Having your job eliminated is one of the worst hardships to endure. Regardless of how it’s described — layoffs, pink slips, furloughs, or the more politically correct term, downsized, it’s an unpleasant experience that never gets any easier. Especially for those who have experienced an unexpected job loss multiple times in their career. At FranNet of DFW & Oklahoma, we decided to blog about the experience due to the current economic uncertainty. The U.S. itself may be on the doorstep of a recession, and unfortunately, one of the most common reactions from Corporate America is to downsize its workforce.
If you’ve ever experienced a layoff or fear you may be vulnerable to such a scenario, you should understand that it’s not the end of the world. In many cases, the elimination of your job may have nothing to do with your performance as an employee. Downsizing is simply a way for companies to cut costs quickly and protect the long-term viability of their operations. So, keep your chin up and focus on these nine important things to do right away, if and when it happens to you.
- Request an exit interview – if you aren’t offered this opportunity, it’s important to request a meeting with your supervisor or HR department. Not only will you have the opportunity to discuss the reason for having your job eliminated, but you’ll also be apprised of your options if your employer is inclined to assist you through the transition period
- File for unemployment benefits – if you qualify, and your financial situation dictates an immediate need, it’s advisable to file for unemployment payments. You may not need it, but you’ve paid into the support of this program your entire career. You can begin the online process by following this link for the state of Texas, and this link for Oklahoma
- Take a moment to process your situation – getting laid off can be a chaotic time. It’s a massive disruption in your life that can have an immense ripple effect on you and your loved ones. It’s OK to take a moment to pause and give yourself time to process what’s happened
- Consider all of your options – most people’s immediate reaction is to secure another similar job right away, a natural response for career-minded individuals. But swapping out one job for the next may not be in your own best interests. A career transition can be just that – a transition. Perhaps to do something entirely different. Believe in your potential and worth enough to consider all of your options
- Talk it out – being downsized often triggers an emotional reaction. And this is a time to seek the counsel of others to share your feelings, fears, and hopes. The worst thing you can do is bottle up your feelings and refuse to accept the situation for what it is
- Tighten your budget – hopefully, your period of unemployment will be brief, regardless of your decisions as you process the period of transition. But either way, it’s important to get a read on your financial situation and how you’ll continue to support yourself and your loved ones until the next chapter begins
- Network! – one of the smartest career transitional moves is to network as much as possible. This is a time to ask for introductions, to “name-drop,” and to make new acquaintances. So, make that call. Go to that support group meeting. Attend that webinar. And make appointments to meet with those who can help
- Refuse to limit yourself – never stop believing that you’re a person of worth and value. Career transition periods can be quite revelatory, provided we accept the fact that there are new opportunities ahead of us – even entrepreneurial ones
- Take back control – you’re the master of your own destiny and you make the rules. It may be possible that a layoff is your sign to regain control of your career. Whether you’ve harbored entrepreneurial thoughts before or not, if there’s ever a time for you to consider taking charge, this is it
Each of these recommendations is a highly advisable course of action, and if you have a favorite one, let us know. We can certainly reveal ours – it’s No. 9! Because that’s the kind of coaching we provide our entrepreneurial clients. Losing your job unexpectedly is undoubtedly a traumatic experience. But it can also be your finest hour. We recommend asking yourself two key questions: Why not me? Why not now?
If you’ve been thinking about business ownership, we’d like to hear from you. We are uniquely qualified to match your potential with the possibilities that come from small business ownership through franchising. All you have to do is let FranNet of DFW & Oklahoma be your guide. Our no-cost, no-obligation consultations have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs in North Texas and Oklahoma secure a future that belongs to them and them alone. If you’d like to get started on your own entrepreneurial journey, we’d love to introduce you to a whole new world of possibilities through franchise ownership.