Whether in a flourishing or downturn economy, layoffs happen. Regardless of the reason, the emotional roller coaster is the same. You can expect to experience feelings from disappointment to anger. Those types of feelings can make you react in ways that you wouldn’t when you are in an unemotional state. To avoid embarrassing moments, please keep the following points in mind.
* Twenty-five percent of individuals who are laid off are rehired by their former employers within a year. For this reason, it’s wise to remain calm and not ruffle any feathers when you are served with a pink slip. Lashing out will diminish your chances of getting called back. In a sluggish economy, you should keep all your career options open.
* During the separation meeting, you may be encouraged to apply for internal positions. Many individuals refuse because they are too upset about getting downsized. But know this: animosity will get you nowhere fast. Put aside your negative reaction to the layoff, and submit your resume for internal opportunities. There is a good chance that management has another job for you but cannot offer it outright, as doing so could open up lawsuits from displaced employees who were not offered a chance to stay. When laying off employees, management needs to consider all avenues, including doing their best to avoid grievances. So suspend a too-severe judgment and give the organization the benefit of the doubt.
* In all likelihood the management representative imparting the news is not the one who made the decision to downsize. They probably weren’t even part of the decision-making process. Therefore, lashing out at the messenger may make you feel better in the moment, but will put you in a negative light.
* Regardless of whether you were mistreated or not, do not bad-mouth management to peers. When others spread your word, your meaning morphs into something else. Save your negative thoughts for the ears of trusted individuals who do not know management personally. This will ensure that your comments remain confidential.
After a layoff, do not allow animosity to set in. Stay calm and begin to search for a job right away. Putting it off out of vengeance will only affect you in the end. Unemployment benefits do run out and you do not want to spend your last month on benefits desperate for a position. Desperation will show during interviews and impede your chances of finding a job.