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What To Do When You Get Laid Off?

What To Do When You Get Laid Off

Losing a job can happen to anyone. Especially during these tricky economic times, being laid off is something that too many of us have had to deal with.

If you’re in this situation right now, don’t despair; just keep reading…

Because in this article, I will share my best tips on What To Do When You Get Laid Off.

Hopefully, by the end of this in-depth guide, you will start to see this unfortunate event as an opportunity to grow as a person. Moreover, to do things that you never thought you would have time for.

All this, of course, while you will be searching for your next job.

Don’t Feel Discouraged

This probably doesn’t sound like a revolutionary tip. You already have all your friends and family telling you exactly the same thing. And you might even be sick of hearing those same words.

Is this making you feel any better? Probably not

It’s OK to be miserable for a few days after we lose our job. However, it’s crucial to realize that this attitude is not going to improve the situation. The sooner we can pick ourselves up and take control of the problem, the easier it will be to put our life back together.

But why is it so hard to accept that we got laid off?

Because it is a massive change, and as human beings, we never cope well with changes.

There are mainly three areas that are deeply affected by a job loss

Our Daily Routine

When we have a job, our life revolves around our work schedule, and we don’t really have the time to think about what to do and when to do it.

All of a sudden, our habits are turned upside down by somebody else’s decision. We feel like we have lost control of our life. But the reality is the opposite. We now have total freedom to decide how to invest our time, whether it will be immediately searching for a new job or doing something else.

what to do when you get laid off guide

Economic Stability

This is a significant worry for everyone who gets laid off, especially for those who have a family that relies on their monthly salary. But as soon as we acknowledge the situation and start to look for alternatives, our financial issues will begin to become just a bad memory.

Our Social Life

In many cases, our colleagues and our clients are the people we spend most of our time with. Sometimes they become good friends, and we end up hanging out with them even outside of working hours.

When we lose our job, keeping those relationships becomes a challenge. And this is something that we should start to work on immediately. This is because losing the people we care about will have a much more negative impact on our life than a temporary hiccup in our professional careers.

Now that we know the problems that we have to face, it’s time to keep our chins up and regain control of our life.

How do we do that?

Let’s find out together…

How To Get The Most Out of Your Unemployment?

Believe it or not, while you may be asking What To Do When You Get Laid Off, many people I know would be ready to swear that losing their old job was the greatest thing that could have happened. Or at least, it was exactly the push that they needed to transform their lives and get out of a situation where they felt trapped.

What do those people have in common?

They stopped beating themselves up, and they took action right away. They did this by adopting one or more of the following strategies.


When people get laid off, it usually doesn’t have anything to do with them. Often it is the result of the company being restructured or downsized. It usually happens for financial reasons due to an economic crisis, poor management, or any other motives that force the employer to rethink its business model.

Situations also differ…

Sometimes it might be a temporary measure. Other times, it’s permanent. However, the worst thing that we can do is sit and wait for the possibility of getting our job back. Even if our employer has guaranteed to take us back as soon as the situation gets better, we don’t know when and if it will ever happen.

what to do when you get laid off tip

Before we move on…

It’s crucial to understand why we’ve been laid off. We know that it’s not our fault, but we can’t fail to notice that half of our team still has the job.

This is where a bit of self-analysis is necessary. What did I do differently? Was my performance lower than the expectations? Am I sure that I really did my best and my behavior has nothing to do with the company’s decision?

Try to be honest with yourself, but at the same time, don’t be hypercritical. And if you find something that you could have done better, take it as an opportunity to improve rather than a reason to blame yourself.

One option if you’re not sure…

If you have a good relationship with your employer or your manager, you might want to talk to them. Ask them to be honest about the reason behind your layoff. Explain to them that this will give you something to work on during your time off.

But before that, make sure that the reason is not obvious. In most cases, seniority is the only metric they took their decision on. In this case, there is nothing you could have done differently.

Collect Unemployment

There’s a lot of people that see collecting unemployment benefits as an admission of their failure. If you’re one of them, leave your pride aside and realize that it is crucial to take advantage of this possibility while facing a hard time. This is because having a stable income while you’re unemployed will give you more time to reorganize your life and get back on track.

Unemployment benefits should be seen as an insurance policy, and this is actually what it is.

Every year, a small percentage of our taxes goes into the unemployment system with the specific purpose of helping people that have lost their job.

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How to claim benefits?

There are a few requirements to meet to be able to claim the benefits. The major one is that the person should have lost their job without a good cause. This means that an employee who has been fired for misconduct is not eligible, and so is someone that voluntarily quit their job without good reason.

If you’ve been laid off, you will be able to claim unemployment benefits regardless of any further prerequisites that a particular state might require.

Consider a Different Career

The longer we work for the same company, the harder it is to quit. When we love our job and are completely satisfied with what we do day in, and day out, this is not an issue. However, there are moments that we feel like we need a change, but it is simply too tough to leave what we know and take a leap into the unknown.

And then you get laid off…

OK, so now that somebody else took that decision for us, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Was I always happy to wake up and go to that office, or was it getting harder and harder?
  • Did I always find myself dreaming of a different job?
  • What were my expectations when I graduated? Did my job fulfill those expectations?
  • Have I ever desired to quit everything and restart a new career somewhere else?
  • Was my job pushing me every day to be a better worker and a better person?

If you answered no to a few of these questions, it is a sign that this could be the perfect opportunity to rethink your career.

what to do when you get laid off tips

Start To Search for a New Job

As soon as you decide what your next job will be, it’s the right time to start searching for it. If you haven’t gone through job applications for a while, you might need some guidance.

First of all, you must update your CV. There are plenty of standard templates on the internet to choose from, and they all come with clear instructions.

Top tips…

Keep in mind that any job application should be customized for that specific position. Therefore, avoid sending the same cover letter to multiple companies. It might feel like you’re saving time by sending numerous applications at once, but the reality is that by doing that, you will never get to an interview.

A few meaningful cover letters will give you more chances than thousands of generic applications.

Consistency is the key!

Try to dedicate one hour every day to your job search and use all the resources that you can get your hands on. The internet might seem the easier option, but it’s not the only one. Moreover, depending on the kind of job, it might not even be the best one.

Read the job announcements in the local newspaper, use your network of contacts, check out that stack of business cards that you collected over the years. Everything can be useful.

Five Ways To Spend Your Unexpected Free Time

All of a sudden, you’ve gone from having your whole life planned to not knowing what to do to get to the end of the day. Sitting on the couch watching your favorite TV series and snacking on unhealthy food sounds tempting. But indeed, there are better ways to spend your time after losing your job.

Let’s take a look at five great options…

Find an Online Part-time Job

Unemployment benefits will cover only a part of what your salary used to be and will not last forever. If you don’t want to dig into your savings, why not consider applying for online jobs?

There are plenty of opportunities, and according to your skills, some of them can pay pretty well right from the beginning.

Need some ideas?

How about translations, transcriptions, content writing, app development, or teaching English?

what to do when you get laid off the tips

Invest Time in Yourself

Did you always want to improve your French speaking skills or to become an Excel expert? Whatever you want to learn about, you’ll find it on the web. And most of the time, without spending any money.


There will probably never be a better moment to give something back to your community with all this free time.

If you’re not sure where to begin, you could check out animal shelters, community arts centers, food banks, hospitals, schools, or even the local library.

The benefits of this?

Not only will a volunteer experience allow you to help other people, but it’s also gratifying, and it will make you feel a lot better during these challenging times.

Get Back in Shape

After years of breaking your New Year’s resolution, now you don’t have any excuse to neglect your fitness. Try to get some sort of physical activity every single day. Soon it will become a healthy habit that you will likely keep even when you find a new job.

Go Traveling

When we have a regular job, two weeks holiday in an all-inclusive resort is how we spend our vacation. But this is not traveling; this is a well-deserved break after a long working year.

If your personal commitments allow you to do it, take a few months to explore the world. And you never know, a new job might be waiting for you 5000 miles away from home.

Top recommendation…

However you decide to spend your days, my suggestion is to create a daily routine and try to stick to it consistently. Otherwise, when you go back to work, you’ll end up regretting wasting all that time that you could have used more productively.

Ready to Apply for a New Job Immediately?

The Employment Security Commission team aims to support applicants of every kind in finding employment in 2023.

We also have a database loaded with just about any job application process in the US. Including everything from Geek Squad Application or Victorias Secret Application to Spirit Airlines Application or Hilton Hotels Application. Just enter your ideal employer in our search box and check!

Once you’ve secured an interview, you might also want to refamiliarize yourself with discussing Strengths and Weaknesses for Job Interviews or how to best answer that dreaded question of Why We Should Hire You?

We even have answers to the trickier questions you may have, like, What Shows Up on a Background Check? Does McDonalds Drug Test and Do Felons Get Social Security?

Finally, for excellent resources for the cover letter writing process, I highly recommend Knock ’em Dead Cover Letters or Cover Letters Writing 2023: The Ultimate Guide.

OK, back to today’s topic…

Final Thoughts

The first few days after being laid off can be a challenge to anyone’s stability, even for the strongest and most confident person that we know. The feeling of disappointment might be so overwhelming that it seems impossible to find a solution.

But it simply doesn’t have to be like that!

Today I’ve discussed What To Do When You Get Laid Off and how to make the best of this time. As soon as you start to look at the situation as an unexpected chance to do things that you’ve never done, learn something new, and look after yourself, you will be able to transform your life for the better.

Chin up and don’t miss this opportunity!

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About Wendy Young

Wendy runs an employment agency with her husband, Ian, in Rochester, New York.

She loves nothing more than hosting a good dinner party and spends weeks intricately planning her next 'event.' She often uses these to introduce clients to potential employers in a relaxed, informal fashion. The food must be delicious, the cocktails and wine must be a perfect match, and the decor needs to impress without being over the top. With all that going on, it's amazing that she gets any time to write about her thoughts on securing the dream job.

They live on the outskirts of New York with their poodle, Princess.

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