What To Do If You’ve Just Been Laid Off

Apr 15, 2024

Layoffs almost always come as a surprise, so if you’re currently feeling shocked, confused or anxious, please know that your feelings are valid.

We’ve found that it helps to know what your options are, so that you can take control of your situation.

With this guide, our goal is to help you do just that. 🙏🏼

We’ve highlighted questions, along with resources, that’ll ensure you are thinking through all your options.

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So, take a deep breath and recognize that you’ve got support. 💪

Now, let’s get started.

What should I consider as I transition from my last role?

Is it a layoff, furlough, or something else? Once you understand what’s being proposed, make sure you ask about severance pay, benefits, etc. Check out these tips to figure out what questions to ask.

As you transition, consider your relationships as well. Former colleagues, managers, even clients can serve as helpful references during your job search. How can you nurture those relationships?

  • set up virtual coffee dates

  • ask for LinkedIn recommendations

  • offer your support

  • share resources

Chances are, your colleagues may be in the same boat as you, and you can help each other during this time.

How can I pay my bills without an income?

Develop a strong understanding of your finances. How long can you go financially without an income? Which expenses do you consider necessities and what can you live without for the time being? We’ve outlined additional resources for you to consider and encourage you to do your research.

  • Unemployment Benefits - Consider filing for unemployment benefits right away if it makes sense for your situation.

  • Monthly Bills - You may be able to postpone payments for your credit card, mortgage, student loans, rent, utilities, and more. Call your bank, service providers, landlord, etc. and ask what type of policies they’ve put in place for deferring payments or interest for the next few months. Many companies are offering lower interest rates with smaller monthly payments. Consider this option and identify if it makes financial sense for you, both short-term and long-term.

How do I know what companies are still hiring?

  • Live updates - Companies like Candor and StillHiring have put together live lists with updates on companies and their hiring processes.

  • Monitor job trends - Indeed created an analysis you can view to track job market trends.
    To find the best opportunities, ask yourself: what industries are suffering due to the current climate and which companies have seen rising demand for their services? Those are the companies you want to target!

How can I maximize my chances of getting a new job during the crisis?

Crisis or not, data shows networking is the quickest way to land your next job.

Good news: this is arguably the best time to be building genuine relationships and networking. People are more empathetic and open to helping than ever before. You can use Austin Belcak’s guide for tips on how to network successfully during a pandemic.

What other types of roles can I consider?

Give companies multiple ways to work with you. Think about different ways you can offer your skillset and make money, even if it’s temporary. A few options might be:

  • Working as an independent contractor or freelancing on sites like Upwork Consulting

  • Applying for part-time opportunities

  • Considering high-demand roles, like remote customer support, that may not have been a part of your career plan but can help you stay sane during your job search

  • Consider looking outside your geographic area. Sites like remote.co, weworkremotely.com, and remotewoman.com are great places to start.

Here’s Madeline Mann’s video on how to present yourself to employers.

How can I maximize the outcomes of my job search and keep track of my job applications?

You may get your next interview through applying online, an internal referral, or a virtual networking event. It’s always important to understand what strategies are working, so you know where to double down on your efforts.

What other resources are available to help me stay positive and meet more people during this time?

Every week, we curate a list of virtual workshops, hangouts, music festivals, career fairs, and other resources that can help you stay motivated and inspired during this time. 🎉

Lastly, spread the positivity. It’s a hard time for a lot of us right now, so be extra kind, share resources, and help people connect to others. If this guide has helped you, please share it with others so we can collectively survive and thrive through this period.

We hope you feel better in knowing what some of your options are. We’ll do our best to keep this guide updated and continue to do our part to support each other. 🎉