Old Labour Exchange - FK26062

Take a Positive Approach to Being Laid Off. Prepare for Unemployment

Panic is a destructive use of energy and gets in the way of effective action at a time it will be most needed. Preparation is the secret to facing redundancy or lay-off.

Due to the credit crunch, and other market jitters, many people will face lay-offs but it is not personal. However, lack of effective action will hurt the individual, their family and reduce their chances of getting back into work quickly. Positive attitudes may create opportunity.

When Lay-Offs Loom

As business slows the individual should prepare for possible redundancy. The proverb “The early bird catches the worm” applies here. If lay-offs are likely to be extensive locally then there is benefit in not waiting for lay-offs and getting out early so that there is less competition from former colleagues. It is important to move only if the new employer is unlikely to reduce staff.

Be Prepared For Redundancy

Get planning and start job hunting straightaway to limit damage. The aim is to hit the ground running the day the axe falls; this has two benefits:

  • The organised person gets a head start on most others and;
  • Knowing what to do reduces stress; also being busy with a prepared plan of action leaves no time to fret!
  • The first steps are to:
  • Be ready for the job search
  • Have a grip on finances
  • Use all resources
  • Be organised
  • Get family support

Redundancy as Opportunity

For many this may be the kick they need to make changes in their life; they hated the job but duty to family or inertia meant they did not act; perhaps they knew they ought to think about retirement or starting a business but had not faced up to the decision.

This is a time to review personal objectives and actively make lifestyle choices. But changes will require hard work and commitment – possibly more than working did.

Start Job Search Immediately

Even before being laid off priority steps for everyone should be to:

  • Get curriculum vitae (cv) or resume into good shape
  • Prepare generic cover letters for likely roles for tailoring to the specific needs of each job application
  • Research and understand the job market especially if it is sometime since last changing jobs:
    • Identify newspaper, web sites and other job advertising
    • Find recruitment web pages of possible employers, bookmark them
    • Bookmark suitable recruitment agencies; start monitoring them daily
    • Review personal network, build a contact list and use it for advice or as extra eyes and ears. Be positive, avoid any hint of being self-pitying, and be realistic about the relationships and what they can provide – often just information.
  • Understand Unemployment Benefits

It is critical to understand what support is available to the unemployed. It may be modest payments or be support, discounts or rebates on rent, public transport, municipal taxes etc. It is specific to different places hence the need to do the research early and understand it. There will also be rules about what can be earned before benefits are stopped or reduced.

Do take up such support; after all it is tax paid whilst in work that funds it.

Review the Household Budget, 

it is a Family Matter

Controlling personal finances should be priority for everybody in difficult times. Cutting spending even before being laid off could add months to the time before real hardships starts to bite.

Unemployment will affect the whole family so it should be discussed with them and a positive approach adopted. Children will feel it so include them at an appropriate level – they can be surprisingly understanding even offering their piggy bank or pocket money!

Trying to protect loved ones by not talking will create stress and make matters worse. Get matters into the open and pull together as a family.

Being laid off does not mean being unemployed - the work really begins: job hunting, financial control, family support, stress management, opportunity seeking and getting on with those neglected jobs around the home!

What To Do When Redundancies are Announced

The above planning will pay off and it will be the time to hit the ground running by following the advice in

Good Luck!


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