What should you do when you are in a career transition?

No matter who you are, a career transition or losing your job can be stressful. Immediately you start to worry about your income and financial wellbeing, you might question your value and you might be asking yourself, “Why was I the one they let go?” “What will I do next?” These are all normal questions to ask yourself. There are a few things that you should know and a few things you should and should not do when you get laid off or when you are transitioning careers.


What’s the difference between a career transition, being laid off and fired?

The difference is that being laid off is due to business circumstances and being fired is typically associated to performance issues. A career transition can be voluntary or involuntary change.  When you are laid off or you voluntarily are in a career transition, you typically have access to support services provided by your employer or by the state to help bridge your transition. When you are fired there are fewer resources available to you.

You might also hear that it’s easier to get a job when you voluntarily separate or get laid off then when you are fired. That may or may not be true. Here is some good advice on what you can do to manage leaving an employer when you know the relationship is not working out.

What should you do after you get laid off or start a transition in careers?

  1. Make sure that you understand what happens to your final paycheck, health insurance benefits and any other changes that will happen when you no longer work for that employer.
  2. Respond to unemployment, COBRA and retirement plan changes by the deadlines. You cannot miss deadlines, or you may miss out on eligibility for certain financial benefits. Learn more about your rights from your federal government. Here is information from the US Department of Labor.
  3. Ask for an exit interview with your hiring manager or HR if you have unanswered questions about why you were laid off.
  4. Figure out what you will do next to represent yourself in the job market. You have a lot of skills and natural abilities that can be used in in-demand jobs.


What shouldn’t you do after you get laid off or start a transition in careers?

  1. Don’t write a nasty gram or bad review on a public site. You might feel better temporarily, but it rarely will benefit you in the long term.
  2. Don’t take it personally. We know this is easier said than done. Business decisions have to be made that are uncomfortable for everyone, but they are necessary. It sucks to be the one let go, and there is no other way to explain the feeling. It is more important that you know that it isn’t because of who you are, it is because of business circumstances. Keep your head in the game and know that there are millions of employers that are hiring.
  3. Don’t wait too long before you start looking for your next job. For every increment of salary that you had, it will take you a certain amount of time to get a new job with a similar salary. For example, if you had a $10 job it might take you a few days to get new work. If you have a job that pays over $100,000 a year it might take you 9 months or longer to get a job
How to handle being laid off or the career transition?

How each person handles being laid off can vary by their family life, their financial savings and how in-demand their skills are in the job market. There are often illusions that because you are well connected that you can get a job quickly. Which sometimes gives people a false sense of security.

The best thing to do is talk with an experienced hiring professional before you make any quick plans to get back into the job market.

How can I put myself back into the job market?

There are so many options to produce an income. It really comes down to what your work-life goals are. You can use pepelwerk personalized career services to start rebuilding your work-life and make the process easier. You can also submit your resumes on job boards and start to work with staffing agencies.

There are things that you need to be aware of before you start sharing your personal information that can impact your wages, salary and work options. 

If you are looking for help to plan your work-life goals and get your next goal job, download the app or create your account and choose the experiences that best fit your needs. 

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