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I Just Got Laid Off…Now What?

As I listened to the message, the woman’s tone was one of panic and confusion. “I have just been laid off after 20 years at the same job. I received a severance package, but I am in my mid fifties and will need to continue working. I never took any additional training all these years, and I don’t have a clue how to conduct a job search. Can you help me?” My first thoughts were, “Why such a knee-jerk reaction? Didn’t you see it coming? What did you do for yourself and your career during all those years? When last did you update your resume? Do you have a network of people to turn to?” Of course, I banished those thoughts as quickly as they came, and returned her call. She was “still in a daze”, she told me, but I listened to her rants and then gave her the following careertips2go:

  1. It’s OK to be angry. Don’t bottle up your feelings. Anger, as long as it’s not misplaced, could have a healing effect, but choose your venue carefully. Do not vent at work or with coworkers or your boss. Such behaviour could be construed as negative and unprofessional; could damage relationships and thwart your chances of getting a good reference.
  2. Get support. Find a trustworthy person who will listen to you, and give you some good advice. Stay away from anyone who is inclined to help you bash the company or your boss as this is counter-productive.  Find a lawyer to review the severance package to see if it meets, at least, the minimum employment stand. The Law Society of Upper Canada has a Lawyer Referral Service where you can get up to 30 minutes of free legal advice. Visit www.lsuc.on.ca for additional information.
  3. Engage in self-care. For the first time in a long time, put yourself first. This is not the time to beat upon yourself and question your ability or self-worth. Take that long-awaited vacation to clear your head and develop strategies to help you bounce back. Use this time to redirect your energy into something productive.
  4. Focus on what you have gained from the experience. Turn this negative experience into something positive. Begin by spotlighting your assets. Keep a journal of your special job achievements, awards and recognitions received, and comments made by your supervisor, coworkers or customers. Write out an inventory of your transferable skills that could benefit another employer. All of these are your assets – documented evidence that validate your capabilities.
  5. Find resources within your community. There are many free and fee-based resources within your community. One such resource is the Second Career program introduced by the Ontario Government for individuals who have lost their jobs or been unemployed for a long period of time.  Explore this option, and if you are eligible, you could receive funding assistance to help you find a new career path.
  6. Remember that “This too shall pass”. What you are feeling now is real, but it won’t last forever. Sometimes, a layoff is just the prescription you need to propel you to action. Ask yourself some soul-searching questions like, Is it time to go back to school to gain additional skills? Do I have what it takes to start a business? What do I really enjoy doing, and should I be exploring this as one of my career options?
  7. Remain positive. The road to a successful job search, especially in such a competitive job market, is paved with disappointments and frustrations, but don’t give up. Join a support group like a Job-finding Club, or social media groups and engage in networking activities that will put in touch with people who can help you, or are willing to share their network of contacts with you.

These seven tips are not all-inclusive, but steps in the right direction. I welcome additional tips that could help others caught in a similar situation, and asking contemplating the thought “I just got laid off…now what?”

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About 

I am Daisy Wright, an award winning certified career management and interview coach, author, and certified resume strategist. I collaborate with executives, managers, and mid-career professionals in all aspects of their career and job search to help them get hired FASTER! I am the Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of The Wright Career Solution and quite passionate about diversity and inclusion and women's issues.

Website: www.thewrightcareer.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/daisywright
Twitter: @CareerTips2Go

About Daisy

I am Daisy Wright, an award winning certified career management and interview coach, author, and certified resume strategist. I collaborate with executives, managers, and mid-career professionals in all aspects of their career and job search to help them get hired FASTER! I am the Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of The Wright Career Solution and quite passionate about diversity and inclusion and women's issues.

Website: www.thewrightcareer.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/daisywright
Twitter: @CareerTips2Go

Comments

  1. Daisy, as always, great advice! Anyone who needs career help will benefit from reading Career Musings.

    Thanks for all you do to make it easier for people to achieve success.

    Warmest regards,

    Heidi Richards Mooney, Founder
    women in ecommerce

  2. Thank you Heidi. You and the tools and resources you provide through Women in Commerce (WECAI), also play an important role in what I do and make my work easier and more effective.

    Thank you.

    Daisy

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