I just ran across a pretty good Wall Street Journal article What To Do After a Layoff by Erin Chambers. Read it here.
Essentially, the advice is:
Don’t hide (this is tough).
Get a sense of energy and momentum.
Get your references in gear.
Line up the resources you’ll need: financial planners, career coaches, recruiters and even therapists. The article accurately points out that people tend to focus on economic factors, ignoring the psychological and social.
I’ve put together a small ebook about dealing with the immediate aftermath of layoff notices. Get it here.
I would also add, “Try to negotiate for additional severance.” Typically you’re offered a specific amount. While you’re getting the news, focus on asking (politely) for more.
When I read How Starbucks Saved My Life, I was struck by the author’s concern about getting referrals from his company. At the same time, the executive delivering the news was clearly uncomfortable. She knew he didn’t deserve to be fired. She was obeying orders.
This would have been a good time to say, “I understand how hard this must be for you. I realize it’s just business.
“But as you know, I’ve done a lot for the company. I’ve given up a lot of my time and will need to create some new opportunities. So I think it would be appropriate to get another six months…”
You might ask for six and compromise on three. It doesn’t always work. But I’m always surprised how often the firing firm says yes immediately or at least enters into some negotiation. You can even add a comment like, “And I will leave happy, appreciative and on good terms.” That’s code for, “I won’t make waves or sue you for age discrimination.”
There are no 100% guarantees of anything. But frankly I can’t see the downside to asking, nicely, for something more. As everyone will be saying, “It’s not personal. It’s business.”
Peter Quinn says
Hi. I am a long time reader. I wanted to say that I like your blog and the layout.