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What it Means to be Laid Off:

If you have been laid off, it means that your employer is experiencing financial hardship and is no longer able to pay you a salary. The recent outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent quarantine measures have forced businesses to downscale their workforce in order to survive.

If your layoff is temporary, it means your employer may require you to return to work after a period of time. During this time, you will be essentially unemployed and eligible for unemployment benefits.

The Difference Between Being Laid Off And Being Fired:

When you are laid off, your employment is terminated due to no fault of your own. In most cases, companies lay off staff because they are downscaling or trying to cut costs. Workers who are laid off are eligible for severance pay, unused vacation pay, and sick pay.

When you are fired, your employment is terminated as a direct result of your actions. Employees who are fired may not be eligible for any severance benefits or vacation pay.

What to Do if You Have Been Laid Off:

1. Make sure you know your rights.

When you receive your layoff letter, make sure you read your employment contract and any documents you signed when you joined the company. Ensure your company has provided sufficient notice for your layoff and is willing to pay out your stipulated benefits.

2. Ask about severance pay and benefits.

Employees who are laid off are entitled to severance pay and certain benefits such as unused vacation leave and paid sick leave. Find out what other employees have received and don't be afraid to negotiate. The higher your position and the longer you have been with your company, the more benefits you stand to receive.

3. Ask for a letter of recommendation.

When you are laid off, it is important to ask for a letter of recommendation from your department manager. This is a letter in which your manager vouches for your skills, character, and work ethic for future employers. A favorable letter may be a valuable resource when searching for alternate employment.

4. Find out about your pension benefits.

Depending on your pension plan, you may be able to access a lump-sum distribution when you leave the company. If you have a 401(k) plan, for example, you will be able to use your pension benefits before retirement age. However, be sure to speak to your pension provider if you want to withdraw money early as you may need to pay a penalty.

5. File for unemployment.

If you have been laid off, you are entitled to collect unemployment insurance benefits from the government. Benefits vary by state, so be sure to check your local state UI policies when you apply. Due to the massive increase in job losses across the U.S., many states are advising individuals to apply online.

6. Update your resume.

As soon as you receive your layoff letter, you should start updating your resume. You never know when an employment opportunity will present itself, so be sure to keep your resume on hand.

7. Update your health insurance.

Your employer may have provided health insurance or paid a portion of your fees. If you have been permanently laid off, you will need to take over full payment of health insurance or find an alternative that best suits your needs.

8. Take some time to process the layoff.

Even if it's expected, a layoff can be a traumatic experience that could take a toll on your self-esteem. Take the time to make peace with what's happened and make sure you understand that the layoff is not a reflection of your value. Refrain from making any big decisions in the days following your layoff.

If you're experiencing any ill feelings towards your employer after being laid off, work through your emotions before diving into your job search. Writing your feelings down, talking to a trusted friend, going for a walk, or rediscovering an old hobby are some things you can do to help process a layoff.

After you have been laid off, the sooner you start looking for alternate employment the better. Your unemployment insurance benefits are only paid out for a certain number of weeks and usually cover just a portion of your usual income.

How to Get a Job After Being Laid Off:

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How to Get a Job After Being Laid Off:

The key to regaining employment after having been laid off is to not dwell on your misfortune for too long. With good planning and swift execution, you can find yourself back on your feet in no time.


Reevaluate yourself.


Update your skills.

Update your skills.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the U.S. economy, forcing thousands of businesses to lay off a significant portion of their workforce. If you have been laid off, this would be a good time to update your skills while you seek alternate employment.

Whether you take an online course, a practical workshop, or a business-related course, having updated skills that are relevant to your industry will give you the upper hand during the recruitment process.


Work on your resume.

Work on your resume.

If you haven't already done so, it is time to update your resume. Make sure you have included your recent work experience and any new skills or qualifications you may have. Having your resume updated and ready to send out will serve you well when you start networking and applying for work.


Assess your finances.

Assess your finances.

Conducting a thorough assessment of your finances is a prudent step to take following a layoff. Make a list of your expenses and the available funds you have, which may include savings and investments.

Rank your expenses from most to least important, then look at the items listed towards the bottom. Get rid of anything that's inessential. Costly subscriptions and streaming services may have to be crossed off the list.

Contact your service providers and find out if they're willing to provide financial relief, such as reduced or deferred payments at this time.

Take a closer look at your grocery bill and make a note of places where you can save money. Take inventory of your pantry, fridge, and freezer, and try to plan your meals around what you already have.


Network with industry professionals.

Network with industry professionals.

Networking is an effective tool in business and a great way to find a new job. Use your business contacts to find hiring managers, recruiters, and managers who are looking for qualified people in your industry. Invite your former colleagues out for coffee and get your name and resume out there.


Contact recruiting agencies.

Contact recruiting agencies.

Recruiting agencies act as intermediaries between companies looking for new talent and job seekers. Recruiting agents usually have in-depth knowledge of specific employment sectors and can provide information, interview preparation, and recruitment opportunities.


Search job boards.

Search job boards.

Job boards are large-scale search engines for people looking for open positions. Employers post their vacancies on job boards to attract the best candidates. If you have been laid off, search your local county and state job boards for employment opportunities.


Maintain a good support system.

Maintain a good support system.

Sound professional and personal support systems can help keep you motivated to find another job after your layoff. The American Job Center is a great resource to depend on when you're planning your next career move.

There are 2,400 American Job Centers across the country. Get in touch with them for excellent career guidance and a wide variety of employment and training resources.


Stay positive.

Stay positive.

Being laid off is never easy. Many people suffer from low self-esteem and even depression when they are laid off. It is important to stay positive and keep sending your resume out. You never know when a new opportunity will present itself.

How do you explain being laid off on a job application?

If you are applying for a job, it is best to be completely honest about being laid off. Recruiters and hiring managers will want to know the reasons for your unemployment. Explain that you were laid off due to company downsizing and mention the position you held when you were still employed.

How do you address a layoff on your resume?

Your resume should include details of your previous employment and the length of time at each job. If you have been laid off, mention that you are currently unemployed because your company could not afford to retain their staff.

How should I tell an interviewer I was laid off?

During a job interview, the interviewer will usually ask you why you left your previous job or why you are currently unemployed. Simply explain that you were laid off and mention the exact reasons why the company had to let you go.

Thinking About a Career Change After COVID-19?

You're not alone if you're considering a career change after the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has forced millions of people to reevaluate their jobs, with many weighing up alternate options that provide greater job security and limit exposure to COVID-19.

Whether you want to pursue remote job opportunities, start your own business, go back to school, or simply switch to a career that provides more flexibility, now may be the best time to make the change.


What happens if you are laid off?

If you are laid off, it means your employer is no longer able to financially sustain your position. Your employment is effectively terminated which means you can apply for unemployment insurance benefits.

What questions should you ask when you are laid off?

  • Will my layoff be permanent?
  • When will my last day of work be?
  • Will I be paid out a severance package?
  • Will I be paid out for unused vacation and sick leave?
  • Can you write me a letter of recommendation?

How do you handle a layoff?

  • Don't personalize your layoff. Companies often have to downscale in order to survive.
  • Ask your employer about severance pay and benefits.
  • Treat other employees with respect.
  • Stay resilient and prove your worth.
  • Remain positive.

What should I do after being laid off?

  • File for unemployment.
  • Update your resume.
  • Take a moment to decompress and process the layoff.
  • Look for alternate employment or consider a career change.

Should I tell my employer I was laid off?

Yes, being laid off is not the fault of the employee. Being honest with your new employer about your work experience will serve you in the future.

How do you get a job after being laid off?

  1. Update your skills.
  2. Update your resume.
  3. Assess your finances.
  4. Network with industry professionals.
  5. Contact recruiting agencies.
  6. Search job boards.
  7. Maintain a good support system.
  8. Stay positive.

What should you say when you get laid off?

When a layoff happens in person, it can be difficult to control your emotions and it's easy to say something you'll regret. If you're at a loss for words, request a meeting at a later date. If you are notified of a layoff via email, take some time to formulate your response before you reply.

Asking about severance pay and benefits or requesting a letter of recommendation is considered an appropriate response.

It's also a good idea to at some point thank the employer or at least express your understanding regarding the layoff. Leaving a job on bad terms is never ideal. A simple thank-you email can leave a lasting impression, especially if you'd consider working for the company again.

Is being laid off a bad thing?

Layoffs can derail your personal and professional life, but they are not inherently bad. People will often stay in dead-end jobs or workplaces that are toxic because they're too afraid of the unknown. A layoff can force you from your comfort zone and take you down unexplored avenues that ultimately lead to more satisfying careers.

Can I be laid off without notice?

Unless a notice period has been stipulated in your contract, an employer can conduct a layoff without notice. However, the WARN Act may come into effect with mass layoffs for companies that have 100 or more employees.

Is it better to be laid off or to quit?

When you quit a job, you don't get any benefits, but you leave on your terms and therefore maintain some measure of control over the situation. With a layoff, you may be eligible for a severance package and other benefits, but it's difficult to predict when a company will do a layoff.

If a better opportunity presents itself or you feel you need to leave your workplace for any other reason, it may be better to quit than to wait for a layoff that might not even happen.

What is the difference between a lay off and a furlough?

A furlough is always a temporary suspension from work, whereas a layoff is often a permanent termination. However, employers who have laid-off workers may decide to re-hire certain employees in the future.

Who is most likely to get laid off during the pandemic?

  • Leisure and hospitality staff.
  • Education and health service staff.
  • Professional and business staff.
  • Retail staff.
  • Manufacturing staff.

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