6 Ways To Survive Being Laid Off


With the economy the way it is, many companies are downsizing. It’s not a news flash that we are in an economic crisis. If you suspect your job is in jeopardy, here are six tips to help you thrive in the event of a layoff. But even if a layoff is not in your future, though you many not know it, take the time to follow these simple steps to enhance your life!

1. Collect what is owed to you. File any outstanding expense reports, and collect any remaining vacation or overtime pay that’s owed to you. It’s important that you tie up any financial loose ends before your departure. Remember, you worked for these benefits and are therefore rightfully entitled to collect them.

2. Don’t take it personally. Unlike getting fired, a layoff is usually not related directly to poor performance but rather to lack of business, or even budget cuts. You may be quite proficient and an asset, but if you are the company’s most recent hire, or if your department is being cut out altogether, your position may be at risk. Keep in mind that you’re being laid off because your employer is having trouble in a tough economy, and not because you aren’t a great at what you do. 

3. Make job searching your full-time job. Create a project and set goals for yourself that’s built completely around job hunting. Schedule time for updating and sending out your resume, tailoring cover letters, scheduling information interviews, networking, and attending events hosted by trade organizations. This will help you to maintain the structure you need to propel you forward in finding a job and will give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day. 

4. Manage your finances wisely. Be frugal and plan for the worst case scenario. Try to stretch out your severance pay (if you received any) or your savings for as long as possible. Save money by cutting out nice-to-have but unnecessary expenses such as cable TV and dining out. And even if money is very tight, resist using your credit cards for purchases. If you have outstanding credit card debts, make it a priority to pay off as much of the monthly balance as possible by the due date. 

Warning! Don’t tap into your retirement funds unless you absolutely have to. Dipping into your RRSP savings (money which you’ve worked hard to save) can have serious financial consequences that include paying taxes and penalties of up to one-half of any withdrawal you make.

5. Start your own business. What do Wikipedia, Microsoft and MTV Networks all have in common? All three of these businesses were started during an economic slump. Perhaps you have an idea that you’ve been waiting to turn into a business. If you have the financing, tenacity and passion to start your own business, this may be the ideal time to do it. Many successful entrepreneurs attest to the fact that starting a business during a recession forces them to focus more and take a harder look at whether or not their ideas are feasible. If your business turns out to be profitable during a recession, once the economy bounces back you’re likely to be even more successful. Remember to take the opportunity to thrive and move forward when others are hiding under their shell.

6. Stay positive. In addition to putting your energy towards returning to gainful employment, it’s essential that you also make time to do the things that interest you and alleviate stress. Exercising, working on home projects and volunteering are all things that you can do to remain upbeat. Keep a healthy and positive attitude and you’ll be back in business in no time! Think about all the things you can get done that you couldn’t get done before…because you were working so much. Take this time to smell the roses, regroup, breathe and enjoy your family.

Time to move onward and upward and not wallow in your self-pity for this will keep you down and non productive! This too shall pass.

Nicole Gruendl
Life and Success Coach



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