• Zainab Shipchandler, MPH

So You've Been Laid Off... Now What?

If you have recently been laid off, you are not alone. However, that doesn't make the situation any less challenging.

Here are some tips to help you navigate being laid off and spur you towards the next exciting step in your career.

What should I do when I have been laid off?

  1. Check-in with yourself emotionally. One tip I received from the outplacement center when I was laid off was to journal for 15 minutes a day. Just start the timer and write about what you are feeling, things that are making you nervous, or what you need to work on. Not only will you be able to look back at your progress day-by-day, but it will help you release any unhelpful energy and focus on things you can control.

  2. Brush up your application materials. If your lay off was completely unexpected, it may have been a while since you have checked your online professional presence or updated your resume. Take your time to make sure your online and offline materials are error-free, complete, and appealing for your audience before sending out any applications.

  3. Take control of your narrative. When those video call invites start rolling in, you want to sound cool, confident, and composed. For people who have been laid off, it is especially important to practice answering the question about "why you are looking for a change." Make sure you have prepared an answer that shows that you are matter-of-fact about your situation while having a positive outlook for the future.

  4. Set-up some virtual meetings. It is not currently an option to "grab lunch" with people in your network. Reach out to people you went to school with, have worked with in the past, or that work at organizations you are interested in and request 15-minutes of their time to learn about what they do. Make sure you dress the part and prepare a well-lit, professional-looking station for these meetings. You want to give a great impression because you never know what opportunities may arise.

  5. Be patient. It can be challenging to maintain optimism and momentum in the job search after a lay off in the best of times. Know that all of the steps you are taking to manage your mindset, own your story, and forge meaningful connections will increase your chances of finding the opportunity that is a great fit for you. And who knows, maybe that lay off will set the stage for the career you are meant to have.

What other tips do you have for people who were recently laid off? Want to learn more about any of the tips we have listed above? Let us know in the comments below!


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