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Pink slip, a word synonymous with being laid off or fired, has become the norm rather than the exception in the present recessionary times. Every person’s job is at risk; so if you have been handed the pink slip, you are not alone. And it has no bearing on your capabilities or performance. It is simply an indication of the tough times we are living in and the result of the ongoing economic crisis.

According to A. Harrison Barnes, creator and owner of the job search engine,; the pink slip is not the end of one’s career. There are many employers who are searching for talents in the job market. The terrible condition of the market can make every future employer understand that it is not the fault of the person but the economic condition which has made him or her lose the job. And this is why today employers look for skills and talents of an individual while hiring.

This is why Barnes suggests that you should always be prepared for the pink slip so that when the news comes, it is not a shock. You don’t end up being depressed, unprepared about the whole situation and also unaware of what to do next. If you accept the ongoing economic situation and are ready for eventualities with careful planning then you will be able to help yourself take the next step in your career. In this regard, some aspects must be kept in mind concerning the pink slip day; a few are listed below.

Employee-related termination benefits: Are you aware what these are as applicable to you? If not, make sure you get all the information about those benefits from the Human Resources department of your current office, says A. Harrison Barnes. These benefits include the severance pay, sick pay, overtime, pension benefits, and accumulated vacation and may also make you eligible for unemployment insurance. Make sure that you negotiate the severance pay; there are many employers who will pay the minimum but are amenable for a negotiated figure if the employee presses for it; so go ahead and try your luck.

Apart from these payments, you can also ask for outplacement resources because there are many firms that provide help in the job search for laid-off employees. Request a reference letter for your files that will come in handy at a future date in time. Also find out about the company’s policy on continuance of health and life insurance benefits. Firms with over 20 employees are mandated by law to offer health insurance coverage through COBRA to terminated employees for 18 months. It is advantageous for you to avail coverage for a certain period of time at no cost to you.

Assess your career prospects and goals: The time between two jobs is a good time to assess whether you want to switch careers or continue down the same path. As A. Harrison Barnes puts it, the pink slip is an opportunity that allows you to rethink your goals, your abilities, your skills and talents.

Once you have been laid off or been fired consider it to be an opportunity rather than thinking it as a downfall. This is the time when you can redefine your life with those small things that makes your life beautiful, which adds to your happiness. A pink slip provides you with the time when you can make positive changes in your life. A. Harrison Barnes believes that the pink slip is an opportunity that allows you to rethink your goals, your abilities, your skills and talents. This is the time to sharpen your skills, work on your weaknesses and give your career a new track to move to the next level. Update your resumes, your cover letters and most importantly your personality which will help you in future.

With a positive frame of mind, it is time to face the competition, work very hard in your job search and fight the ongoing conditions with master plan, says A. Harrison Barnes. A well thought out and well-executed plan will reward you with good results.

Make good use of your networking skills that includes not only your friends and family but also the contacts that you have made till date on the job. You can even enroll in new courses and a good job search engine like That will be a good gift for you!

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