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What to Do When Laid Off If I’m Over 40

Experiencing a layoff is difficult at any age.  Although not a reflection of your self worth or value to a company, a layoff does cause a plethora of emotions.  You may be wondering what to do when laid off at 40.  Just remember that it’s not the end of the world but rather a chance to walk through the door to new opportunities.  Take some time to evaluate where you’d like to be and what you’d like to be doing in your next role before you jump into job hunting.  

What to Do If You Lose Your Job in Your 50s

By age 50, it’s likely that you’ve learned a thing or two about your industry.  So, although this loss may prove challenging, you’re already at an advantage with skills and experience that others may not have considering your tenor.  Think about what it is that you bring to the table.  What have you achieved in your career thus far and what are you looking to still achieve?  How can a fresh start lend itself to being in your favor in seeing these things come to fruition?  Use these questions to drive you into your next opportunity.

What to Do When Laid Off at 60

You might be wondering what it is you should do being close to retirement, but not quite there yet.  Don’t let this experience intimidate you.  Hopefully over the years you have been able to prepare for your future and secure your financial stability.  If you aren’t quite sure if you’re ready to call it quits, talk with a financial advisor about your best options.  Then, should you decide to continue in your career, start by reaching out to the network you’ve built over the years.  Use this time to explore other career possibilities and remember that you have leverage when it comes to introducing yourself to a future employer – your extensive experience.  Be flexible, as many things have likely changed since you last interviewed.  

Does Being Laid Off Look Bad on a Resume?

The short answer is, no.  Most companies understand that layoffs are necessary and have likely experienced some in their past. Knowing that it has to do less with you and more with the stability of the company is perhaps your biggest selling point.  Just be sure in an interview you remain positive, talk openly about the experience, but try not to find yourself speaking negatively about your previous employer.  If you’re confident in your strengths and what you bring to the table, it’s likely they will be too!

How to Handle Getting Laid Off

There are a number of emotional stages of being laid off at work.  But it’s important to handle the situation effectively in order to use it as a catalyst to building a better future.  Once you’ve assessed all your rights and understand what this layoff looks like for you in terms of severance and benefits, you’ll want to apply for unemployment.  Update your resume, connect with your network and consider hiring a staffing agency to help you find the best fit.   

Remember, a layoff isn’t the end of the world.  You may have lost your job but you still have your skills and experience to take with you as you move forward with your career. The psychological effects of being laid off at work can be experienced at any age so whether you’re 40, 50 or 60, it’s important to remain grounded and not get overwhelmed.  If you approach the situation with grace and a positive attitude, you may just enter this next phase of your career with excitement!


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