What To Do After Layoff

What To Do After Layoff

A layoff occurs when a firm, company, or Government agency stops employing an individual or group sometimes temporarily for a variety of reasons.  Also, layoffs involve the discharge of workers or a group of employees for business reasons such as reducing the size of an organization (downsizing), financial constraints, redundancy, to mention but a few. However, layoffs have metamorphosed to include permanent discharge or closure of a particular position in the company. Relatively, employees are laid off at times, because the employer or company relocated, closed, or migrated, as well as due to insufficient or lack of work for them to do. It is important to note that being laid-off is different from wrongful dismissal from work. Therefore, this article will assist laid-off workers, or employees facing layoff on the next steps to take on their personal and professional journey.

Things to do after a layoff

Enumerated below is a step by step guide on things to do after layoff;

  • Request for a laid-off Employee letter from the Human Resource of the company.
  • Collect your outstanding and pending benefits/entitlements.
  • Frame your Layoff
  • Develop a positive attitude
  • Rework your Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Write/Draft a cover letter
  • Update your LinkedIn and Online Job Profile
  • Start your Job search and sustain the momentum


Request For A Laid-Off Employee Letter From Human Resource: In an ideal situation, the company, firm, or agency should give the laid-off employee or group of employees a laid-off letter explaining in detail, the circumstances that led to the layoff. Where reverse is the case, however, you should request such a letter from the HR Department of the company, especially in situations where the layoff is as a result of reasons outside your control such as financial constraints, relocations, company restructuring, or merger. You should read the letter carefully, check for errors as the case may be. If an important detail(s) regarding the layoff is missing, or it doesn’t include contributions and strives made by you and your team, you should politely request a revision.  The letter will come in handy in your future job hunt and you will be able to show your prospective employers that you weren’t fired, but simply a victim of company reshuffling, policy, or workforce reduction.

Collect Your Outstanding And Pending Benefits/Entitlements: After collecting and reviewing your layoff letter, the next thing to do is a request for all benefits and entitlements due to you. This can be outstanding, current, or pending benefits due to you, as part of the employment agreement with the company. The benefits may include entitled safety/hazard allowance, outstanding salary for the month of the layoff, and so on. Depending on the agreement on the contract, some companies might even pay laid-off employee remuneration for the remainder of the year and pension accumulated during the period of work before the layoff. Additionally, request for your final payslip, go through it carefully, and make ensure that only the right deductions are made. This will go a long way in ensuring that you get the exact amount you’re entitled to.

Frame Your Layoff: Once you’ve gone past the initial stages of your layoff, you should proceed to craft out a simple but well-detailed explanation for your layoff. This can be shared with your prospective employers, professional and personal contacts, or recruitment agencies during interviews and the hiring process in general. In addition, the explanation or story should show or display objectivity; it should carry a message that doesn’t portray you as a victim, nor show that you’re stuck, rather, it should show a lot of positivity, enthusiasm, and charisma. It is important to note that layoffs are part of the business and work circle, and hence acceptable since everyone knows it happens. Framing your layoff in a positive and enthusiastic manner shows that you are ready to go from past to present and subsequent future in your professional endeavor.

Develop A Positive Attitude: More often than not, being laid off from work is a difficult pill to swallow. However, it is important to maintain a positive attitude before, during, and after the layoff. This can be achieved by surrounding yourself with positivity and positive people that will uplift you and help you move forward professionally. Don’t see yourself as a failure, rather, treat the layoff as a stepping stone or foundation to a bigger, better, and brighter future. Get close and acquainted with mentors, professionals in your endeavor, as well as former colleagues, who will remind you of your accomplishments, your strengths and assist you with emerging opportunities.

Rework Your Resume Or Curriculum Vitae: It is essential to update your resume/curriculum vitae after a layoff. Whether you intend to maintain the same role or change your career path, every job application requires an updated resume. Ensure that the updated resume includes all the skills, experience, and expertise you garnered in your most recent role. It should also contain all the responsibilities and strides made in the role. Where possible, include data and statistics.

Write A Cover Letter: Cover letters have become powerful tools used by recruiters worldwide. Sadly, most job seekers mistakenly and erroneously take cover letters for granted. After a layoff, ensure that you draft a very good cover letter to use for your job search. However, the cover letter shouldn’t be a mirror reflection of your resume; it should rather be a more detailed expansion and the highlight of your achievements and accomplishments in your former role. The cover letter should include an explanation of the circumstances that led to your layoff in a line or two. When faced with applicants with similar qualifications, cover letters are used as tiebreakers, therefore, ensure that your draft an excellent cover letter that describes you personally and professionally.

Update Your Linkedin And Online Job Profile: Effective networking is key to the optimal job pursuit, so is the use of social media as a visibility tool. LinkedIn has over the years become an essential component of the job and workspace. Therefore, ensure that your profile and resume get through the applicant tracking system on LinkedIn and other online job platforms. Also indicate that you are actively searching for jobs on your profile, this will enable recruiters to reach out to you once you match and have their requirements.

Start Your Job Search And Sustain The Momentum: When you’re through with the aforementioned steps, you should initiate a voracious, massive and aggressive job search. You can reach out to mentors and other professionals in your chosen field and let them know that you’re job hunting. You can also surf the internet regularly for new openings in your desired/chosen field. In addition, you can submit your resume to companies, firms, and government agencies related to your field. A job search can be tedious and frustrating at times, however, remain dogged and steadfast, and maintain the momentum until you get your desired job.

Career Advice, Job Search Tips

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