August 22, 2023

7 Things to Do if You Get Laid Off

4-Minute Read
7 Things To Do to Minimize Layoff Challenges

Recent announcements of major layoffs at big tech giants is unsettling news as the job market’s stability remains in question. 

You might be one of those who were affected by a layoff in recent months. Or, maybe you’re concerned that a layoff could happen to you. While experts have mixed opinions on the scope and scale of future layoffs, we’ve compiled 7 things to do if you encounter downsizing at your own employer.  

So if you’re looking at the empty chair next to you (or the smaller number of boxes in your Zoom meeting for you remote workers) and thinking what you would do if it happened to you, fear not, we’ve come up with 7 things to do if you get laid off to make minimally challenging while setting you up for success later:

  1. Don’t panic - breathe: This might seem like a no-brainer, but until it happens to you, it’s not always easy to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Thoughts race through your mind on running short on money or falling behind on credit cards. Remember that this is a temporary challenge that you can navigate. The best thing you can do when you receive unfortunate news is take care of yourself, go for a walk, talk to friends and family, or take some time to do the things you love.

  1. Request verification of employment: this may be needed to apply for unemployment benefits. While you search for your next role, it’s helpful to have some money coming in to help with expenses. 

  1. Confirm the end date of your medical and other benefits: You want to make sure you don’t have any lapse in health care coverage, so see how long your company is providing benefits and request an extension if possible before resorting to COBRA. Schedule any appointments and preventative care before the end of your coverage just in case it takes a bit longer to find a job. 


  1. Negotiate your severance: This is usually easier with a smaller company or if the number of layoffs were relatively low. A severance may be offered to you as part of a restructuring of the company, or a broader layoff. Be sure you know what the terms are of the layoff and bring up points such as tenure, contributions to the company, and competitor severance packages. You can also ask for accelerated vesting of company stock, vesting of retirement benefits, or an extension of benefits until you find a new position. 

  1. Contact recruiters and update your resume: Recruiters are an excellent tool to leverage as they can uncover opportunities while you are applying for other jobs. There is only upside to working with a recruiter since they are typically paid by the company they place you with. Recruiters can also have great advice on how to strengthen your resume. Just make sure you customize your resume to each job you are applying for. 

  1. Record contact information for your colleagues and managers. This will become helpful when you need references or need any recommendations when applying for new jobs. 

  1. Don’t forget those who helped you along the way: Once you find a new position, be sure to thank all those that helped you and let them know where you’ve landed. From recruiters, to old colleagues that offered to act as a reference, to soft connections you met on LinkedIn that helped you get a foot in the door or even ask questions. You never know when you might need them again, and it pays to be mindful of those who help you voluntarily. 

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