The First 4 Things to Do If You’ve Just Been Laid Off


Redundancies are sweeping across major companies in Australia right now, including Meta, Twitter, Amazon and Salesforce. If you are sadly among those affected by the lay-offs, you may be wondering what to do next.

“The first thing to do is to remind yourself – it was your position that was stood down, not you,” says Leah Lambart, career coach at Relaunch Me. “Know that this is not personal — it’s the result of a business decision and has nothing to do with you as a person. Redundancies are common, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Next, take some time out and be kind to yourself, says Lambart. Being made redundant can cause a range of emotions and it’s to be expected that you will feel like you are on a bit of a rollercoaster for a few weeks or even months depending on how long you have been in the role and your situation, she says.

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Finally, Lambart says, don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone adapts to change differently, and some employees experiencing redundancy will cope better than others.

All that said, if you are feeling overwhelmed and are unsure of what specific steps to take next, Lambart shares five things to do to ensure you’re on track for a more stable transition period while you re-evaluate and no doubt, once again find success.

Readjust Your Mindset

“It’s important to readjust your mindset so that you can accept what has happened and start to move forward without feeling angry or betrayed,” says Lambart. “Sometimes we need to give ourselves time to process before we are ready to move on.”

Lambart notes that the job market can be tough, so you need to be in the right headspace before you start ‘selling’ yourself to future employers.

List Out Your Accomplishments

Before re-entering the job market, ensure your application documents are best-practice, says Lambart. This means that you have a resume that’s in a contemporary format, clearly articulates your key skills and achievements, and is tailored to your ideal next role.

“In order to develop a resume that sells your achievements, then it’s important to document what you have achieved in your previous role as soon as possible,” says Lambart.

“Don’t leave it too long to do this, as the longer you are out of a position, the harder it is to recall what value you brought to the company. Not only will it mean they are fresh in your mind, but even by going through the process you will start to build confidence.”

Take Some Time to Think About What You Want

Next, know that sometimes when people panic after being made redundant and accept the first role that comes along next, they wind up making a mistake, says Lambart. You can avoid doing this by taking some time to really think about what you want out of your next position, she adds.

“A great way of doing this is to reflect on your previous roles and document what tasks or activities energised you and which drained you,” she says. “When you feel energised at work, this is usually because you are using your natural strengths while draining work often means you are trying to overcome weaknesses.”

To avoid taking the first job that come along, Lambart suggests spending some time writing down responses to these questions:

  • What key skills do I want to use?
  • What sort of people do I want to work with?
  • What sort of manager would I work best with?
  • What sort of flexibility am I looking for?
  • How do I prefer to work – in the office, at home or hybrid?
  • What sort of responsibility am I seeking?
  • What career progression opportunities am I seeking?
  • What commute am I prepared to do?
  • What is my ideal salary range?

“By answering these questions, you are already setting some criteria for your ideal role,” says Lambart. “This will avoid you taking a position that is completely wrong for your, or will ensure that you know what you are compromising on before accepting an offer.”

Keep Up Your Routine

Finally, it’s crucial you keep up your routine after being made redundant so you have purpose to your day, says Lambart. She suggests setting yourself some tasks, whether they be job search-related or not, so that you have a reason to get up and get active.

“Find time to complete some activities that you know will energise you and build your confidence,” she says.

“A round of golf with some great friends, heading to the movies with the girls or taking time out to go for a run will keep your energy levels up and get you into the right headspace to commence your job search. Regular exercise, good sleep and a healthy diet will also help you stay focused and on track to finding your next role.”

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