Layoffs: What to do

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Whether you’ve been laid off from your job or you’re facing a potential layoff, it’s never an easy process, but there are steps you can take before, during and after a layoff.

What to do if you may be laid off

Layoffs are common during the months of December and January. If you see signs of layoffs looming, it’s best to not panic, but rather, mentally prepare.

Mentally preparing you for the possibility that you could potentially lose your job will help you process it beforehand so that you’re not blindsided if it happens.

There are things you can do during this period to be proactive and ease the process if it comes:

  • Updates: Start by making sure your personal information is up-to-date with HR.
    • Review and update mailing addresses, phone numbers and personal email addresses.
  • Resume revamping: Get your resume updated with any new skills and positions.
    • Update your references, ensuring to get emails and phone numbers.
    • Update your cover letter.
    • Update your LinkedIn profile.
  • Obtain any personal documentation you may need such as:
    • paycheck stubs, W2’s, Pension/401K (ensuring you know how to access these online), and insurance information.

What to do during the layoff process

If you are laid off, the company will likely tell you in private and go over all of the logistics with you, such as when your last day will be, what severance payments you will receive (if any) and when your benefits will end. It is important to ask as many questions as you can and ensure that you fully understand what’s being offered.

Questions you may want to ask:

  • Will accrued vacation time be paid out?
  • Will you be eligible for rehire?
  • What will future employers be told?

What to do after you’re laid off

If you do end up getting laid off, you’re not alone. It’s normal for employees to feel anger, depression and loss, but it’s important to remember not to take the lay off personally. Think of this as a new opportunity rather than a setback.

“Just because you’re laid off, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world,” said Jeff Witherspoon, Director of Consumer Credit Counseling.

Layoffs are often due to company changes out of your control, a direct result of the company’s finances and business decisions that aren’t a reflection of the employee.

Here’s what you can do next:

  • File for unemployment benefits. Unemployment can be a lengthy process, so the sooner you file, the sooner you can get your benefits.
    • Click here for how to file unemployment in the state of Kansas.
  • Take a break:
    • Allow yourself time to process the change. This will help you from rushing into a new job that may not be the perfect fit.
  • Start networking.
    • Reach out to friends, family, and professional contacts for potential job leads.
    • Networking is one of the best ways to get a new job.
  • Start looking for a new position. Brush up on your interviewing skills.

Click here for available resources.

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