Wondering what to do after you've received the pink slip? Here's help! Illustrations by Uttam Ghosh and Dominic Xavier
The unstable economy, recession, and the severe pressure to cut costs may force companies to take the drastic step of laying off its employees.
Most of the companies resort to layoffs as the last measure and try all other cost cutting measures first.
Yet layoffs are an inevitable reality.
Layoffs may leave you shattered and disappointed but it is not a life threatening event.
You have just lost your job and you will soon get a new one.
But being prepared for a layoff is important in today's wobbly economic conditions.
Invest in developing your existing skills further and building new skills that are relevant in your industry.
Start saving a part of your income for tough times and sense early signs of layoffs in your organisation.
Want to bounce back in action? Follow these 11 steps...
The author Sabita Samuel is Vice President (HR), Dun and Bradstreet Technologies and Data Services.
Do you have a layoff experience to share?
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?
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1. Be calm and composed
You will be sad, disappointed, angry and emotional, but this is the time to act as a thorough professional.
Never vent your emotions at work, you will still need their support for reference, claiming benefits.
Pull yourself back and remain composed.
Keep telling yourself that this is just a temporary phase of life which will soon pass by.
2. Be logical
It is difficult but this is important too.
Layoffs are accidents and can happen to anyone.
You don't have to feel bad or be ashamed. It is OK.
3. Get proper information
Almost all the companies provide unemployment benefit at the time of layoff, get complete information from your HR, check if your benefit covers your family's insurance.
Understand the procedure to claim your benefits.
If you have a loan/mortgage, check if your benefits can help.
Get personal ids of your managers/ co-workers, you may want to stay in touch with them, they can even help you in getting a new job.
4. Use LinkedIn
Photographs: Rediff Archives
It’s one of the most promising options to look for new jobs and to make new professional contacts.
Join relevant groups and update your profile.
5. Stay connected with family and friends
You will never know the strength and power of having people around for support unless you stay connected.
Stay connected always; everyone understands that layoff is just an accident.
Some people withdraw and get into a private shell -- never do something like that, it is harmful to you and your family.
6. Assess your career path
This is the time to re-look your career path and find out if you need to alter it and go into a different field.
7. Gain knowledge, sharpen your skills
Internet is flooded with free materials on every subject, keep reading and develop new skills.
There are a host of free webinars/video tutorials/research reports online that you can benefit from.
And if you have the money -- you can even enroll for a new course, if not, just sharpen your skills.
8. Part time jobs
If you have more free time, consider part-time jobs related to your field or opt for a job that you would love to do but have not had the chance to try until now.
Become a volunteer in a nearby NGO/social clubs and keep yourself occupied.
Meeting new people and doing new things will be refreshing.
You can choose to dedicate minimal hours depending on your schedule.
10. Stay fit
Many people lose interest in their health but this is a chance to spend more time on your health -- continue to work out, go for walks, eat on time and stay fit.
Good health is wealth.
11. Join a job search club
It will help to share your thoughts with someone in a similar situation and you will get instant support and motivation.
Layoffs are becoming a regular part of job scenario now, but it is no big deal, really.
Stay happy and optimistic.
Spend your time productively stay connected to your people always.
Keep looking for opportunities (even in a bad economy there are companies that are always hiring), you will grab one soon.
It is absolutely fine to seek help and support during this time from friends and family.