The Stigma of Layoffs and How to Fight It

3 minutes

“It has been close to a month since I was laid off from my previous company. I have filled close to 50 applications till now and attended 12 interviews. After all this I still find myself sitting in a waiting room to attend yet another interview. I do not understand where I am going wrong. I feel that I may remain unemployed forever. I don’t know what to do.”

-Aarti (employee who got laid off last month)

Aarti is one among thousands who face this stigma of being laid off. Even though she has 10 years of experience in her professional field, she is unable to secure a job for her profile. Landing a job in the midst of layoffs is quite difficult, and if you are unemployed, then it can be even harder. Once you get labelled as unemployed, it is hard to be accepted for a new job.

Job interview

The struggle is real

There are plenty of reasons why companies step back when it comes to hiring professionals who have been laid off. Companies think of them as either poor performers or fickle workers, which in most cases isn’t the real story. When a person has been unemployed for more than three to four months, they doubt their job skills as they haven’t been utilised for sometime.  Though some recruiters are open to considering unemployed professionals, there’re quite a lot of companies who avoid hiring them.

5 things to consider for professionals who’re job hunting after being laid off :

1. Be ready with an explanation for your unemployment when you approach a company for a job. Be ready to be defensive, when the situation calls for it. It is very important to prove yourself at this stage. When you’re not confident about yourself, it would be easy for them to find an excuse to reject you.

2. Talk about your achievements. It may seem like you’re praising yourself, but it is important to give them a clear picture of how you would be an asset to them rather than a liability.

3. Have a reference in hand. This may be from your old boss. You may’ve been one of the best employees in your previous organization. Get proof for that in the form of a letter from your supervisor or manager. Providing evidence for your prior work would give the recruiters more confidence in you, so that they may be ready to offer you the job.

4. Make a plan for your job hunt right from the day you become aware that you’ll be leaving the company. The earlier you start your search, the sooner you may land a job. The longer you stay unemployed, the lesser the job opportunities for you.

Make a plan for job hunt

5. Don’t get emotionally or mentally affected when a company rejects you. This is not the right time to sit back and feel bad about it. Take it as a learning and move on.

This article is a part of the #Fired2FiredUp Campaign by YourDOST. Visit the campaign for real life stories, learnings and tips from career psychologists and recruiters.

Have you experienced a layoff recently? Are you finding it difficult to cope with it? Talk to an Expert at YourDOST.

Cover Image Source –

Manasa Raman

Manasa is an expert at YourDOST. She is a post graduate in Psychology from Christ University and worked in an EAP for close to a year. She is solution oriented and deals mainly in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT). She is very keen on working with clients having issues in Career, Academics, Relationship and Self-development. She is empathetic by nature and carries positivity throughout her approach. She will make you feel good about yourself, as she believes that everyone's born to be great.