You’ve just been told you’re being laid off! …. Now What?

14 10 2010

It’s very unfortunate to hear that you are going to be laid off. This has been heard by so many in the last few years including myself.

If you are fortunate enough to work for a larger company most of them have support systems in place to assist you in your efforts to seek out a new opportunity. Some of these resources include contracted specialist that will help you prepare your resume, assist in providing you with job search training, and even council you on your career path on issues such as training and ways to utilize your skills in a manor that will open doors to other industries. If you are blessed enough to have these benefits offered take advantage of them. I’ve seen many people gain knowledge and find opportunities as a direct result of these benefits.

If you are not fortunate enough to have these types of benefits you must be proactive on your own. I’ve heard from candidates who follow rumors that many employees will be placed in other departments or if they hold out on unemployment long enough the company will bring them back. Don’t count on this happening.

You must start your search immediately. If your employer invites you back you can always accept and go back to work. If you employer offers you an opportunity in another department you can always accept and go back to work. If they don’t you will be that far behind the competition.

I’ve also heard a lot of candidates who say, “Well, they gave me a nice severance package and so I wanted to take a month off and enjoy myself.” Don’t fall into this trap. One of the first questions that will be asked by any HR professionals is to explain gaps in employment. Although you may have a good excuse it’s not going to look as good as you working consistently and your excuse will be taken as just that, AN EXCUSE.

Gaps in employment are difficult to overcome and to move past. Most employers look at gaps in employment as a huge weakness. One month is easily explained if it only happened once. I have seek candidates who were great candidates aside from gaps in employment be turned down for the interview based on not working.

It may be obvious that the first thing to do when you are told you are out of a job is to look for your next gig, but so many times people don’t get motivated to move forward. This is the single most important thing to do. So when you as asked, now what are you going to do, say “I’m starting my job search right now”

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One response

30 10 2010
Chhanda Biswas

I am in a transition phase where I am trying to make a switch from academia to industry. The department presently I working for is shrinking due to lack of funding and may shut down in about two months. I sincerely seek your expert comment, suggestion and professional help.

I look forward to hear from you.

Thank you very much.

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