I Just Was Laid Off? What Do I Do Next?

I Just Was Laid Off? What Do I Do Next?

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Every few years, things change in business and, with those changes, come layoffs. That simple fact should be a lesson to anyone about the importance of anticipating and planning for layoffs. 

But what’s the first step?

Do not sign anything they put in front of you! They may tell you this is a standard form and may tell you that you won’t receive anything they’ve told you about. Most people are in shock when they are laid off, whether it is done in person or a group meeting online. If you were laid off in person, tell them, “It may be standard for you bit not for me. I want to read this at my leisure and respond in a day or two.” Collect your performance reviews including your report about your work. These will be helpful when updating your resume and LinkedIn profile. Collect personal email addresses and cell numbers of co-workers and managers (remember, some may be caught in the same layoff as you. Get their personal email addresses and mobile numbers) so you network with them and perhaps use them as references later on.

Consult your employee benefits handbook or online benefits website to confirm what you’ve been offered is consistent with what you are entitled to. Assuming their proposal is consistent with their own rules, try to see if you can get them to give you more than what is offered. Don’t hesitate to plead, beg or otherwise throw yourself on their mercy. The money you might receive by doing this will only benefit you. Collect your performance reviews and ask for outplacement or job transition coaching services.

If you are in therapy, schedule an extra session to discuss your changed circumstances. S/he knows you better than almost anyone. Bring them up-to-date. Open up fully.

Believe it or not, these are the easy first steps. From there, you move to the hard steps. Sit down with your financial records and expenses for the last few months—your credit cards, bank statements, spreadsheets, and financial software like Quicken. Identify what you spend your money on. Ask yourself this question: If I didn’t find a job in 3 months, what would I cut back on? What would I do to stretch my money? Do it NOW!

In putting this plan together, discuss and seek advice from your wife/husband/partner and have a discussion with your kids and/or other in-residence family members about possible changes to your lifestyle as a unit. Anything you do now to conserve your capital gives you more time where you won’t have to settle for something you don’t want to do at a company you may not want to do it for, for a manager or leader, you would never want to support.

Next, use information from your performance reviews to update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Most performance reviews require someone to prepare their accomplishments and successes for the meeting. These are the bedrock of an updated resume and LinkedIn profile. When writing the update, think like someone who is trying to find you online. What terms would they use to find someone like you? What have you done that makes them attracted to your profile for a role they have available?

Your preparations for your reviews and the reviews themselves will save you a lot of time and, more importantly, worry about things you may have forgotten because you already did the work to prepare for your review.  It is trhe same information repurposed for your resume and LinkedIn profile.

Adding to your list of co-workers and former managers, starting with people in your phone, then to people you might email with and then to people you are connected with on LinkedIn, construct a list of people with whom you’ve had a professional AND/OR personal relationship. These are people you will want to reconnect with to network with. (Again, I assume this is beyond the scope of the article to go into detail with).

These are the launch points.

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People hire Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter to provide No BS job search coaching and career advice globally because he makes job search and succeeding in your career easier. 

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He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2900 episodes over 12+ years.in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and almost anywhere you listen or watch podcasts.


You will find great info to help with your job search at my new site, ⁠⁠JobSearch.Community⁠⁠ Besides the video courses, books and guides, I answer questions from members daily. Leave job search questions and I will respond daily. Become an Insider+ member and you get everything you’d get as an Insider PLUS you can get me on Zoom calls to get questions answered. Become an Insider Premium member and we do individual and group coaching.

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Also, subscribe to ⁠JobSearchTV.com⁠ on YouTube. Connect on LinkedIn: ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/in/T⁠⁠heBigGameHunter⁠ 

You can also have your #jobsearchquestions answered Tuesdays at noon Eastern. Search for Career Coach Office Hours on LinkedIn and mark that you’re attending. You’ll have access to the recording if you miss it live. 

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Schedule a discovery call to speak with me about one-on-one or group coaching during your job search at ⁠www.TheBigGameHunter.us


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