Survive a Layoff Like a Pro

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Like an actor or actress on a canceled TV show, the actors and crew are seldom the direct cause of a show's cancelation, but they lose their jobs anyway because production of the show ends. Usually, companies begin layoffs to reduce expenses - and, hopefully as a result, profits increase so they can survive. Sometimes it works, and the employer survives. Sometimes it doesn't work, and the employer shuts down any way with more jobs lost. Don't assume that your job is "safe" even if your boss has assured you that it is. Set up your LinkedIn profile unless your employer doesn't allow that.

Moving to another job with a different employer is often a good idea. But job hunting while you still have a job isn't easy. Employers often fire an employee who is discovered job hunting, and, with technology used today, discovering you are job hunting is easier than ever before. The safest and smartest approach is to search from home, using your own equipment and network.

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Your job search may be discovered if you search from work using your employer's computers, smart phone, Internet connection, or WiFi for your job search. Read Guide to a Stealth Job Search for ideas on how to keep your job search quiet but still effective. Until you find a new job, resist the feeling that you should just quit your existing job so you can focus on finding a new job. Being unemployed can put you at a disadvantage in the job market. Employers prefer to hire someone who is currently employed -- the thinking is that someone else likes your work, so it must be good.

If you quit, you lose that advantage. Quitting your job can also mean that you won't be able to collect unemployement compensation. So you will have zero income. Layoffs are survivable. YOU will survive, if you are laid off. Millions of people have moved on, even moved up, in their careers after being laid off.

Five Ways to Survive a Layoff |

I've been laid off twice, and, looking back, those layoffs lead me to where I am today. Online job search expert Susan P. Does six weeks sound like a long time? Even if you saw the end coming, a layoff can be emotionally jarring.

Layoffs That Don’t Break Your Company

Then, make like Taylor Swift and shake it off! Take some time to do things that make you feel good. Take a hike with a friend.

Surviving a Layoff - Trusting Things will Work Out

Spend a day reading a book on the beach. Get a pedicure or a massage. Sleep in.

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Self-care at this stage is very important, as it will help you be your best self when you launch your job search. Getting all of your paperwork ducks in a row will help keep you calm. Knowing that your healthcare is covered and understanding your monthly unemployment budget will help you focus on getting a new — and better — job.

Formulate a short speech that succinctly explains why you lost your job and what you hope to do next.

Practical Steps to cope with a Current or Future Layoff

This explanation should be brief, simple, and upbeat. Never dwell on the negatives or lament the problems caused by the layoffs. Keep things positive.

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You never know when you might be speaking to a potential employer. Rehearse delivering your explanation until it feels natural. Whether you hope to find a job similar to the one you lost or plan to make a career change, a new resume is always in order after a layoff. Update your resume to include your most recent role, highlighting the skills you acquired and your most notable accomplishments. Wherever possible, include numbers in your resume to back up your accomplishments.