being laid off from work can be traumatic
Career Advice

Laid Off Now What? 9 Tips to Recover Fast

A sudden job loss is terrifying. You weren’t expecting to lose your job and you don’t have a plan. Worse than that, you don’t have a paycheck.

Even though being out of work is scary, you can thrive. Being laid off from your job could be your opportunity to make positive changes. Here are 9 tips to help you get over the devastation of losing your job.

Before we get into making a plan, it’s important to know the difference between being laid off and being fired. Being let go could mean either.

Being laid off means your job at the company is no longer needed. The employee is not at fault for losing his or her job. Common reasons for a layoff include:

  • The company is downsizing 
  • The company is doing a reorganization
  • Your company is part of a merger or acquisition
  • The business lost a client or contract that you were responsible for.
  • Economic hard times

If your boss or company leaders mention a reduction in force, or that your role has been eliminated, then it is a layoff.

No. Being fired or terminated from your job means you as an employee are no longer needed at the company.

The job you had still exists, but due to poor performance, bad conduct or a monumental screw-up, you are no longer an employee.

Many times, the person who is fired is at fault for being dismissed. At-will employees can be fired for any reason and at any time.

Chances are if you are fired, you already know it’s coming based on previous disciplinary actions or warnings that you are at risk.

So you lost your job. How do you move past the feelings of devastation and take advantage of the situation? Here are short term strategies to get back on track after being laid off.

Easier said than done right? Whether you’ve worked for your employer for 1 year or 10, suddenly losing your job can cause massive panic.

Remind yourself that you’ve successfully made it through tough times before. See if your company is offering severance or if you can claim unemployment benefits.

AlabamaAlabama Department of Labor334-242-8025
AlaskaAlaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development907-269-4700
ArizonaArizona Department of Economic Security1-877-600-2722
ArkansasArkansas Department of Workforce Services501-682-2121
CaliforniaCalifornia Employment Development Department1-800-300-5616
ColoradoColorado Department of Labor and Employment303-318-9000
ConnecticutConnecticut Department of Labor
DelawareDelaware Department of LaborNew Castle County: 302-761-6576
Other Areas: 1-800-794-3032
District of ColumbiaDistrict of Columbia Department of Employment Services202-724-7000
FloridaFlorida Department of Economic Opportunity1-800-204-2418
GeorgiaGeorgia Department of Labor1-877-709-8185
HawaiiHawaii Department of Labor and Industrial RelationsOahu: 808-586-8970
Hilo: 808-974-4086
Kona: 808-322-4822
Maui: 808-984-8400
Kauai: 808-274-3043
IdahoIdaho Department of Labor208-332-8942
IllinoisIllinois Department of Employment Security1-800-244-5631
IndianaIndiana Department of Workforce Development1-800-891-6499
IowaIowa Workforce Development1-866-239-0843
KansasKansas Department of Labor1-800-292-6333
KentuckyKentucky Career Center Office of Unemployment Insurance502-564-2900
LouisianaLouisiana Workforce Commission1-866-783-5567
MaineMaine Department of Labor1-800-593-7660
MarylandMaryland Department of Labor410-949-0022
MassachusettsMassachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance617-626-6338
MichiganMichigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity1-866-500-0017
MinnesotaMinnesota Department of Employment and Economic DevelopmentTwin Cities Area: 651-296-3644
Greater Minnesota: 1-877-898-9090
MississippiMississippi Department of Employment Security1-888-844-3577
MissouriMissouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations1-800-320-2519
MontanaMontana Department of Labor and Industry406-444-2545
NebraskaNebraska Department of Labor1-855-995-8863
NevadaNevada Department of Employment Training and RehabilitationNorthern Nevada: 775-684-0350 
Southern Nevada: 702-486-0350
Rural Areas and Out of State Callers: 1-888-890-8211
New HampshireNew Hampshire Department of Employment Security1-800-852-3400
New JerseyNew Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce DevelopmentNorth New Jersey: 201-601-4100
Central New Jersey: 732-761-2020
South New Jersey: 856-507-2340
Out-of-state claims: 1-888-795-6672
New MexicoNew Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions1-877-664-6984
New YorkNew York Department of Labor1-888-209-8124
North CarolinaNorth Carolina Department of Commerce1-888-737-0259
North DakotaNorth Dakota Job Service701-328-4995
OhioOhio Department of Job and Family Services1-877-644-6562
OklahomaOklahoma Employment Security Commission1-800-555-1554
OregonOregon Employment Department1-877-345-3484
PennsylvaniaPennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry1-888-313-7284
Puerto RicoPuerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources787-625-7900
Rhode IslandRhode Island Department of Labor and Training401-243-9100
South CarolinaSouth Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce1-866-831-1724
South DakotaSouth Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation605-626-3179
TennesseeTennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development1-877-813-0950
TexasTexas Workforce Commission1-800-939-6631
U.S. Virgin IslandsU.S. Virgin Islands Department of Labor340-773-1994
UtahUtah Department of Workforce ServicesSalt Lake and South Davis Counties: 801-526-4400
Weber and North Davis Counties: 801-612-0877
Utah County: 801-375-4067
Other Counties and Out of State: 1-888-848-0688
VermontVermont Department of Labor1-888-807-7072
VirginiaVirginia Employment Commission1-866-832-2363
WashingtonWashington Employment Security Department1-800-318-6022
West VirginiaWorkforce West Virginia1-800-379-1032
WisconsinWisconsin Department of Workforce Development1-844-910-3661
WyomingWyoming Department of Workforce Services307-473-3789

Remember, too, that you’re not alone. Others are going through what you’re experiencing right now. Meditation is a great way to calm down and focus the mind.

2. Take a Moment to Process What Happened.

Process what happened. Look at the facts. Is your company the only one being downsized or is your industry facing a decline? U

It may feel as if you have to rush right out and find a new job — anything that brings in a steady paycheck.

3. Give Yourself a Break.

Regardless of the reason, tell yourself that it was somehow destiny that you be “released” from the job. Avoid blaming yourself too harshly.

Even if there were something you could have done differently, learn the lesson and forgive yourself.

4. Take it as a Fresh Start

Consider that book closed. You’re now beginning a brand new story.

Be optimistic. It’s so good for the soul to be able to go down a new path in your journey. Who doesn’t love a do-over?

What did you dream of doing when you were struggling at your old job?

What steps do you need to take to start a new career? There’s no harm in exploring your options.

5. Consider your Contacts.

After being laid off, you can use your contacts to find job leads

Who do you know who owns their own business? Do they need any help? What about your friends’ relatives and business contacts?

Tactfully inquire if your peeps know anyone who could use some help right now. Let them know you’re available. See if you can get a job referral from people you know. Strive to discover every avenue to a new job.

6. Try Temp Work.

You’ll be surprised at how much short-term employment is available through temp services, both online and in your community. Focus on the opportunities that could be opening up for you.

Look at it this way: anywhere you go to work you’ll be meeting new people, learning new things, and establishing business contacts.

8. Go Back to School.

You might be able to get funding to pursue the training or education you want or need.

Check your local colleges, universities, and tech centers to find programs that are offering generous financial support. Move forward and expand your skills and know-how.

You never know what can happen when you get some new knowledge. Plus, you’ll also make new job contacts by obtaining training and education.

8. Follow your Dreams.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do with your life? Now may be the chance you’ve needed to take that first step toward establishing the life you really want to live. Put your fears and insecurities behind you. Strengthen your resolve and go for it.

9. Embrace the Unknown.

True, the unknown is scary. Sometimes though, it’s exciting and even life-changing. When you approach your jobless situation with optimism and confidence as if it’s a big adventure, you’ll likely experience positive results.

Losing your job can be the first step toward discovering the life you’ve dreamed about for years. Apply the above strategies to strengthen your efforts and energize your spirit to move toward your future with excitement.

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