Career Calling

December 12, 2013

How to Manage a Layoff

One of my clients, we’ll call her Sue, worked for the same employer for over 30 years.  A month ago; without any warning, she received a layoff notice. At first, she didn’t know what to do.  HR wanted to negotiate a severance, but Sue asked to wait for a day or two.  She knew that she was upset and could make a bad decision or say the wrong thing.

Sue went home and thought about her options and what she wanted in severance.  She negotiated in a calm, professional manner, which helped her get a slight increase in severance.  More importantly, she met with people throughout her company to say how much she appreciated working with them.  At the same time, she started networking.  Within a week, several of her co-workers had become willing partners in her job search.

As I’ve often written, networking is important, but it is only one part of a good job search.  Sue started doing something she had never had to do before: looking for work online.  She figured out how job boards worked, posted a LinkedIn profile, and started bookmarking companies she wanted to work for.  Less than a week after being laid off, Sue did enough research to be confident that many employers were looking for her skills.

The most important thing Sue did had nothing to do with a computer or networking.  She kept a positive attitude about herself and the proper perspective about her layoff.  She controlled what she could control and didn’t waste time mourning a job with a company that didn’t want her.  Rather than looking backward, she kept her eyes and her mind pointed forward.  She will be successful because she is asking the right question: What’s next?


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