4 steps to take if you’re laid off

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It’s one of the things you feared most recently: You were laid off.

There are some who go into a job and know that a layoff is likely. There are seasonal layoffs and there are long-term layoffs. It used to be that despite a layoff, the more seniority you have, the more likely you are to be recalled. You had a pretty clear picture of what would happen and when. 

With the proliferation of such things as right to work laws, union’s loss of collective bargaining abilities, dramatic insurance changes causing more expensive benefits for employers, and, quite frankly, a focus on hiring the least expensive employee as possible, rehiring has changed.

Business is volatile in that if you produce a product, contracts and trade agreements often supersede the needs of employees. Some sources just plain question whether there is the employer-employee loyalty that once was the norm. 

In short, do not depend on that job coming back your way. If you’re laid off, it’s important to take the following steps:


Get the necessary documentation

If you work for a company that is particularly known for frequent layoffs, you should have already worked hard to have a clean record and good performance reviews.

Not to set up an unnecessarily adversarial situation, but you are entitled to review any employer’s records regarding you, including a job position description, which should be available. The employer owns all of these records, although copies you must pay for may be requested.

While it is not always mandatory, it is likely customary you would be paid any monies owed to you, including holiday and vacation pay. Make sure you find out by inquiring about this process if this information is not forthrightly stated.

Apply for financial assistance

If you believe you will qualify, and perhaps you were told so at the layoff notification, you should file for unemployment compensation either at your nearest state office, by telephone, or online. You also could be eligible for COBRA, which is a federal law that allows you and your family to stay on your employer’s health insurance for a limited time.

If you have not planned for this layoff, and your situation is financially dire, there may be other ways to receive help. For example, you may need to utilize your local food bank or pantry. They likely have other items available, such as toys for the holidays, diapers, and formula. The internet will help you quickly access this information. Food banks and pantries are often busy, so you may stand in line. Sometimes, they have gas cards and other types of support available. It may not be easy, but you may have to ask for help. If you are in a union, you should ask for their help and suggestions.

Start looking for a new job

Unless you have an ironclad guarantee, preferably in writing and a date for recall, you should update your resume and start looking for a job. Do not take too much time looking, as it very quickly.


Register a profile on WorkSearch.com

While getting laid off from your job can be a disheartening time, it’s important to dust yourself off and get back out there. The easiest way to find that next job opportunity is by signing up for WorkSearch.com, the unique job matching website that implements a unique algorithm to pair up job seekers and job posters. And who knows? The next job you land might just be better than the last one you had!

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