+603 27033228/+61 420457883

After being Laid off in HR, What Next?
After being Laid off in HR, What Next?

After being Laid off in HR, What Next?

You have just received the news that you’ve just been laid off or retrenched. It’s terrible news. Despite the cause, it’s a shocking event that can leave you in a state of emotional trauma. It might not be the case that your HR leaders or senior management team are callous, but the reality of the prevailing circumstances resulted in the need for downsizing the workforce. The COVID-19 global pandemic has only driven many businesses to this.

Whether you’ve just been laid off  in HR or are wondering what you can do in case of a potential job loss, you don’t have to panic. It is a difficult process to cope with, if the HR department has crossed their ‘T’s’ and dotted their ‘I’s. The process should be made simpler and smoother for employees that would be affected.

How to Cope with the Effects of Layoffs

Beyond the emotional effect of the action, you should be more concerned about how to handle yourself, as a strategic HRM personnel. This article is aimed at helping you cope with the effects of layoffs, while also minimizing the risks that come with them.

Check Out Your Eligibility for a Severance Package and Benefits

Depending on the length of employment, employers usually pay employees that are laid off, severance pay (or benefits). (Note that this is a different case from unlawful dismissal). The most important thing is to negotiate a good severance package for yourself.

Understand what provisions exist for you under the law and opportunities you may have through Government subsidies as well. Get all the administrative items worked out before your departure to avoid future hassles and delays. Note that severance benefits are usually a one-time lump or for a limited period, however, the financial position of the business also will impact what is being distributed.

Try to Get Recommendations and References

There is no doubt that getting laid off in HR is a painful experience. Affected employees tend to relapse into anger and hatred for their bosses. The moment you take a new job, you should always be ready for anything. Rather than take a distance from your boss or employer, it is important that you try as much as possible to get good recommendations from them.

It is not surprising that some organizations or employers would not offer you an opportunity to work with them without requesting to speak with your former employer. What if you had ruined your chances of getting positive recommendations from possible references? You may also have to request your performance reviews. These are important when you are updating your resume in search of another job.

Get Assistance Finding a New Role

If you’re lucky enough to get laid off in a company that provides outplacement services, then you stand a good chance of having a smooth transition. You may not know the kind of support your organization can offer you if you do not make inquiries. Ask about the form of support, the kind of career coaching you are eligible for, and how long it will last.

Some company policies may allow you to apply for other positions internally, though after a certain waiting period. This is especially if you were not laid off as a result of performance issues. Others may provide you with future opportunities to work with the company. In fact, your company may also be kind enough to allow you to use its facilities for a period while you get another job. Would you consider pro bono work to keep yourself engaged?

Update Your Resume and Profile

After you might have recovered from the negative effect of the loss, it is time to be on the search for another job. The search starts with your resume. Focus on customizing your profile and make it targeted to each role that you see rather than having a generic vanilla flavor. Applying for roles and profiling yourself should not be a one size fits all approach.

Do not make this a laborious process! Give the level of importance to the vacant position and company as you would expect in return. Have your profile short and succinct with a focus on situation, task, action and results (quantifiable results). Get on LinkedIn, update your profile and focus on your achievements.

Write up a blog from your experiential achievements and share this with your network. It is a platform with the largest recruitment opportunities and you need to get noticed. Get connected with your managers and colleagues. Send an invitation to them, ask for recommendations and endorsements. You never can tell when you would require their help.

Invest in Yourself by Getting Upskilled

Considering the fact that the business world is characterized by competition, it is important that you have an edge over other employees or prospects. One of the ways of achieving this is by making yourself invaluable with your skills. Usually, organizations tend to determine who to retain or lay off based on economic situations and skills possessed by employees.

To this end, those without any significant economic impact risk being disengaged. Get a professional degree and you could stand a better chance of getting another job. As an HRM practitioner, you could get additional qualifications, including graduate programs. This could be masters in human resource management or an HR course in Malaysia with International certification.


In summary, nobody seems to know the future in the present. Sometimes, your future at work, especially as it relates to job retention, may be gloomy. External environmental and economic factors and effects are beyond your control and sadly may have such consequences as losing your job. Irrespective of the cause, job loss can cause grief and dissatisfaction. While it may be unavoidable sometimes, it is imperative to anticipate it so as to be in a stable position when it eventually occurs.

Take advantage of our complimentary career assessment and coaching, contact us on the details below. To develop yourself into an HR business partner, we provide a number of graduate programs in Human Resource Management. The graduate program focuses on the evolution of the HR field as well as how its knowledge can be adapted to organizational strategy.

Author picture

Dr. Roy is the Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer and holds responsibility for the overall strategic management & leadership in achieving the graduate schools’ vision & goals. His own belief for lifelong learning, as well as his drive for business management excellence, has brought him to achieving his passion for being part of the postgraduate education sector in Malaysia.

Dr Roy Prasad

(Hon Professor) FInstAM 

MHRM (MY), Grad Mgt (AU)

Group Managing Director &
Chief Executive Officer

Recent Posts