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Career Coaching: 7 ways to handle an unexpected lay-off

“The company has been making changes to support a new direction.   We are evaluating every role.  Unfortunately, it has been determined that your position will be eliminated.”

If you’ve ever heard anything similar to the statement above, you probably didn’t even read it the entire way through before you recognized the scenario… LAYOFF!    7 ways to handle a job lay off


I know the scenario all too well.  After college, my goal was to have a long-lasting Engineering career with a great company.  I have, indeed, worked with some really great companies.  However, in the last 10 years, I’ve been laid off 3 times.  This was definitely not a part of my original career planning goals.


Although I didn’t plan for it, layoffs have become part of my career story.  Through these experiences, I have found the proper mindset and preparedness can make these transitions a lot easier to handle.  So, here are some things you can start doing today to help prepare you for any unexpected career shift:



(1)    Be thankful for the opportunity

Each day learn to find something to be thankful for on your job.  Allowing yourself to experience a journey of gratitude, over time, will help build a spirit of optimism and emotional fortitude that will even withstand the news of being laid-off.


(2)    Don’t let your significance be determined by a job or company

Make sure you always live a balanced life.  Be sure to always take the time to engage in activities and commitments associated with faith, community, and the people in your life who you care about and love.


(3)    Don’t confuse your job title with your professional title

Understand that a company may assign your role when you are hired, but you worked for and chose your own professional title!  So, getting laid off will never instantly take away your knowledge, certifications, degrees, advanced skills, etc…  It just means that your particular skill set is no longer required within a specific organization.


(4)    Get connected!

Exchange personal contact information, connect on social networking sites, etc… with co-workers that you’d like to keep in contact with in the even that you are laid-off.  Enhancing these work relationships could lead to great references and job referrals down the road.



(5)    Practice a continual job search

You should always be aware of what is going on in the job market.  Keeping your job search and research skills fresh will help you stay up-to-date on new information while you are employed and will also come in handy if you are ever laid off.


(6)    Have an emergency fund

Set aside a minimum of 3 to 6 month of your overall living expenses.  Having this money buffer in savings can really help ease the blow of getting laid off and give you some time to focus on finding your next job or figuring out what it is you want to do next.


(7)    Always have an alternate source of income

During a time layoff, there may be many quiet and lonely moments where you begin to doubt your ability to contribute.  Having a hobby that can be profitable (even if it just makes $10) can really help in dealing with those feelings.

About The Author:

Andrea Hardaway has been laid off 3 times in the last 10 years.  She is a Process Improvement Specialist with  an Engineering Degree from Vanderbilt University (c/o 1999).  Her overall professional experience has been with FedEx Corporation, Lucent Technologies, Lockheed Martin, and EA Sports.  Andrea also, jokingly, considers herself as being a “professional laid-off employee.”  She states, “There is a purpose and power in every transition.  My transitions are a part of my career and, thus, a part of my professional experience.  I have learned to make the most of the transitions and, quite honestly, to enjoy them.  Every time I’ve come out of a transition, I have found myself in a better place than where I came from!  In all things and at all times, I will give thanks.  I am just so blessed!”



Here’s what I want you to do next:-)

I’m glad you read this far, because it means you’ve learned a lot of good information that will help you when put it into practice. Here’s what I want you to do next …

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