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How to Handle Your First Job Layoff

When you get further into your career, you may eventually experience job disappointment and insecurity. Job layoffs have been a subject of recent headlines, so you may find yourself as one of those who is affected by your industry’s instability. Even though your first instinct may be to panic, it’s important to keep yourself together and think about the following things.


How to Handle Your First Job Layoff

Find out about severance pay.

You may be one of the lucky employees to receive severance pay as part of your departure. Severance pay includes income and benefits a company gives you when they have to let you go. It’s meant to honor your time with the company and help you pay bills and get by until you find another job. Companies aren’t required to provide severance, but the higher up you are and the longer you’ve been with the organization, the more likely you are to receive severance. Have a conversation with management about whether or not you qualify for this type of pay.


Save your work.

While you’re thinking clearly, make note of what projects and documents you want to take with you to help you find your next job. There are likely things you’re working on that will help you prove your qualifications to your next potential employers. You may or may not be allowed to take actual documents with you, and if not, then at least take good notes about what you’ve done. Refresh your memory by looking through old files and emails while you still have access.


Leave with references.

It’s natural to be upset that you are being let go from a company, but now is not the time to show it to your employer. Stay on good terms with management and everyone you work with because this will only help you with job references down the line. Indeed suggests, “Consider asking for references or letters of recommendation from your manager or colleagues so you can further showcase your qualifications to potential employers.” Showing your next employer you still have a good relationship with a previous employer is impressive.


Understand if a layoff is in your future, it happens to the best and is survivable.


According to news from companies like Twitter, HelloFresh, and Meta, we know that layoffs are a reality. Use it as a time to think about what you want to do next and realize it’s “not a reflection of your skillset,” according to Harvard Business Review. You are still the well-qualified person you were when you were hired by this company, and you can use your wit and drive to find a new position or even switch careers.


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