess your priorities and interests. Write down your accomplishments and rank them in order or interest. Ask yourself what you want to do in the next year and beyond. Use these exercises to isolate your interests and career heading. Adjust your career goals to include a new industry, additional education or anything that you discover during contemplation.
Update your Resume
Now is the time to update your resume to reflect new career goals and experience from your previous employer. Look over your resume to determine if you need to reformat the document, make corrections or update the language. Have friends, family or a career specialist look it over. Save some cash and send your resume to your old university's career development center. Many colleges offer free resume and cover letter assistance for alumni.
Come out of your layoff experience in a better mindset and with a clear career direction. Stay active while you are out of work, and join a community group or volunteer. Keep your focus on the future and doing what makes you happy to handle your life after a layoff like the professional you are.
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