How to Survive a Layoff

You’ve been laid-off, what now?

Have you been hearing whispers around the office? Some talk of layoffs, or reduction-in-force? Maybe your workload has lightened even though everyone around you seems busy. Or you know that the company has not been doing well this year, there were no increases or bonuses, and the financial outlook is bleak. You start to worry about your position at the company and if you need to start looking for a new job.

The time comes and unfortunately you get laid-off. You wonder, how do I survive a reduction-in-force?

First things first, take a day or two to yourself. A major life change just happened and you just lost your job. It is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged to take some time to breathe and think about where to go next. Job searching can be overwhelming, so you want to be in the best mental state before you start.

This is something that we should be doing every few months or so, but we often neglect: update your resume. Often times we get complacent in our current position, and forget to update our resumes with new skills or projects that we’ve completed/accomplished. Within the first few days of getting let go, work on your resume so that when you are ready, you can send it out to recruiters and your network, and easily apply for jobs.

Reach out to your network and recruiters. Don’t be afraid to connect with people or ask them if they are aware of any positions that may fit your qualifications. Even if people don’t have positions, there is no harm in connecting with someone in an industry that you are interested in or who has a position that you want. The more information you have, the better!

Interview. This may seem like a very logical step when you’re job searching, but sometimes people disregard interview opportunities just because they don’t want the position. If you haven’t interviewed in a while, go on as many as you can just to get back into the swing of things. Each interview will lessen your nerves and make you more confident in what you are looking for and what you can provide to a company.

Get outside at least once a day. This is a very important to physical and mental health. It is easy to job search from your home, stay on the couch all day, possibly start binge watching that show you’ve been meaning to start. But this will not help you in the long run. Getting outside even to take a walk or run an errand will take your mind off of things and get you moving. There are countless studies of how bad it is for us to be sitting throughout the entire day, so if you have extra time, take advantage of it and get your body moving.

Most importantly, don’t give up. The process of job searching after a layoff can be brutal, but everything happens for a reason. Make sure you are aware of all your options, and don’t be afraid to apply for any position. Also, don’t be too proud to accept help from those that offer it to you. Family and friends care about you and want you to succeed. If they are offering help, take them up on it. They may be able to connect you with someone who can find you your dream job.

Breathe, don’t give up and stay positive. It will all work out it the end.

If you need resume help and Linkedin Profile assistance in finding your ideal next position, don’t hesitate to contact BluefireHR at or (773)793-1326.

Laura Nelson, Leed GA – Business Analyst

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