How to Handle being Laid Off

Published by Lora Lopez on

Being laid off can lead you into a spiral of different emotions like shock or grief. Most won’t even know how or where to start. Regardless if you have worked for that company for years or just months, chances are the feelings would all be the same —- the overwhelming panic, anxiety and fear. Here are steps you can take to get through this challenging phase.

Filing for unemployment

Make sure to file a claim on your unemployment insurance or involuntary separation benefit from SSS. If granted, an SSS member may have a temporary source of income while he or she is on the process of finding a new job. Get in touch with SSS about the unemployment insurance programs even before the last day of work in your company as some cases may require more waiting time before it can be claimed. Also check if  you have provided accurate and complete information so that your claim won’t get delayed.

Discussing the terms of your severance pay 

Just like how you negotiated your salary when you were interviewed for the position, you can also negotiate about your severance pay. When the company discusses your termination and presents you the severance agreement papers, remember that you are not obligated to sign it right away. Give yourself enough time to review what they offer and see if you there’s anything you want to negotiate about the agreement to make it fair and reasonable for you.

Reviewing the legality of your situation

Once you have signed the documents and agreed to all that is written there, you give up your right to complain or sue the company, releasing them from any potential lawsuit from you. It’s important for them that you understood and accepted their offer and that you do not want to get lawyers involved. Remember that there is no law that requires employers to provide severance pay, however, most companies still offer it to their employees when they are laid off as compensation. If you are not sure about your current situation, you may opt to ask opinions from a lawyer especially if there are not clear reasons given or you think you have been terminated for reasons like unfair discrimination.


Your next move should be to review your current expenses and resources to determine your financial needs. Don’t depend on your severance pay for your current needs as it may take a month or more before they can give it to you. Budget carefully and avoid unnecessary expenditures so that you can get through this phase smoothly and still be able to pay bills and provide for yourself and for your family. If you have filed your unemployment insurance early, it will also help during this time. Make sure you have a clear view of your situation so you can avoid ending up bankrupt.

Start networking and job searching

It’s truly a challenging time for you as you render your last working days in your company, but you can start networking and updating your resume as early as now. Nowadays, it’s quite easier to do job searching. You can check newspapers or use job portals (like Jobsprobe!) to find job positions you may be interested in. You can try to search similar positions to your current one or use this chance to venture out in a new field. Ask your bosses or colleagues if they can be your character reference. Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends for job openings they might know, as they will surely be more than happy to help you out so that you can land a new job soon. 

The earlier you apply in other companies, the earlier you might get invited for job interviews. It would also decrease your time of potentially being unemployed, unless you wish to take a break first. But if you are going to live on limited resources, it’s best to apply for jobs as soon as possible.

Don’t be afraid to start over and move on

Last but not the least, remind yourself to not take it personally and to let go of any negative feelings towards the company or the situation. It’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay to miss your computer, office chair, your colleagues, your boss, or anything you loved a lot during your stay in the company but remember that this isn’t the end. You can always keep in touch with them.

You might be afraid to start over or cling to the anxiety that came with you being laid off from your current work. Do your best to focus on the positive. Don’t be afraid to explore more with a possible new job position or finding another company that can help you grow. This will lead you to new experiences and surroundings.

As long as you stay calm and take these important steps, the feeling of being lost and uncertain about the future will slowly fade away. And as you transition to the next chapter of your life, keep in mind that these kind of situations is not the end of your entire work career. Don’t give up and keep going! 

Categories: Career Advice

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