YPOV: Get Back on Your Feet After a Layoff

September
,
2016

You thought it would never happen to you. You are a hard-working chemical engineer fulfilling your career goals. The next thing you know, you’re called into a meeting with your boss and you are out of work before lunch.

With that, welcome to your new job search. You are one of the many, the disoriented, the laid off. So now what? When I was laid off in April 2015, I learned many important lessons before I found a new job. If you ever find yourself in this situation, here is some advice from one engineer who has made it through:

It’s not your fault. If you are laid off, you are undoubtedly upset, discouraged, and confused in a way you’ve never experienced before. But it is very likely that the layoff had nothing to do with your performance, personality, or skillset. Do not confuse being laid off with being fired. Telling yourself it isn’t your fault can be difficult to accept, but it is true.

Take care of yourself and focus on what you can control. Even though you want a new job immediately, prepare for the long haul. Finding a new job may take months, rather than weeks. File for unemployment and figure out your healthcare options. Determine what severance or benefits your former employer offers. In some cases, severance is negotiable. Be honest with your friends and family because you will need their support.

Don’t immediately apply to every job you can....

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