How to Cope With Getting Laid Off


Losing a job is one of life's most stressful experiences. As more and more companies get "lean and mean," you may find yourself laid off, but you will survive.

Things You'll Need

  • Stress Management Counseling
  • Stress Relief Products
  • Personal Organizers
  • résumé paper
  • résumé software


  1. Leave your place of work immediately. Even if you saw it coming, you are likely to be too upset to answer co-workers' questions. You can come back for your coffee mug.

  2. Discuss your situation with your spouse and other family members who will be affected. Will your partner have to work overtime for a while? Can your college student get a part-time job to contribute to tuition costs?

  3. Review your financial situation. You may have set aside what seemed like a reasonable amount for a "rainy day," but if your unemployment goes beyond a month or two, you may need to make some lifestyle adjustments.

  4. Request a meeting with your company's HR representative. Find out if you're entitled to severance pay, unused vacation or personal days and how to continue your benefits and roll over your 401K. Find out how vested you are in the company's pension plan, if applicable.

  5. Take advantage of any outplacement services your employer offers. Many companies now provide career assessment and counseling as well as use of company facilities such as personal computers, copiers and fax machines to aid in your job search.

  6. File for unemployment compensation if you qualify. This may be a blow to your pride, but you and your family are entitled to such benefits, and meeting basic needs must come before pride.

Tips & Warnings

  • Get references in writing from your former supervisor, co-workers and the company personnel representative. Be sure the last includes a statement that the reason for your termination was a workforce reduction.
  • Don't delay in handling the necessary paperwork to continue your benefits and roll over your retirement plan monies. There are strict, often short, time periods for doing these things; you snooze, you lose.
  • Losing a job, even through no fault of your own, can be devastating. If your feelings of anger, sadness or helplessness persist beyond a few weeks, consider getting short-term therapy for depression.

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