Wondering What to Do When You’re Laid Off

If you’re looking up what to do when you’re laid off, you’ve probably had a rough few days. Being laid off is an unfair situation. You do your job, you work your hours, you always clock your hours properly, and you always get to the dock on time. The sad truth is that sometimes carriers cannot accommodate the needs of all employees, and they have to let a few go. This can be incredibly frustrating and confusing, and you may be asking yourself, “What Next?” Fear not, because you can take back control of your career quickly. Check out our list of tips for what to do when you’re laid off. 

What to Do When You’re Laid OffTips for What To Do When You’re Laid Off

1. Remember It Isn’t a Reflection on You 

If you don’t know the reason behind a carrier’s decision. Maybe there were severe budget cuts, or some unforeseen expenses on the executives end. Either way, it is likely that you are not alone in the lay-off frustration. Be confident in the knowledge that you did your best for your company and work hard in your final days with them. Resist the urge to rant online about your frustrations with your carrier. You don’t want to burn any bridges with anyone who may give you a recommendation; don’t bash anyone on social media. If you must leave your job, leave people with a lasting, professional impression, because you never know who will remember you. Remind yourself: you got hired at your old job, you can get hired again. 

2. Know Your Rights

Even if you have been laid-off you are still entitled to your rights as a worker. Check to see if you are eligible for severance pay. Extra money in your savings will make the transition between jobs easier. Review your state’s policy on unemployment benefits, if you are eligible to receive them, and how to apply. If you have a handbook from your employer, review their payment policies. Will you receive payment for unused vacation days? Do you have any outstanding expenses unaccounted for? Even just a quick review of these policies is a great foundation for a peaceful transition.

3. Create a Budget

If you haven’t yet, tally up your household expenses to create a post-layoff budget. Saving your money while you can is one of the most effective things you can do if you are anticipating a layoff. Unemployment benefits or severance pay will not last forever, and while you will likely have a job beforehand, it is always best to be prepared. 

Review your expenses and see if there’s any excess you can cut. Are there any online video services collecting dust? Subscriptions you can go without? Go through your accounts and make sure there aren’t any recurring payments you’ve forgotten about, as most of us have. If you have any money stashed away from a tax refund, now is the time to use it. Even if you end up employed right away, this process will help you understand where your money goes and encourage more saving with the next job. Freeing up finances is always a good strategy, but knowing you and your family will be taken care of for a while after a layoff will take a tremendous amount of stress off your shoulders and be better for your long term mental health. 

4. Update Your Resume

Make sure your latest and most impressive accomplishments are up near the top is the number one rule. Employers will want to see how you’ve grown through your career.

The best way to catch the eye of a potential employer is to quantify your achievements, meaning to summarize your career using numbers. What percentage of your deliveries did you bring in early or on time? How many hours on the road? Did you find a new route that saved the company money? How much? Using numbers is the best way to show off your experience because it focuses on results.

Don’t forget to list your skills however. Use your resume to brag about your communication, time management, organizational, or other skills useful to the job. This not only shows you understand what goes into the job, but it makes it more likely that the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) used by many carrier recruiters will pick up your resume and get it to a real human being. 

5. Do Some Research

Your best bet to finding work quickly is to find out what the hot commodities are, and which carriers are in high need of drivers. This will ensure you have a long list of potential employers to send your information out to.

To narrow down your list, go online to read up on these carriers, not just on their websites, but on online forums where drivers can give you inside information about how the carrier really operates. Ask questions about pay, benefits, hometime, freight lanes, and the company’s safety policies. 

You don’t want to waste your time applying to a company that won’t properly compensate you for your time and hard work. If possible, reach out to other drivers or job sites for info on their companies. Network as often as possible, because one conversation can be the difference between being unemployed and back on the road. 

6. Seek out Job Placement Assistance

There are companies whose job it is to find you a job. If you find yourself struggling to hear back from carriers, consider reaching out to a recruiter or job placement group. 

Some CDL training schools offer job placement assistance to their graduates, so don’t be afraid to reach out to someone from your program to get a leg up on the competition. 

Truck Driver institute offers free, ongoing job placement services for all graduates. We have an 80% success rate, and we love seeing that number go higher. TDI works with over 20 carrier partners to place our grads with some of the best trucking companies in the industry. Whether you graduated last year, or in 1973, TDI is determined to get you back in the big wheel. 

Laid Off? TDI  Has Your Back

Being laid off is one of the most stressful things to happen to a driver. The uncertainty and stress of having to find new employment is hard on the mind and body. Know that your job is in high demand, and give yourself space to relax between applications, and know you’re still being a productive member of society, even if you’re not back behind the wheel yet. Know that if you’re in a pinch TDI will have your back. 


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