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Laid off? 10 things you need to do right away!

By Rediff Get Ahead
Last updated on: January 15, 2015 20:35 IST
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Virender Kapoor, the former director of Pune's Symbiosis Institute of Management and the founder of Management Institute for Leadership and Excellence and the author of A Wonderful Boss: Great People to Work With and Passion Quotient, tells you just what you need to do.

1. Don't blame yourself

If it is a mass layoff, understand that you are not the problem.

You just happen to have been at the wrong place at the wrong time.

For what it is worth, find solace in the fact that you are not alone.

If however you have been the only person to have been sacked, perhaps it is time to introspect.

It is easy to blame your boss or your team or you organisation.

Go into the exit interview with an open mind and understand where you may have fallen short.

Learn from your mistakes.

Even in this scenario, don't keep blaming yourself.

They key is to learn and move on.

2. Put your contacts into action

You don't have a job anymore; the next step is to find another one!

Reach out to your contacts, send out your resume to consultants who will find you a job.

Update your profile on LinkedIn and other job search websites.

We are not in 2008 and jobs are not that difficult to come by; if you keep at it you are bound to find one sooner rather than later.

3. Don't burn bridges

When you leave, don't leave on a bad note.

Leave gracefully.

Don't give in to the temptation of writing nasty emails to the HR or your CEO because by doing that you are making permanent enemies.

The next place where you will apply will most certainly reach out to the previous place you worked at for reference.

Of course, this doesn't mean that you don't spell out your grudges but do just that -- spell it out without getting emotional or vituperative -- and let it be.

Leave with your head held high.

4. Be positive

Admittedly this is easier said than done but you quite simply have to stay positive.

Who knows there may be something better in store!

It isn't uncommon for people to find a better workplace, a better environment and a better boss than the one they were fired from.

Remember, every calamity is also an opportunity.

5. Don't lose confidence and health

I have often wondered how Bollywood actors who are out of work for long stretches of time, or those young struggling women and men dying to get their first break, manage to stay fit and look their best.

The resilience with which they keep at it is nothing short of being admirable.

There is a lesson for you from the lives of these young women and men: don't lose your health and don't lose your confidence.

Remember there is always someone who is worse off than you.

Read a self-help book; if you can afford it take a really inexpensive vacation -- take the bus or the train, stay at a hostel, rough it out.

True, travelling may not be on top of your mind right now but a short trip can work wonders.

The point is to not retreat into a shell.

6. Revive hobbies

Yet again, remember that this isn't 2008 when the markets had tanked.

You will most certainly get a job; it is only a matter of time.

So treat the time you have as a forced break.

Take up hobbies you had no time for; interests you wanted to follow but couldn't or that free online course you just never got around to completing.

Make the most of the time on your hand.

7. Connect with your passion

Very often people are afraid to shift verticals.

Now that you don't have a job, consider expanding your pie.

Increase the radius of employability.

Do something you are really passionate about and hone your skills.

Your learning will most definitely come handy before long.

8. Consider entrepreneurship

Several of us have wanted to start out on our own but never managed to gather the courage to quit our jobs.

Consider using this time to start that business you've always wanted to run.

If there has been a mass sacking, consider teaming up with like-minded colleagues -- that way the cost is lesser, risk is lower and your strength increases manifold.

Look at it as a god sent opportunity

9. Cut down your expenses

This is commonsensical but the reason I am spelling it out is because I have seen way too many young women and men spend thoughtlessly and then regret.

It is easily possible to reduce your expenses.

You don't have any excuses to eat out now; you can easily cook at home.

Take a hard look at your budget.

Be frugal.

And don't dig into your savings.

10. Sharpen your axe

Don't just think about getting another job, think five years ahead.

Think of where you'd like to be five years from now and start preparing yourself for it.

Take up a course that will equip you not just to bag your next job but also get a promotion there and perhaps the job after that.

You have the time; think about your career not just another job.

Remember, even the darkest hour has 60 minutes.


I have seen several young employees splurging their salaries on things they don't need -- a large TV, that expensive SUV, those designer clothes that we eventually never fit into.

Before you buy anything, ask yourself if you really need it.

Learn to differentiate between your needs and your wants.

Save for the rainy day.

You never know when it'll pour!

How to cope with layoffs

Achche Din or not, people are being laid off. Layoffs can happen anytime. To anybody.

If you have been laid off and coped with it well, we would like to know the lessons you learnt and what it takes to emerge successful.

Please mail your responses to (Subject line: Layoffs) to help those who have been laid off or could face layoffs in the weeks to come.

Also Read:

Lead image used for representational purposes only.

Photograph: Davi Ozolin/Creative Commons

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