Getting Laid Off? Now What?

Today, Comcast announced it would be closing three northern California call centers. The closings will impact 1,000 employees who have been working in Sacramento, Livermore, and Morgan Hill. I have friends and former colleagues at Comcast, in the call center, and in roles supporting the call centers. I worked with many of these people at WaMu, where four years ago today, the federal government shut us down and sold us to Chase.

I hope none of our readers ever have to go through a layoff. If you do, here are some tips:

  • Start looking now! If you have not started looking for another job before the announcement, start now. I know it is an emotional time right now, but timing is important, especially when hundreds of people with similar skills as yours are entering the job market. Even if you're given a termination date that is months away, start looking now. Don't wait.
  • Get help. Take advantage of any outplacement services your company offers. Take as much of their help as they will give you, but be careful that you are not being led on a cattle call. Oftentimes, the "resume experts" that work at these outplacement firms have never actually hired someone. Your resume might end up looking a lot like everyone else's. And since your co-workers are likely using the same service, their resume could look exactly like yours. You want to stand out.
  • Stay positive. It's easy to get caught up in the negativity, especially after a mass layoff at a large employer. Avoid the commiserating around the office when it turns negative. Hold your head up and keep smiling. It'll be easier to stay on your A-game during an interview if you're always on your A-game.
  • Help others. You are not in this alone. Be supportive to your co-workers. Offer to role-play an interview with someone who might be nervous about re-entering the job market, or read over their cover letter and resume. If you hear about a job that doesn't interest you, make a referral to a colleague.

We wish you the best of luck!