7 Tips for Finding Your Next Job After Getting Laid Off

man getting hired handshaking

A layoff can take the wind out of your sails. One moment, it may seem like smooth sailing—  the next, you’re adrift at sea. They can often come without warning, giving you little time to gear up for a job search.

In this article, we’re sharing seven tips that can help you get back on your feet and find a new job after a layoff.

7 Steps for Finding Your Next Job After a Layoff

Here are seven tips to help you get back on your feet and on the job hunt following a layoff.

1. Ask the right questions before leaving your old job.

Your next move may largely depend on the answers to questions you ask your manager or HR team after you’re laid off. 

Before you head out the door, be sure that you understand:

  • What your income will look like in the coming weeks
  • What the layoff means for benefits like health insurance
  • Your severance package
  • Whether or not your company will provide career counseling or job search help

Knowing where you stand after your layoff can help you better plan the coming weeks as you search for a new job.

2. Assess your immediate needs.

Unfortunately, bills don’t stop coming just because you’ve gotten laid off. Be sure that you have a plan to meet your immediate needs following your layoff. This may include:

  • Filing for unemployment
  • Extending your healthcare coverage through COBRA
  • Assessing your personal budget and adjusting it if necessary

Having a plan to ensure your basic needs are met in the coming months can take additional stress off of the job search process.

3. Evaluate your career path.

Are you happy in your career field? If not, your layoff may be a great opportunity for a career change.

Consider other interests that you could potentially pursue and what it would take to land a job in that field. Could you apply with the skills that you already possess? Would you need to go back to school or get additional training? Do you already have contacts in that industry? These are all questions to consider. 

Perhaps you aren’t happy with what you’re currently doing, but you don’t have another plan in mind, either. That’s okay, too! 

There are many ways to explore other career options. For starters, you can take advantage of the wealth of information that exists online. (You may even find a few helpful tips right here on JobSage! 😉) Talk to friends and family who have interesting jobs— you may be surprised by what you learn. You can even work with a career coach who can guide you through the process and help you determine what types of jobs may be right for you.

4. Update your resume.

Next, take time to update your resume. Add your last role to the document, noting your major responsibilities and accomplishments. 

You may find that it’s time to redo your resume entirely. Ensure that your resume is formatted correctly and tailored to the type of role you want to land. Before you start applying to jobs, have someone look over it to check for typos or parts that may be unclear to a recruiter. 

5. Start your new job search.

Now is the part you’ve been waiting for— the job hunt! Searching for a new job is stressful, but it can also be exciting. A new job can mean new opportunities to find passion in what you do every day.

Reach out to your network.

Start by connecting with those in your network, whether it be friends, former colleagues, or professionals that you engage with online. 

Share that you’re on the job hunt again and would appreciate any leads or referrals that come your way. You might be surprised what leads can come your way by word of mouth. 

Research companies you’d like to work for.

Hoping your next job aligns more with your values? Read reviews of companies to find which may be the best fit for your work style. 

For instance, if you are hoping for a job that would allow you to take off work at 4 o’clock each evening to pick your kids up from school, look for companies that offer flexible work schedules. Perhaps purpose-driven work is important to you. If that’s the case, see what current employees are saying about their employer’s mission and purpose beyond making money.

See who is hiring.

Lastly, investigate who’s hiring by checking job boards or directly on the company’s website careers page. 

6. Be honest about your situation.

A layoff isn’t something that you need to hide from employers. If you are asked in an interview why you are searching for a new job, you can be honest that you were let go from your former company. Be sure to convey that you are using it, however, as an opportunity to expand your skills and take on new challenges.

7. Don’t get discouraged.

If the economy is in rough shape, many companies may have put a pause on hiring. The job market can get competitive, meaning it could take some time for you to get hired again. 

Don’t let yourself get discouraged.

If you don’t get the job that you were hoping for, there will be more opportunities down the road. Keep applying, networking, and putting your best foot forward!

Find companies that are hiring.

Looking for a new job? Explore JobSage’s Trusted Employers to find the right fit for you.