Family life

Getting back on your feet after being laid off

Being fired is a tough part of your professional life. And no one is safe. Here is a little guide to deal with the transition.

It does not only happen to others. In our changing economy and with all the companies restructuring, job losses are multiplying. How can you absorb this shock and get back on your feet? Adecco helps you through the advice of Louis Verrault, a specialist on the matter.

Every day, Louis helps people, sometimes right after they have been fired. “Sometimes, we meet people in the minutes that follow their dismissal.” says Louis. These people are usually very upset. Our job is to bring them to focus on the actions to take in the hours and weeks that will follow. We are trying to help them focus on the positive aspects.”

The courage of telling everyone

The first step that requires a lot of courage is certainly telling everyone we know. Depending on the situation, some may be tempted to keep this event to themselves but Louis Verreault and his team do not encourage this behaviour. Instead, you should talk about it quickly to ensure the support of your family. If the person has access to an employee assistance program, it is also wise to consult a professional.

You must first talk to your partner about it and decide together how to tell the family. The best way to do so is to be honest and to talk frankly”, he says. After the announcement, it is appropriate to comfort the children if they are old enough to understand the situation. Simply reassure them on the fact that your daily life will continue as usual and that mommy will look for another job.

Besides, you must talk to your children about the importance of their help as you are seeking work, says the specialist. The person must talk openly about her process.”

Looking back

According to Louis Verreault, it is important for someone who lost a job to look forward instead of being stuck on the dismissal. “Thinking about the past creates bad energy, he says. It may seem cruel but you must quickly move forward even if the context is hurtful and seems unfair.”

The person must proceed to a thorough revision of her experiences, skills, abilities and contributions to her last employers. If the company offers it or if you have enough means, it is appropriate to get help from a counsellor in career shifts or transitions to see from a different angle. Otherwise, there are several free skills assessment tools available on job portals such as Jobboom, Workopolis, Monster, etc.

This review of skills allows focusing on strengths, experience and talent. This exercise leads to understand what we have to offer rather than being overwhelmed by doubts”, says the specialist. “Being laid off can lead to a lot of questioning even if it is caused by a restructuration. Some experience discouragement and other feel insecure regarding their skills. My goal is to make them see the situation as an opportunity for a new challenge in their career.”

A step towards the job you want

The next step consists in asking yourself about your perfect job and being in line with your skills, abilities and career. Therefore, you must think about your expectations towards the job that you are aiming for:

  • The type of industry and employer;
  • The corporate culture and work environment you seek;
  • The kind of relationship wanted with your boss and coworkers;
  • The level of responsibility that can be expected with your capacities and your family obligations;
  • Wanted working conditions;
  • Time allocated to go to and come back from work every day;
  • Work-family balance.

All these defined points must become objectives but you must keep in mind that you may have to compromise along the way”, says Louis Verreault. “That is why you must establish real priorities to see what expectations could eventually be sacrificed.”

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