1. What does being laid off mean?
  2. How to cope with being laid off?
  3. Is Being Laid Off The Same As Getting Fired?
  4. Layoffs vs. Getting Fired
  5. How to Handle Getting Laid Off?
  6. What NOT To Do During a Layoff?
  7. FAQs

Being laid off can be an impactful professional setback that may affect your confidence and spirits, and make you doubt yourself! But is being laid off truly a reflection of your skills and abilities?

The answer is NO!

A layoff is the involuntary termination of employment initiated by the employer due to company restructuring, downsizing, budget cuts, or other such situations resulting in the elimination of previously relevant positions.

More often than not, layoffs have nothing to do with your performance but with that of the company. However, it is crucial to deal with it properly.

What does being laid off mean?

Being laid off, also known as being made redundant or losing one's job, is the involuntary termination of employment initiated by the employer rather than the employee.

Unlike being fired, which is often due to performance issues or misconduct on the part of the employee, being laid off is usually not a reflection of the employee's job performance.

Instead, it is a decision made by the employer based on business needs or external circumstances.

Being laid off can have various implications, including the loss of income, benefits, and job security but that doesn't take away from the fact that being laid off can be a challenging and stressful experience.

However, the silver lining is that it presents an opportunity to reassess career goals, explore new opportunities, and adapt to changes in the job market.

How to cope with being laid off?

Coping with being laid off can be emotionally and mentally challenging, but with the right strategy, you can navigate this difficult period and move forward positively:

Allow Yourself to Feel

It is normal to experience a range of emotions, including shock, anger, sadness, and anxiety, when facing job loss.

Allow yourself to acknowledge and process these emotions rather than suppressing them. Talk to friends, family members, or a therapist about your feelings to gain support and perspective.

Maintain a Routine

Establishing a routine can provide structure and stability during a period of uncertainty.

Set regular wake-up and bedtime hours, dress up, get some workout, schedule time for job searching, networking, and self-care activities, and stick to a consistent routine to maintain a sense of normalcy.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

Prioritize self-care activities such as exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep to support your physical well-being.

Regular physical activity can help reduce stress, boost mood, and improve overall health, so incorporate activities like walking, jogging, yoga, or meditation into your daily routine.

Network and Find Your Support System

Lean on your support system of friends, family, and professional contacts for emotional support and encouragement.

Stay connected with former colleagues, mentors, and industry peers through networking events, social media, and virtual meetups to maintain relationships and access potential job opportunities.

Manage Your Finances

Explore available financial resources and support options to help alleviate financial strain during your job search.

Review your finances and identify expenses, liabilities, and areas where you can cut costs and conserve savings.

Make a monthly plan to manage investments and make sure you adhere to the budget.

Focus on Personal Development

Use this time as an opportunity for personal growth and development.

Invest in yourself by pursuing further education, acquiring new skills, or exploring hobbies and interests that you've neglected due to work commitments.

Engaging in meaningful activities outside of job searching can boost confidence and self-esteem.

Set Realistic Goals

Establish realistic and achievable goals for your job search and career transition. Break down your objectives into manageable steps and create a timeline to track your progress.

Celebrate small victories along the way to stay motivated and focused on your long-term goals.

Maintain a Positive Outlook

While it is natural to feel discouraged at times, try to maintain a positive outlook and remain optimistic about the future.

Focus on the opportunities for growth and reinvention that come with job loss, and believe in your ability to overcome challenges and find success in your next endeavor.

With these coping strategies, individuals can navigate the emotional and practical challenges of being laid off and emerge stronger, more resilient, and better prepared for future career opportunities.

Is Being Laid Off The Same As Getting Fired?

Being laid off and being fired are both forms of job termination, but they differ significantly in the circumstances surrounding the event and the implications for the employee.

Layoffs typically occur due to factors beyond the employee's control, such as company restructuring, downsizing, or financial constraints.

It is often a result of economic or organizational reasons rather than the employee's performance or conduct.

On the contrary, being fired usually occurs due to performance issues, misconduct, or violation of company policies, reflecting the employee's actions or shortcomings.

The implications of being laid off versus being fired also vary. Laid-off employees may be eligible for unemployment benefits, severance packages, or other forms of assistance to help them transition to new employment.

Additionally, being laid off is generally viewed as a result of economic circumstances rather than personal failings, potentially mitigating the stigma associated with job loss.

On the other hand, employees who are fired typically do not qualify for unemployment benefits and may not receive severance pay, depending on the circumstances of their termination.

Being fired can also have long-term consequences for the employee's professional reputation and future job prospects, as it may raise questions about their reliability, integrity, or competence.

In short, while both being laid off and being fired result in the end of employment, they differ in the reasons for termination, the potential support available to the employee, and the perception of the circumstances surrounding the job separation.

Layoffs vs. Getting Fired

Aspect Being Laid Off Being Fired
Reason Typically due to company reasons (e.g., downsizing, restructuring, budget cuts) Usually due to employee performance issues, misconduct, or violation of company policies
Implications May be eligible for unemployment benefits, severance packages, or assistance Typically not eligible for unemployment benefits, may not receive severance pay, negative impact on future employment prospects
Perception Viewed as a result of economic or organizational factors, less stigmatized Often perceived as more serious and consequential, may raise questions about employee reliability or professionalism

This table highlights the key differences between being laid off and being fired, including the reasons for termination, the potential implications for the employee, and the perception of the circumstances surrounding the job separation.

How to Handle Getting Laid Off?

Dealing with a layoff can seem like a setback and overcoming it can take some effort. Here are some steps you can follow to get started on the right note:

Assess and Reflect

When you are laid off, it is natural to feel a range of emotions, including shock, disappointment, and uncertainty about the future.

However, it is essential to channel these feelings into a constructive evaluation of your career path.

Take the time to reflect on your previous roles, responsibilities, and achievements. Consider what aspects of your work you enjoyed the most and where you excelled.

Also, identify any areas where you may want to develop new skills or gain additional experience. This self-assessment will help you gain clarity on your career goals and preferences, guiding your job search strategy.

Update Your Resume

Your resume can be the most effective tool to get you a new job. So, invest some time in building an impactful and preferably, ATS-friendly resume.

Tailor your resume to highlight the skills and experiences most relevant to the types of roles you are targeting.

Use action verbs and quantifiable achievements to demonstrate your impact in previous positions in addition to drafting an impressionable career objective.

You can also draft a cover letter to attach along with your applications to the recruiters.

In case you have been laid off for more than 3 months, consider adding a "Career Break"  section. Here, mention your upskilling efforts, freelance projects, or professional advancement of any sort.

This will give the recruiter some clarity on your career journey and help them understand how you have utilized this gap.

Focus on Networking

Networking can be a game-changer when on a job hunt. With the right connections, you can access good opportunities and boost your chances of getting hired quickly.

To make this happen, start by optimizing your social networking profiles. Add a professional summary that reflects your career objectives, and an updated work history, with a clear headline, summary, and relevant keywords to attract recruiters and hiring managers.

These updates will help your visibility and attract potential employers and hiring managers.

Read Some benefits of networking

Once your profile has been updated, follow these steps:

  1. Engage Actively: Regularly share insightful content, comment on posts, and participate in relevant industry groups to establish your expertise and visibility among peers and potential employers.
  2. Connect Strategically: Reach out to professionals in your desired industry or companies of interest with personalized connection requests, citing mutual interests or shared connections to foster meaningful relationships.
  3. Attend Virtual Events: Participate in virtual events, webinars, and networking sessions to engage with industry experts, expand your network, and discover new job opportunities.
  4. Utilize Advanced Search: Leverage advanced search filters to identify and connect with professionals in specific industries, roles, or geographic locations, increasing your chances of finding relevant job openings and securing referrals.

Building and leveraging your professional network is critical during a job search, especially after a layoff.

Reach out to former colleagues, mentors, and industry contacts to inform them of your situation and express your interest in exploring new opportunities.

Networking is a powerful tool for uncovering hidden job opportunities and accessing the "hidden job market" where many positions are filled through referrals and personal connections.

Upskill and Invest in Professional Development

Make the most of this time by upskilling and learning more about your industry. Here's what you can do:

  1. Identify Skill Gaps: Take stock of the skills that are in demand in your industry or desired role. Look for common skills listed in job postings or talk to professionals in your network about emerging trends.
  2. Enroll in Online Courses: Utilize online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or LinkedIn Learning to access courses on topics relevant to your career goals. Choose courses that will enhance your existing skills or introduce you to new areas of expertise.
  3. Attend Workshops and Seminars: Look for workshops, seminars, or webinars offered by industry associations, professional organizations, or local colleges. These events often cover timely topics and provide opportunities for networking with other professionals.
  4. Pursue Certifications: Consider earning certifications that are recognized in your field and demonstrate your expertise to potential employers. Research certification programs offered by reputable organizations and assess their relevance to your career objectives.

Explore Alternative Career Paths

While it may seem hard to maintain a positive outlook in a stressful situation like being laid off, embracing this challenge can lead to newfound opportunities, sometimes taking you on career journeys that you wouldn't explore otherwise.

While you look for opportunities in your domain, focus on staying resilient, personal growth, and unexpected opportunities for career advancement.

Start by assessing transferable skills. Identify the skills and experiences from your previous roles that can be applied to different industries or positions.

Consider how your strengths in areas such as communication, problem-solving, or project management could translate to new career paths.

Apart from that, spend some time studying market trends and identifying growing industries.

Explore industries that are experiencing growth or undergoing transformation.

Look for sectors with promising job prospects and opportunities for advancement.

Conduct informational interviews with professionals in these industries to gain insights into potential career paths and check out resources like Naukri's JobSpeak reports to stay up-to-date on hiring trends!

In the meantime, Seek Temporary or Freelance Work through freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr to find short-term projects or contract opportunities.

Create a compelling profile highlighting your skills and experience, and actively search for projects that match your expertise.

You can also try networking with freelancers in your industry or niche to learn about potential job opportunities and collaborate on projects.

Join online communities, forums, or networking groups where freelancers share insights, resources, and job leads.

By implementing these strategies, you can enhance your skills, explore new career paths, and create opportunities for temporary or freelance work to sustain you during your job search.

What NOT To Do During a Layoff?

When laid off, it's important to avoid certain actions that could hinder your ability to rebound effectively. Here is what not to do:

Panic or React Impulsively: Reacting impulsively out of panic or frustration can lead to decisions that may not serve your best interests in the long run. Avoid making rash decisions about your career or financial situation without careful consideration.

Burn Bridges: Resentment or frustration about being laid off may tempt you to burn bridges with former employers or colleagues. However, maintaining professional relationships is crucial for networking and potential future opportunities. Avoid speaking negatively about your previous employer or coworkers, both in person and on social media.

Isolate Yourself: While it's natural to want to retreat during a challenging time, isolating yourself can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and despair. Seek support from friends, family, or support groups to help you cope with the emotional impact of job loss.

Neglect Self-Care: Neglecting your physical and emotional well-being during a period of transition can hinder your ability to cope effectively. Avoid neglecting self-care activities such as exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate rest. Engage in activities that promote relaxation and stress relief, such as meditation, hobbies, or spending time outdoors.

Delaying Action: While taking time to process your emotions is important, delaying action indefinitely can prolong your job search and financial strain. Avoid procrastinating on updating your resume, networking, or exploring new career opportunities. Set realistic goals and timelines to keep yourself accountable and motivated.

Ignoring Financial Planning: Job loss can have significant financial implications, so it's essential to address your financial situation proactively. Avoid ignoring your finances or living beyond your means. Create a budget, assess your expenses, and explore options such as unemployment benefits or financial assistance programs to help you weather the transition period.

Settling for Less: While the urgency of finding a new job may be pressing, avoid settling for a position that doesn't align with your long-term career goals or values. Take the time to evaluate job offers carefully, considering factors such as salary, benefits, company culture, and growth opportunities.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can navigate the challenges of being laid off more effectively and position yourself for a successful transition to your next career opportunity.


How do you react when getting laid off?
When getting laid off, reactions can vary greatly depending on the individual. Some may experience shock, sadness, or anger initially. It's important to allow yourself to process these emotions while also considering your next steps calmly and rationally.

How do you cope when you are laid off?
Coping with being laid off involves a combination of emotional resilience and practical strategies. It's important to acknowledge and validate your feelings, seek support from friends and family, maintain a routine, engage in self-care activities, and focus on finding new opportunities.

What is the meaning of to get laid off?
To get laid off means to be involuntarily terminated from employment by the employer, typically due to factors such as company restructuring, downsizing, or budget cuts. It differs from being fired, which is often related to performance issues or misconduct on the part of the employee.

Is it laid off or layed off?
The correct term is laid off. Layed off is a common misspelling. Laid off is the past tense and past participle of the phrasal verb to lay off, meaning to dismiss or terminate someone's employment.

How can I be positive after a layoff?
Being positive after a layoff involves reframing the situation as an opportunity for growth and reinvention. Focus on the aspects of your life that you can control, such as updating your resume, networking, and acquiring new skills. Practice self-care, maintain a support system, set realistic goals, and stay optimistic about the possibilities that lie ahead.

Career Advice Career Wellness