The Carr Report: What to do if you lose your job? 

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I recently spoke to a friend of mine who’s been working with the same company for the last 27 years. She’s a hardworking, dedicated employee who started at the bottom. She currently holds a management position. She’s aghast after hearing that she and several other employees with this company have been laid off, effective immediately. Her words to me were, “I never thought I’d be 60 years old looking for a job.” 

At the time of this writing, we’re in the midst of an economy where the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates 11 times in an effort to stave off inflation. One of the many consequences of raising interest is an increase in unemployment. Rising interest rates discourage companies to expand business and add new employees. Rising interest rates also reduce demand and company’s profit. Reduction in demand and profit causes the inevitable—company downsizing. As a result, over the last several months, we’ve witnessed various companies announcing layoffs. Here’s a few of the many companies who have announced layoffs and the number of people impacted in 2023, according to CNN Business: 

  • Microsoft—10,000 
  • Goldman Sachs—3,200 
  • Sales Force—7,000 
  • Alphabet (Google)—12,000 
  • Amazon—27,000 
  • Dell—6,500 
  • Boeing—2,000 
  • Zoom—1,300 
  • Indeed—2,200 
  • Accenture—19,000 
  • Disney—7,000 
  • Meta (Facebook)—10,000 
  • Walmart—2,000 

Back in 2016, I was working as a manager for one the largest banks in America. I recall senior management asking all managers to stack rank all of our direct reports based on performance. It wasn’t too much longer after stack ranking our direct reports that this company began to experience a reduction in workforce. Going through this reduction in workforce was a very unsettling experience. During this time, it seemed like every three months on a Wednesday, people were being tapped on their shoulders and being asked to go to a conference room for “a meeting.” In this conference room, executive management and human resources personnel announced to the group in the meeting that they were being displaced. They explained the severance package that they were being awarded. They were then told to pack up their personal belongings and exit the building immediately.  

It was very sad and depressing observing our co-workers who were impacted by the layoffs return to their desks to pack their belongings, hug co-workers, and say their final goodbyes. After each layoff, the morale amongst those employees still employed was low. This impacted work production. It took months to motivate staff to get back up to speed. As soon as staff got back up to speed, we experienced another round of layoffs. The writing was on the wall. This company is moving away from this particular line of business.  

Ironically, I was sitting at my desk updating my resume when I was tapped on my shoulder to go to “the meeting.” Although I had a feeling layoff was inevitable, I still wasn’t ready for the experience of being laid off.  

Losing a job can be a challenging and stressful experience, both emotionally and financially. It’s important to know that you are not alone in this journey. Many individuals, including myself, have faced similar situations and have successfully navigated their way to finding new opportunities. Being let go can be an opportunity for growth, reflection, and even an exciting new direction in one’s career.  Here are some practical steps to take when you find yourself without a job: 

Processing the News 

Stay Calm: Emotions can run high. Whether it’s anger, sadness, or disbelief, it’s crucial to stay cool, calm and collected. Give yourself time to process the information.   

Understand the Reasons: If you’re a part of a smaller group of people being laid off from work, the reason why may not be so obvious. Ask for clarity on the reasons for the termination. This can be essential for unemployment benefits and future job applications. 


Financial Adjustments 

Assess Your Finances: This is crucial and should be one of the first things you do after the shock and emotion of losing your job has subsided. Review your savings and expenses. Determine how long your savings can sustain you during this transitional period. Create a new budget and lifestyle that reflects your change in income. 

Severance Pay:  If offered, review the terms of your severance package carefully. Consult with a financial advisor if unsure. 

Unemployment Benefits: Check the eligibility requirements in your state or country and apply immediately, as there can be waiting periods. Unemployment can provide a temporary safety net while you search for your next job. 


Health and Insurance 

Healthcare: If your health insurance was tied to your job, check how long you’re covered post-termination and look into options like COBRA or individual plans. 

Life and Disability Insurance:  Consider transitioning to a personal plan if these were provided through your employer. 



Inform Your Network:  Let your professional contacts know you’re looking for a job. They may be aware of open positions or provide referrals.  

Leverage Social Media: Polish your online presence.  Update your LinkedIn profile, join job search groups, and engage with industry professionals. Ensure your social media platform is up to date and portray a professional image. Use this platform to actively engage with professionals in your industry and stay connected with potential employers. 


Job Hunting 

Revamp Your Resume: Update your CV/resume, highlighting skills and recent accomplishments. Polish your resume and tailor it to the type of jobs you are interested in.    

Job Platforms:  Make job searching your full-time job. Regularly visit online job boards, company websites, and professional networking platforms to uncover new opportunities. Sign up or update profiles on job platforms like Indeed, Monster, or Glassdoor.   

Upskill and Enhance Your Knowledge: Use this time to invest in your personal and professional development. Consider short courses or certifications to enhance your skills, making you more marketable. 

Emotional Well-being: Take care of yourself. Losing a job can have an emotional toll. Prioritize self-care during this period. This will help you stay positive, motivated, and focused on your job search. 

Stay Positive:  Engage in activities that uplift your spirits. Exercise, meditate, or indulge in hobbies. 

Seek Support: Talk to friends, family, or consider professional counseling. A job loss can be emotionally taxing, and it’s essential to have support. 

Legalities and Final Checks 

Employee Rights: Familiarize yourself with employee rights in your region. Ensure you’ve been treated fairly and received all dues.   

Return Company Property: Ensure you return all company assets and clear out personal items from your workspace if applicable. 

Stay Positive and Persistent: Job searching can sometimes take longer than expected, so it’s important to stay positive and persistent. Rejections are a normal part of the process, so don’t get discouraged. Learn from each experience and keep moving forward. 

Remember, losing your job is just a temporary setback. By following these steps and remaining proactive, you can find new opportunities and embark on a new chapter in your care. 

(Damon Carr, Money Coach can be reached @ 412-216-1013 or visit his website @ 








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