COVID-19 and the closing of the economy has resulted in a lot of layoffs, temporary and permanent. Being let go from a job because of cutbacks is even harder than being fired. You know you’ve done nothing wrong. You understand why it’s happening, still, you feel that you have done something wrong or that your employer didn’t value you. In case you have fallen victim to the corona virus in the way, here are some do’s and don’ts of how to endure a layoff with grace.
Don’t rush to sign exit paperwork. You have the right to ask for a reasonable time to review the documents and to be able to show it to your accountant, lawyer, and family. Make sure to read the paperwork carefully and ask questions before you sign.
Do follow up with your former employer if you don’t get things such as a final paycheck or COBRA paperwork in a timely manner. Make sure your health insurance won’t be canceled. If it will be, shop for health insurance on your state or federal websites.
Do pack up and/or turn in equipment without taking or copying files. Depending on the company culture, you may not have a lot of time to pack up your belongings. They may offer to have it packed up for you and mailed to your home
Do say goodbye. Shake hands – or bump elbows – and say thank you as you leave. You never know when you will run into a former colleague or boss. Take the high road; don’t burn any bridges. Acknowledge those who helped you and wish everyone well. Let everyone’s final impression of you be an upbeat, positive, and encouraging one.
Do ask for a laid off letter. Review the content and make sure the details are correct. Having this letter will be evidence that you were not fired when looking for another job.
Do ask for a letter of recommendation from your boss. Asking now will ensure you get it. What if your boss is in the next round of layoffs? Then it is too late to ask.
Do file for unemployment. You are entitled to unemployment when you are laid off. Now is not the time to be shy or embarrassed over applying.
Don’t immediately start looking for another job. This is a major upheaval in your life. Allow yourself time to grieve. You may be angry but try not to bad mouth the company. Take a positive spin on this. You may use this as an opportunity to reevaluate your career and even go in a totally different direction.
Do update your social network such as LinkedIn and your resume. Make sure your social media sites do not have pictures of you that would embarrass you when a future employer looks at your posts. Scrub any inappropriate, compromising, and unprofessional comments.
This too shall pass, and you may come to see that this unpleasant time in your life was actually a truly important turning point in your career. You just may emerge with a better job than your previous.