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Blog > Wondering What to Do After a Layoff? 5 Ways to Take Advantage of This Crisitunity

Wondering What to Do After a Layoff? 5 Ways to Take Advantage of This Crisitunity

The silver lining of a pink slip
Crisitunities of being laid off

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So your boss just announced layoffs and you’re one of the unlucky team members impacted by the company’s restructuring — what do you do now? When many of us hear about a layoff, we react with panic and begin rapidly sending out resumes to every job listing we can find.

While being laid off can initially be a challenging experience of uncertainty, it can also come with some potential benefits. This is where the importance of seeing the opportunity in the crisis, or the “crisitunity,” comes in.

When crisis hits, as it inevitably does, identifying hidden opportunities is a critical skill you’ll need to develop to successfully navigate challenges (and a skill we thoroughly discuss in our founder, Rich Bello’s book, Crisitunity). Today, Arootah’s Director of Career Coaching shares practical strategies you can take after experiencing a layoff.

5 Crisitunities of Being Laid Off

If you’ve recently been laid off or want to be prepared in the event of an organizational change, take advantage of the career opportunities currently at your disposal by tapping into these five crisitunities.

1. Extra Time to Reflect

Don’t just jump into any job after a layoff, take a little time before deciding your next step. Use this layoff as a crisitunity to reassess your career goals, values, and priorities. Determine whether you were truly satisfied in your previous role and whether it’s time to explore new paths or industries. Do you want to make a major career change? Now might be the perfect time to do so.

As Arootah’s Director of Career Coaching, Ariane Hunter, suggests, “Take a break before immediately jumping into your next opportunity. What are the learnings from your previous role? What are you looking for in your next role? If you’re able to take a month or so before you begin your job search, use this downtime to rest. Consider taking a trip or pursue new interests to give your brain a break and recoup from being laid off.”

If you do embrace this crisitunity to self-assess, you certainly won’t be alone. As CNBC notes, many workers who were recently laid-off have delayed a job search and are, instead, carefully considering how they’d like to move forward in their careers.

But if all this talk about taking extensive time away from work makes you a little uneasy, don’t worry; CNBC has also reported that, among those who did want to get back to their desks as quickly as possible, more than half reported landing a job after only a month of searching.

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2. Enhance Your Skills, Knowledge, and Certifications

After you’ve reflected upon your goals and values, use your newfound time and freedom to pursue or sharpen skills, knowledge, and certifications that push you closer to those goals. Training courses, certifications, and/or educational programs can improve your qualifications and increase your marketability for future employment opportunities. While you can’t control the timing of your next job opportunity, you can use the crisitunity of being laid off to further your career growth on your own, via personal development.

3. Opportunities for Networking and Relationship Building

While we should always be expanding our network, life gets busy and we don’t always have the time. Being laid off is a crisitunity to reach out to former colleagues, attend industry events, join professional organizations, and/or participate in networking groups.

Use LinkedIn to catch up with former work colleagues or clients you’ve worked with in the past. Don’t be shy about letting them know you’re in the market for new roles so they can keep you in mind for job leads. Take your networking to the next level and ask your colleagues for introductions to contacts. Building new connections can lead to potential job leads, referrals, and valuable insights into new opportunities.

4. Severance Package and Unemployment Benefits

In some cases, when an employee is laid off, they may be entitled to a severance package or unemployment benefits. While these may not fully replace your previous income, use this as a crisitunity to explore new possibilities without immediate financial strain. Speak with Human Resources before your last day to determine what your options are and get clarity on the package your company will provide you.

5. New Opportunities and Career Growth

Sometimes, being laid off can lead to the crisitunity of new career paths you may not have considered before. You may find a role that aligns more closely with your interests, offers higher compensation, or provides you with better long-term prospects for growth and advancement.

Wherever you end up after a layoff, though, don’t let the realities of a layoff diminish your confidence in future employers. As Hunter notes, “Know that being laid off is common and very rarely has anything to do with your work performance or capabilities. Focus on the positive. Be confident about the work you did for your previous employer. Have ready proven examples of results achieved so that you can highlight them during interviews.”

She also adds, “Utilize technology to help you scope out the best career opportunities and pathways to connect to your next step. With the rise of ChatGPT and its capabilities, jobseekers can use this new technology to develop a stronger resume, understand their transferable skills if considering a career change, or even brush up on their interview skills. The possibilities are endless.”

The Bottom Line

Developing a crisitunity mindset can help you overcome and navigate even the toughest career challenges. As part of an overall growth mindset, a crisitunity mindset pushes you forward so you can identify solutions rather than dwell on feeling “stuck.” In many ways, having this positive mindset after a lay-off will determine how quickly you bounce back and how easily you align yourself with the right career opportunities.

Looking for further support to navigate a layoff and embrace this crisitunity? Learn how an Arootah Career Coach can support you.

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

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