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10 things to do when you're laid off

Last updated on: August 23, 2013 12:26 IST

10 things to do when you're laid off

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Sudhanshu Arora, co-founder, director and country manager of a leading job portal Careesma.in tells you how to survive and take control of the helpless situation. Illustrations by Uttam Ghosh and Dominic Xavier

Getting laid off suddenly can be a traumatic and stressful experience.

Not only does it cut your source of income, but it also drastically removes interaction with people you may have worked with for years.

Layoffs can happen for a variety of reasons like 'restructuring/right sizing' at your company, your own redundancy, a change in strategy or economic instability -- reasons which are completely out of your control.

In these days of economic downturn, layoffs have become a reality that is hard to escape.

So while losing a job can dent your self-esteem, here are 10 points that will help you take control of the situation.

Also read: Layoff tales: They can happen anytime; be prepared


Do you have a layoff tale to tell?

Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at getahead@rediff.co.in. Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.




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1. Don't lose your calm

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Remember that you are more than your job.

In fact, when the dreadful news is broken to you, remain silent and listen to what your manager is telling you about why you are being terminated.

Some companies will try to protect themselves legally and may want you to sign documents absolving them of any legal wrong doing; therefore it is essential you do not sign anything in haste.

Also, note as much information as you can about the layoffs.

It will help you in explaining your position when you go out for job interviews. 


Do you have a layoff tale to tell?

Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at getahead@rediff.co.in. Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.



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2. Negotiate severance

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In most cases, your company will offer you severance pay in order to secure a ‘no liabilities’ agreement.

Try and negotiate the best possible deal for yourself.

Check on your vacation and sick days and make sure that you at least get paid for the vacation days.

If your company offers any outplacement services, find out how you can avail them.

Also, secure a letter from the company on why you were laid off.

You can negotiate on the reasons that will be stated for laying you off and also on what the company will tell those who do reference checks on you in future.

Make sure you get all your pending training or any other certificates that may be useful in finding a new job.


Do you have a layoff tale to tell?

Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at getahead@rediff.co.in. Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.



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3. Be professional with colleagues

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Don’t burn bridges now that you will be leaving the company.

A layoff does not provide you a right to speak your mind to colleagues who themselves would be finding the situation tough.

Your best interest lies in being professional.

Leaving on a good note with your manager and other colleagues will keep you in a position to reach out to them for any help you may need in finding a job.

Also, you will be able to share contacts in case of a reference check for a new job.


Do you have a layoff tale to tell?

Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at getahead@rediff.co.in. Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.



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4. Check your finances and plan accordingly

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Take stock of your financial situation now that you are aware of your severance package.

It will help you understand how much time you have for finding a new job before you end up in a financial crunch.

Remember, you are entering the job market with thousands of others and it may not be as easy to find a job as it may seem.

A margin of at least three months must be kept in mind.

If you do not have adequate cash to last that long, look out for some temporary work that can keep you running.


Do you have a layoff tale to tell?

Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at getahead@rediff.co.in. Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.



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5. Prepare what you will tell potential employers

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In case of a large layoff, it is easy to explain what happened.

However, if you are one of the few that have been laid off, be prepared to explain what happened to your network as well as future employers.

Be truthful about your layoff and sound optimistic about future assignments.

Keep the story short and ensure that it is backed up by your previous employers in case of a reference check.


Do you have a layoff tale to tell?

Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at getahead@rediff.co.in. Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.



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6. Launch a job hunt

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The important point here is to not lose time.

Remember, the longer you will take in launching your job hunt, the longer it may take you to find a job, deepening your financial crunch further as well as adding to the idle time.

Many candidates waste 15 to 20 days or more in just thinking why they were laid off and to recover from the blow.

Update your resume quickly; add relevant skills that you have acquired in your previous assignment and post it on career portals that generally offer a quick response.


Do you have a layoff tale to tell?

Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at getahead@rediff.co.in. Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.



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7. Network

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While you may feel ashamed in reaching out to your friends and colleagues for help because you were laid off, remember, they are the best people who can help you find a new job.

Make a list of all your contacts -- friends, colleagues, family members, business contacts -- whoever can help you find a new job.

Then call everyone, explain your position and enlist their help.


Do you have a layoff tale to tell?

Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at getahead@rediff.co.in. Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.



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8. Be flexible

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Now that you are in the job market, be flexible.

You may not always get the exact organisation or role or salary that you wanted, but do not shrug off any opportunity without giving it a thought.

Discuss the opportunities of the new role, think about what skills you bring to the table and try and expand the horizon of your work.

If you feel that you are close to getting what you wanted, it may be a good idea to go ahead and sign up.


Do you have a layoff tale to tell?

Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at getahead@rediff.co.in. Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.



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9. Spruce up your skills

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This is the best time to do any career-boosting course that you always wanted to do but had little time for earlier.

While you are looking for a job, you will have adequate free time which can be best invested in acquiring or replenishing skills.

Make sure the skills you decide to add are in line with your career goals.


Do you have a layoff tale to tell?

Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at getahead@rediff.co.in. Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.



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10. Relax

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Hit the gym, do some yoga and swim.

Exercise helps you fight negative thoughts, which can drag you down while you are trying to sell your skills to employers.


Do you have a layoff tale to tell?

Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at getahead@rediff.co.in. Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.



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