Money To Live

April 15, 2009

What not to say to someone after a lay off

Filed under: Uncategorized — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am

What not to say to someone after a lay off

  • What are you going to do next?
  • Are you moving back to Texas?
  • Are you moving back in with your parents?
  • [While she is cleaning out her desk] So, who gets your desk?
  • Were you actually fired and you are just pretending it is a lay off?

As a rule of thumb, only make the comment if you could replace “lay off” with “divorce.”

For example, 48 hours after a couple announced their decision to divorce, would you say “Now that you are single, are you going to move back in with your parents?” to a colleague you have never socialized with?

I am still surprised by the question about if I were actually fired; the person went so far as to ask if I were fired for unprofessional conduct. If you know me at all, you know that is not very likely.

What to say to someone after a lay off

  • Here’s my card. We’re hiring.
  • Let’s go out to lunch tomorrow.
  • I would like to buy you lunch (or dinner or beer or a brownie).
  • We would love for you to visit us!
  • Here are some flowers for you!

Depending on who you are and who you say it to, this might be a good thing to say

  • It’s a blessing – in 10 years, you will be glad it happened.

Most of the people who I practice yoga with said this to me, and I know what they mean and where they are coming from. They said it genuinely and with love. If you can say it genuinely, then it is okay to say it to me.



  1. Unprofessional conduct?!? HA HA HA HA HA!

    Comment by Shannon — April 15, 2009 @ 9:55 am |Reply

  2. Some of those “don’t”s can also be applied to the PhD / no conventional plan yet situation. The last, however, is really out of the question. “Did you really graduate, or…?”

    mmm the “depending” category is tricky! If I were to (genuinely) say something to you that falls in that category, it would be this: I believe you’re great at what you want to do and I’m confident the right job will come up at the right time for you. So in the meantime (this is the hard part to say to someone in this situation) “just relax and enjoy being FREE” 🙂

    Comment by Anita — April 16, 2009 @ 1:32 am |Reply

  3. HAHAHA excellent post! good mix of truth and humor here.

    Comment by katherine — May 17, 2009 @ 2:30 pm |Reply

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