LAID OFF, TERMINATED, FIRED, CANNED OR WHATEVER. HERE IS WHAT TO SAY….
If you were laid off and you were a top performer, here is how you can explain why you were laid off to employers and interviewers. Getting laid off sucks, but it’s really easy to bounce back from it and get another job. The trick to explaining laid off is to talk about what you were doing while you were laid off, not why you were laid off.
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. I want to teach you how you can explain being laid off to a prospective employer, so that it doesn’t sound like you were fired or that you were let go because of poor performance.
I mean, most companies, if they have a layoff, it’s because the company isn’t doing well. So, if you were let go because of a widespread corporate layoff, let me give you a few ideas that you can use to tell employers that it really wasn’t your fault.
And one of the things that you really want to come through, to be crystal clear, in your answer as to why you were let go or why you’re laid off is to let them know that it wasn’t a result of your professional performance. You were on the job performance. You want to let them know it had nothing to do with you. In fact, you want to let them know that your performance was excellent. Let them know that your boss thought your performance is great. You have a long history of excellent performance reviews. You want to talk about how much you liked working there. You want to talk about how much you enjoyed what you did, you enjoyed the people.
So, you want to make it clear that it had nothing to do with your personal performance. In fact, your personal performance was great; they loved you. You have a long track record of excellent performance reviews. You loved working there. You loved what you did. The people liked you. The customers liked you and even your boss went and asked his boss if they could still keep you. In fact, that’s actually what happened to me.
In my case, my boss went to his boss, which was the owner of the company, and said, “Hey, we really want to keep Don. The customers like him, he does a great job, we want to keep him here”. But you know what? None of that mattered. They just simply said, “This is a numbers game and we have to let go” in my case, it was 45 people. They had to let go 45 people in order for the company to survive.
And they didn’t want to do that, because that was really putting them down to a bare bone, skeleton crew, but they had to do it. If they didn’t let these people go, the whole company would sink.
So, unfortunately, I got caught up on that and it sounds like that’s what happened to you too. You got caught up in an unfortunate corporate-wide layoff and it’s not your fault. And that’s the message that you want to come through when they ask you why you were let go from your last job or why you were laid off. That’s what you want them to understand is that it had nothing to do with you and in fact, they loved you there and they didn’t want to let you go.
And what this really does; this is sending a message to that employer that, “Hey, you know what? There’s another company that really liked this guy, but they had to let him go. So, this is our opportunity to pick this guy up; to pick up a good guy on sale. Maybe we can even pay him less than what he was making before”. I don’t know if that factors into it or not, but this is a chance for a company to pick up a good person who’s already been screened by another company as being a valuable asset.
Now, here’s a problem that often happens in cases like this. If you were very well-paid at your last job, that’s probably nothing that you want to share with prospective employer.
It doesn’t look good to go into a prospective employer and say, “Yes, I was very well paid my last job and then they had a lay off”. The underlying message in that statement could be that maybe you were laid off because you made too much money.
So, if you made a lot of money or if you were paid more than maybe you should have been paid, don’t let those numbers come out in the interview. You might have to taper down your salary a little bit and shut a few dollars off, so that you don’t look too expensive.