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What to Do Before, During, and After Being Laid Off from Your 9 to 5 Job

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

As an employee, it’s okay to fear the possibility of being laid off from your 9 to 5 job. The fear is valid, especially now that the tech industry is trending not for the innovation created but because of the huge number of employee layoffs.

You can tell things are not good when almost every tech company you know has a massive layoff. It is also not encouraging when you cannot complete a news segment without news of massive job cuts across the country.

As you read this, you have probably already been a victim of the latest layoff trend. Or you’re afraid that your company might follow the trend. Hence, you want to be prepared before it happens to you.

You can prepare by following the steps below.



Why Companies are Laying Off People

The burning question you should ask first is: are there valid reasons that have led businesses to settle on laying off people?

According to reports, over 10 million Americans have filed for unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic. That was back in 2020. It was the beginning of the current labor crisis.

Since then, the economy has not recovered. Businesses have also not recovered from the negative impact of the pandemic.

One other headline you have seen frequently in your news is the issue of inflation and the looming recession. The Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, has warned that getting inflation under control will involve some pain to businesses and households. One of those pains is putting about 3 million Americans out of jobs.

Now that you understand the origin of the growing trend of businesses laying off employees, you can never be sure whether your employer may decide to follow the trend. Therefore it doesn't hurt to be prepared for the possibility of being laid off.

Cut Unnecessary Expenses



Losing your 9 to 5 job will have some serious impact on your finances. And you can never be sure when you will find another job when you lose your current one. Therefore, you should cut some of your expenses to avoid straining your emergency fund.

To do that, follow these steps.

  • List your current household expenses

  • Review the expenses indicating the must-haves and what you can’t do without

  • Cut the expenses you can do without

Cutting back on your expenses also known as hibernation mode will help you save more in your emergency and investment accounts.

Research Your Rights

Any plans you put in place before getting laid off will help you land in a better place after the decision is taken. Therefore, knowing your rights as an employee would help you a great deal.

For example, it is best to know the correct procedures an employer should undertake when laying off. Any attempts by your employer to contradict these procedures would open grounds for you to sue them.

Moreover, research what is in it for you after getting laid down. Here is a checklist of possible benefits to include in your research.

  • What benefits are you entitled to from your employer after being laid off?

  • Will your employer pay you for unused vacation or personal days? And what procedure will be used to calculate how much you are owed?

  • Does your employment contract include non-disclosure or non-compete clauses?

  • Are you eligible for enrollment under the consolidated omnibus budget reconciliation Act (COBRA)

  • What unemployment benefits can you be able to apply for in your state?

Save this information as it’ll help you in case you get laid off abruptly.

Reach Out to Your Networks

You want to bounce back soonest possible after losing your job. One of the ways to achieve this is to reach out to your networks.

Get in touch with professionals in your industry that you’ve known for years, including your contacts on LinkedIn. Set up casual meets like a coffee date where you can pitch them how they can help you in your current situation.

If you don’t have a network yet, start networking as soon as today. Reach out and connect to people who work in your industry and form valuable relationships with them.

Negotiate a Good Severance Package

Unlike being fired, being laid off entitles you to a severance package. You probably didn't know that this package is not equal for everyone.

Research as much on the sort of package your employer offers. These will make excellent negotiation points.

For example, you could try to negotiate on the number of weeks for every year worked your employer uses to base your severance pay. Moreover, negotiate for a spread-out payment plan to minimize the taxation on your severance pay.

Other negotiations points would include:

  • Insurance coverage- how long your employer will continue covering you before discontinuation

  • Outplacement- services your employer offer you to assist you in finding a new job or transitioning into a new career

  • Company perks- Includes the company equipment you get to keep, and how many extensions you get on using certain services such as the company car

Ask for Recommendations and Layoff Letters



You ought to know that getting laid off is not a reflection of you as an employee. It is not an action taken because of your poor performance, indiscipline, or incompetence.

It is part of the tough decisions a business has to make for its survival. And you want that to be clear in your employment record.

The way to do this is by getting your employer to provide you with a layoff and recommendation letter. It would also be in your best interest to request your employer allow you to draft the recommendation letter yourself. That way, you can capture all your significant accomplishments that are vital in your next career step.

Take Time to Think About Your Next Move

Don't be in a huge rush to take the next step in your career. It would be best to take some time off to decompress and reflect on what you want for your career.

Now is the best opportunity to think about the tough decision you have always been afraid to explore. For example, do you want to continue your current career path or think it's time you pursue your passions?

These decisions will have huge impacts on your life, hence don't rush them.



Learn About Adopting a Virtual Assistant Career Path

We have good news for you if your next career is to become a virtual assistant. You can learn how to navigate the new career path by joining the Free VA Mixer hosted by Marie. She will share with you tips, tricks, and information on how to navigate being a multifaceted VA.


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