What To Do After Getting Laid Off

Woman putting work items in box after getting laid offIt’s official: The announcement has been made. You’re one of the people being laid off as your employer makes changes to its workforce. Now what?

Depending on how long you’ve been working there, the next steps may come naturally to you or you may feel like a fish out of water. If you haven’t sought a new job in a while, it can be daunting.

After hiring people for nearly 70 years, Anderson Trucking Service (ATS) has helped employees get back on their feet following a layoff. We understand the steps to take to ensure you’re ready for whatever you decide to do next — whether it be retirement, a career change or the same job for a different employer.

Keep reading to learn the four key steps you need to take after being laid off so you can make the right decision for your career wants and needs.

I Just Got Laid Off. Now What?

Now that you’ve had time to process what happened to you, it’s time to focus on the future. Depending on what you decide is right for you, your process may stop after step one. But for many of you, the following four steps will be vital to you moving on from being laid off:

  1. Assess your situation and career goals
  2. Update your resume and social media profiles
  3. Develop your network
  4. Brush up on your interviewing skills

Step 1: Assess Your Situation and Career Goals

The most important factor in anyone’s decision on what to do after being laid off is how long they can financially survive without a job. Do you have enough saved up that you could live somewhat comfortably without a job — at least for a bit?

That might allow you to be pickier with your career selection. The length of your severance package could also be a factor in that, depending on if you received one or not.

Another factor to consider is whether or not you need to carry health insurance. If so, can you participate in COBRA insurance or will you need to purchase a healthcare plan on the open market?

A layoff can also be an opportunity to pursue something you’re more passionate about. Maybe that’s a career change or a hobby of yours that can pay the bills. If you decide to go after other opportunities, consider whether or not you’ll need to pursue a new degree or if training and certifications will be enough. Depending on the answer, now would be the time to "build up" your resume, so to speak.

Or maybe you’ve reached the point in your career where retirement is an option. It might be earlier than you originally planned, but it could be an option. If that’s the case, step one might be the end of the road for you.

Step 2: Update Your Resume and Social Media Profiles

If retirement isn’t an option for you, it’s time to dust off the ol’ resume and get to work. As you make updates to your resume, keep in mind there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things. Make sure to include relevant information — and include numbers to quantify your experience — without including too much information.

Related: How to Write a Great Resume: 8 Key Components

Beyond your resume, it’s important to make sure your social media profiles reflect “your brand” in a professional manner. Avoid any political or emotionally charged content. Try to stay neutral with what you post and remove anything that doesn’t appear neutral.

Feel free to share links to any professionally-related social media profiles — think LinkedIn — in your resume too. Although it doesn’t guarantee a potential employer won’t find the profile, don’t include any profiles you don’t want employers to see.

At that point, you’re ready to start searching for — and applying to — jobs that suit your needs. Some sites you should find success on include job board websites like Indeed, Zip Recruiter and even LinkedIn, along with local community job search sites, like your area chamber of commerce.

Two people shaking hands

Step 3: Develop Your Network

You might be wondering why developing your network is step three in the process. It can be the second step if you’d rather get a head start on letting your network know of your situation, but we suggest using it as the third step so your resume is updated and your social media profiles are where you’d like them to be before your network begins helping you out.

Anyway, let’s get to it.

Reach out to the folks in your circle of influence — people like your friends, family members or professional contacts you trust. See if they know of anyone that’s hiring in your area of expertise. While it’s not a silver bullet, having someone who can say good things about a job and employer — and recommend you for a job — can go a long way in helping you get hired.

At the very least, they can provide recommendations on where to look for your next career.

Step 4: Brush Up on Your Interviewing Skills

This step is especially important if you haven’t interviewed for a job in a while. A job interview is the first in-person impression you have with a potential employer, so it’s vital that you get it right.

You can practice interviewing with a mentor or someone you trust to give you constructive feedback. If you know someone that conducts interviews on a regular basis, that’s a plus!

If you attended and graduated college, you can also connect with your college’s career services team to see what resources they have available for alumni. They’ll likely be able to help you out with mock interviews too if you don’t have any personal resources available.

We also created a tool you can use to brush up on your skills. Our Interview Etiquette Guide will provide you with 13 tips for crushing your next interview. Learn crucial tips to employ before, during and after your interview and get clear next steps toward starting your dream career.

13 Tips for Crushing Your Next Job Interview

4 Key Steps to Take Following a Layoff

If you just received the unfortunate news that you’re no longer employed, take some time to process what just happened. You deserve that. Once you’ve had time to let the news sink in, it’s time to dig your feet in and get to work.

These four steps will help you put the right foot forward:

  1. Assess your situation and career goals
  2. Update your resume and social media profiles
  3. Develop your network
  4. Brush up on your interviewing skills

Everyone is different, so these four steps may not be the same for all of you. In fact, some of you may determine step one is the end of the road for you — whether you choose retirement or pursue a hobby that can pay the bills.

That said, whatever path you choose, these four steps will help you get there.

Consider a Career in Transportation

Layoffs happen for many reasons. Maybe the company itself is facing financial strains that require downsizing. Or maybe it’s the industry that’s facing struggles — consider the hospitality industry during the pandemic.

If the latter is the case for you, we invite you to consider a career in transportation. The global logistics market reached nearly $5 trillion in 2021 and is expected to be $6.55 trillion by 2027. The growing industry is expected to add nearly half a million jobs in the U.S. by 2031.

If stability and growth are what you’re looking for in a career, learn more about the pros and cons of a career in transportation.

Shannon Templin

Written by Shannon Templin

As a talent acquisition specialist — a position he's held since 2016 — Shannon works, alongside colleagues, to connect job candidates with their best-fit position within ATS. In his role, Shannon enjoys assisting each new candidate toward their career goals and does everything in his power to set each candidate up for long-term professional success.

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