Getting laid off can be a painful experience, and it can be even harder when you have to start the job-seeking process all over again. Unfortunately, there are many myths tied to layoffs that can make the process even more difficult.
Let’s explore some myths that may deter would-be job seekers:
- Myth: You lose your severance package if you find a job immediately after getting laid off
Fact: Though mid to large-sized companies are required to give a 60-day notice of an upcoming mass layoff to affected workers (California WARN Act), paying a severance package is not a requirement.
In most cases, when companies do offer a severance package, it is intended to provide financial assistance during the transitional period between jobs. The severance pay is usually tied to a severance agreement that lists the conditions the ex-worker must follow to receive this package. This could include:
- Non-disparagement clause: Prohibits the employee from making negative comments about the company or its employees. In exchange, the company agrees to refrain from making negative comments about the employee.
- Non-compete clause: This prohibits the employee from working for a competitor of the company for a certain period of time. This can vary from a few months to a year or more, depending on the specifics of the agreement.
- Confidentiality agreement: A provision that requires the employee to keep certain information such as trade secrets, customer lists, and other proprietary information confidential.
- Release of claims: This is a provision that requires the employee to waive their right to sue the company for any claims related to their employment or separation from the company.
If the worker breaks any of the terms listed in their severance agreement, the company can terminate paying the remaining balance of the severance package, and in some cases, require the worker to pay back a portion.
- Myth: People with temporary work sponsorship (H-1B/TN Visa) need to go back to their country of origin immediately after getting laid off
Fact: When there was high demand for skilled talents, such as mechanical, electrical, and software engineers, many companies hired workers from other countries under a non-immigrant visa, such as H-1B, or TN if they are coming from North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada or Mexico.
Because the visas are sponsored by the employer, when the employment ends, the visa holder essentially has no sponsor. The visa holder has a grace period of up to 60 days to find another job with a new employer who will sponsor their visa. If they do not, they are required to leave the U.S. and return to their country of origin.
- Myth: It takes a long time to find a job after getting laid off
Fact: It depends on the job. For typical “white collar” jobs such as engineering, the ability to find a new job in a short amount of time is feasible because the demand is still strong. According to the job board, Indeed.com, there are currently 22,000+ vacancies in California alone for mechanical, electrical, and manufacturing engineers. A study made by ZipRecruiter.com stated that among laid-off white-collar workers, 37% found a new job within one month, and 79% found a new job within three months.
- Myth: You should hide the fact that you were laid off from potential employers.
Fact: There is a general fear among laid-off workers that their unemployment status may come across as undesirable to prospective employers. Fortunately, many employers understand that layoffs are a common occurrence in today’s job market, so the stigma against affected workers is not as prevalent.
Being honest and transparent about getting laid off can demonstrate integrity and build trust with potential employers. You can explain that you were laid off due to external circumstances such as company restructuring or downsizing. Emphasizing the skills and experiences you gained from your previous job can put you in a positive light to interviewers.
It is important to approach the job search process with a positive attitude and to get help such as engaging an experienced technical recruiter. With the right mindset and support, workers who have been laid off can successfully transition to a new job and continue to advance their careers.
If you’ve been affected by a layoff recently, connect with a SoloPoint Technical Recruiter to start your job search:
OR…VISIT OUR JOB BOARD!