Life & Style | General

About to be laid off? Here's how to cope

These days it's hard not to to feel some concern about the future of your career, but practical measures will see you through the worst times

  • By Lily Garcia, Los Angeles Times Washington Post News Service
  • Published: 23:10 March 13, 2009
  • Unwind

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archive
  • In the process of looking for other permanent employment, you should also work on strengthening your network of professional connections.

If your worst fears come true and you are about to be made redundant and you have no other job on the horizon, then focus on negotiating the most generous severance package that you can get.

Since so many industries are suffering, your employer ought to understand why a seasoned professional would want extra help during this transition.

Then again, the financial situation that necessitates your layoff might prevent your employer from paying you the severance you deserve.

Hence, in addition to a reasonable financial figure, you should think about in-kind benefits that could assist you in the pursuit of your next job.

For example, it is not unusual to include a certain number of hours of outplacement assistance and the continued use of the company laptop as terms in a separation agreement.

If you do not feel confident asking for concessions, or if you have questions about what is reasonable to expect, you should consult an employment specialist.

Be persistent

You should remain diligent in the pursuit of other employment opportunities and explore ways to expand your search without abandoning your field altogether.

Cast a wider net to encompass positions that interface with your present role.

A marketing manager, for example, might consider applying for jobs in sales support or product development, both of which rely on marketing expertise.

In the process of looking for other permanent employment, you should also work on strengthening your network of professional connections.

This can help you to get a job or, at the very least, yield freelance assignments to tide you and your family over.

CV savvy

If you find yourself having to work in retail to make ends meet during your job search, all is not lost. However, do not include this in your resume.

Although odd jobs can add colour and dimension to a cv, you should really only be listing jobs that relate to your professional objectives.

This is why you need to find some way to remain connected to your industry.

Even if you do just a little bit of freelance work, it will allow you to avoid the dreaded time gap.

If you are unable to find freelance work and end up with a gap in employment of more than a few weeks, you can use the cover letter to explain that this was a transition period following a layoff.

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