What To Do If You Were Laid Off During COVID-19

There is no way to justify it or sugarcoat it, getting laid-off sucks! When you work for a company, you invest a lot of energy and time and give your best. Along with your personal growth, you shared a common organizational growth, and you devoted your sincere efforts to achieve that. And being let-go from a company you gave your heart and soul can be extremely hard. When working for a company, a relationship is built with the organizations and getting that relation broken off can sting.

No matter the circumstances, it is bound to hurt. And a lot of people faced this in this pandemic. Although, you might be feeling blue after being laid-off even after devoting all that time and energy in your work. But if you look at some successful people testimonials, most of them agree that being laid-off was the best thing ever happened to them. They got a new perspective, little time to think, and came back the other side stronger than ever. 

1. Don’t blame yourself, the pandemic was a hard time

The pandemic has been hard on the market and to cut costs, many companies had to laid-off some employees. Even though it hurts a lot, you should remember that there is no personal agenda. Maybe your employer is going through a rough patch and cannot afford to have a lot of employees. It is possible, that the employer is having a hard time too. No employer would want to let go of their hardworking and experienced employees. The virus outburst has been exceptionally hard for companies. They might not have enough resources to support you, that leaves hem with no other option to lay-off some employees. No matter the circumstances, you just shouldn’t blame yourself or doubt your skills. Do not let your confidence and self-esteem waver, it is not your fault. 

2. Arrange your financial resources

Know your rights

You work for a company, to attain professional growth. But you shouldn’t forget that a company needs the employees, as much as employees need the company. You are not entirely dependent on your employer to provide you with job security. There are certain laws in place, that are in the employees’ interest. No company can let go the employees, without giving you a 15-30 days notice. A company need a valid reason to let go of the employees. If a company is letting go 50% of their workforce or is shutting down, then they need to provide at least a 60 days notice to all of its employees. It is essential to know about your rights and if you feel that your rights are being violated, don’t hesitate to speak up and demand your rights.

Get your last paycheck

When you are being let go from your firm, it is only fair to ask for that last paycheck. Don’t compromise your paycheck, ask your employer how and when will you receive your final cheque. Ensure that all the values add up, ask about your overtime, accrued vacation, leave encashment, and other amounts. Get in touch with the HR, and don’t hesitate to ask for the pay, you earned it. You should ask your employer to handover the paycheck immediately. Once you get your paycheck, you can set a budget and make a plan on how long that money is gonna last you. You can alter your expenses according to the budget, and cut down any unnecessary expenses. 

Some companies provide a severance package, gratuity, or provident fund when they let go of any of their employees. This can bring you a little relief as it is a gesture made by some companies to show gratitude to their employees.  

Check for insurance and other benefits

Many companies provide health insurance and other benefits to their employees. Make sure to ask your HR that what will happen to these policies and benefits. Even though you have to make some alterations to your lifestyle but make this a priority to maintain, so it doesn’t affect your future. 

In this pandemic, some companies are sending off their employees to unpaid leave or asking them to work from home. When these changes are made, communicate with your HR or employer about how these changes will affect the insurance and other benefits. Companies often don’t take these benefits away, but it is advisable to ask. 

Collect your recommendation letters and references

When a company lay off its employees on good terms, then a recommendation letter and references can help you in your professional future. A recommendation letter from your seniors and team leaders can help you get a job in future easily. Ask your superiors if you can list them as your reference in future job interviews. If the reason for this layoff is the pandemic, then ask your HR department to provide you with a letter stating that the lay off is due to the pandemic, and the employee is not getting fired. This will help you land a job easily in future. 

Manage your connections

Even though you are being laid off from your job, that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your connections. Have you made some friends in your workplace who can support you in this tough time? Keep in contact with them, it can be helpful in your future career. Did you work well with your colleague on a project? Did you two were a great team? Maybe you can partner up with them for future projects. Keeping in contact with your colleagues and co-workers can bring you potential projects. This will give you an option of reaching out to them if you face some professional difficulties or challenges. Make sure you have a strong network, they can hook you up with some new opportunities and you can turn to them if you face some challenges with a particular project. 

3. Relax! And take a deep breath

Once you have taken care of all the immediate steps after getting let go. It’s time to take a break. It was tough to digest, and maybe it took a lot out of you. Take a step back and try to gain some perspective. Yes, we know how hurtful losing your job is. It sucks, it gets to us and makes us doubt our skills. Leave us feeling aimless and exhausted for days, sometimes weeks. 

Getting out of routine, waking up with nowhere to go throw us out of our schedule and then the reality sets in, that we have lost the place where we belonged and fit in. All those feelings are natural, getting angry, sad and even depressed is normal. But once we have accepted the fact, that this job is over, you have to find ways to bring back some hope. Remember that this set-back can be used as an opportunity. You have finally had the time to think and narrow down the choices that get you excited. Relax a little, as you might never get a break like this. Take time and figure out what you want to do next. Remember to take things slow and not take any pressure. This time will pass, and soon you will have another job, and you will be back on your feet in no time. 

4. Brush your skills and prepare for something new

If you were laid off, then it is the perfect time to make a switch and finally, go into something that excites you. You might be aiming higher (which you should) when you start looking for a new job. The perfect way to use the time between two jobs is to brush up your skills and learn something new. You can opt for online courses that can help you learn more and polish your skills. If you are serious about going into a new field, then you can take time and sign up for offline classes and courses to make yourself eligible for that certain position. 

There are a lot of free online courses that you can learn to ace in your new workplace. You can utilize this time the best by investing time and energy in learning and picking up new skills that will help you in your future job. It will help bring you mental peace and clear your mind. Which in turn can fill you up with newfound energy to appear in interviews and get a job. 

5. Get back in the workforce

The final step would be to get back out there and start looking for jobs. Once you make up your mind, you can go back to the same field or try something new. No matter what you do, just be confident and don’t let your self-esteem shake off. Even if you don’t get another job instantly, keep trying and don’t hesitate to ask your co-workers or friends for a lead. Keep brushing your skills, as it will help you in staying top of your game and make you more appealing to the companies. Follow the usual job hunting steps like updating resume, network and preparing for interviews and stay positive.

Conclusion

We understand that getting laid off is tough to go through. But it can help you grow, it can take you out of your comfort zone and can be an exciting opportunity to grow. Who knows, maybe you will land your dream job after being laid off by your previous company? Take your time to gather your thoughts after being let go and once you have it under control, take charge and shoot for the stars. 

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