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Surviving a Layoff

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Surviving a Layoff

A Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Your Life Back Together

Adams Media,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Starting over after a layoff is tough, but after the period of mourning, you can change your career for the better.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


In Country Western music, sad songs about losing your job have a special niche, something a little more wistful than David Allan Coe’s hearty “Take This Job and Shove It.” Merle Haggard’s “If We Can Make It Through December” is about a worker who gets laid off from his factory job at the end of the year. In “These Days I Barely Get By,” George Jones moans that his boss plans to lay everyone off come winter. No question about it, getting laid off is even tougher to handle than losing your dog or your pick-up truck, two other sad themes in country tunes. But getting laid off also can signal a time for renewal, starting over and moving ahead in an exciting new direction. getAbstract finds that retirement expert Lita Epstein does a very solid job of showing you how to cope with life after a layoff. She explains how to make the best of a bad situation by taking practical, weekly steps. Her book will help you achieve a heads-up state of preparedness and – if you do have to pick up your guitar (or laptop) and hit that lonesome unemployment road – she tells you what song to sing next to get back in the saddle.


Here’s Your Pink Slip, There’s the Door

Layoffs are a major problem. In the United States, unemployment has reached record levels. Many long-term laid-off workers are settling for lower-paying, part-time jobs, and some have quit looking, started their own entrepreneurial ventures or gone back to school for retraining. Have you been laid off? If not, are you liable to lose your job if the economy doesn’t improve? When it comes to a layoff, you will be better off if you know in advance what you could be facing, what your rights are and how to deal with such a difficult situation.

Often, you can spot a layoff heading toward you. Is your workload lighter than normal? Budgets tighter? No new hires? Are new faces showing up at work, such as possible corporate take-over buyers? These are signs of a potential layoff but, sometimes, people get no warning. One day you have a job, the next day you don’t. U.S. workers have few rights in case of termination (except health insurance extension), but you can make a case if you get fired due to discrimination.

Employers do not have to pay severance wages to those with “at-will” employee status. Often, however, employers provide...

About the Author

Lita Epstein, M.B.A., teaches at the College of Graduate Business and Management at the University of Phoenix. She has written numerous nonfiction books on such topics as Medicare and Social Security.

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