What you should do if you're laid off from your job

 Nearly 56,000 technology workers have been laid off in 2022, according to the tech-industry-layoffs tracker Layoffs.FYI.

Many of these 55,698 former tech employees hail from big-name companies such as PelotonNetflixCoinbase, and Twitter. And experts say rough roads may lie ahead for other trades.

As the US appears to be hurtling toward a recession, workers are worried about falling victim to the next round of layoffs in their industries: In a survey of 1,004 working US adults in June by the staffing-solutions firm Insight Global, 78% of employees said they were scared of losing their jobs in the next recession.

Liz Tilia, the founder of life-coaching company Fem Home Ec., and Toni Frana, a career-services manager with the remote-job search platform FlexJobs, listed five steps people should take if they've been laid off.

1. Give yourself time 

One of the first things someone should do after learning they've been laid off is nothing, the career experts said. Workers need time to process their emotions before diving into the logistics of their severance and job hunting.

Whether an employee saw their layoff coming or they were blindsided by the announcement, the split will have an emotional effect on them, Frana said.

"Allowing yourself some grace and some time to process is important," she said.

2. Seek legal counsel  

After you get laid you off, human resources will likely give you a document to sign, Tilia said. This document usually serves two purposes: to waive your right to sue the company and to give the company control over what you say about them. 

Signing this document is optional, and companies should provide at least a few weeks for you to obtain your own counsel to review it, Tilia said. Counsel can fight the terms of a nondisparagement clause and advocate for you in negotiations.

"If you can, I always recommend utilizing legal counsel," she said. "If people can't afford legal support because they're being laid off, there are plenty of free clinics online that they can find." 

3. Negotiate your layoff 

Once you've taken time to read through the offer HR provides, you can counter with your own offer, Tilia said.

"Negotiate the terms of your departure, just like you would negotiate the terms of your arrival," she said.  

For instance, she recommends workers ask for a letter of recommendation explaining they were laid off and not fired, severance pay, career-coaching services, stock options in lieu of unused paid time off, an extension of insurance into their transitionary period, and for the official reason of termination to make them eligible for unemployment. 

Additionally, severance — which should be equivalent to at least four weeks of pay for each year you worked for the company — should be collected through multiple payments and not one installment, Tilia said.

"I, unfortunately, negotiated a $25,000 severance payout that I got paid in full, and I got $11,000 taken out in taxes," she added. 

4. Forward-thinking job hunting 

While employees who were laid off are likely eager to find work, Tilia encourages her clients to embrace the "lazy man's" way of finding a job: setting their professional profiles to "open to work" and searchable by recruiters, along with uploading their résumés to LinkedInIndeed, and CareerBuilder. This is on top of actively applying to open positions, she said. 

And, unless the job posting you applied for has a date for when the firm will stop accepting applications, follow up with the company after a week or so for a status update, Frana said.

If you make it to the interview stage of the application process, you want to control the narrative of why you are no longer with your previous employer, Frana added. Applicants should not dwell on their layoff, and they should use words like "downsizing," "merger," or "restructuring," she added.

For example, Frana said a job seeker can say this in their interview or add this to their cover letter: "Due to my company downsizing, I was part of a group layoff and am looking forward to pursuing new opportunities."

5. Build connections 

One of the best ways to get a new job is to rely on your old connections, Tilia said. To get your network's attention, you can publish a social media post about the situation. 

In recent months, some LinkedIn users have posted about losing their jobs at companies such as AmazonTwitter, and Netflix. Some of these posts have gone viral.

If an employee decides to post about their situation, Tilia and Frana agree that they should recognize what they gained from their old job and let people know they're looking onward to opportunities.

"Saying something negative about the situation or about your employer will not look good to potential new employers," Frana added.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post