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How to gain the confidence to negotiate salary after being laid off?

Self-doubt and fear of rejection are two primary emotions reported by job seekers trying to find their next role after a layoff. Clients I speak with often worry that negotiating aggressively might lead to the offer being withdrawn or think, "Who would hire me after a layoff?"


Hear me on this—your layoff has nothing to do with the value you will create in your new role. You still have the skills, experience, and knowledge to create long-term, sustainable value for any organization you join.


I understand that even as you read this, you might be doubting your past achievements or thinking, "Maybe I wasn’t as good as I thought I was." Please know that you are not alone in this. The job search process can feel overwhelming and disheartening at times, and many people experience these emotions.


If you’re thinking, "I will never find a job," let's reframe that thought to, "Finding a job takes time, and each step I take brings me closer to my goal."


For a list of other reframes, make sure and read my article here.


What are the steps to gain the confidence to negotiate salary after being laid off?


First, let's think about your services as a product you are selling to a company who is greatly in need of that product.



East Indian woman sitting at an executive desk
Confidently negotiate your value

Follow these steps:



    1. How is your training and skills going to help your future company?

    2. What makes you unique compared to others? This could be specific expertise, a successful project, or a unique combination of skills.

    3. Take time to write these down. Read them aloud to yourself. Fine tune as needed.


    1. What would you charge for the difference you are going to make in the open market?

    2. Use your network to pinpoint a number range.

    3. Do some research on various pay sites. Payscale and Team Blind are some of my go-to sites.


    1. Always use metrics and data to demonstrate the impact of your work.

    2. You can also discuss the scope and scale of your projects. For example, you might say that you developed a strategy for a $2 billion organization or delivered double-digit annual revenue growth for a $100 million portfolio.

    3. Practice talking about how these achievements underscore the value you would bring to your future employer.


    1. Rehearse your value proposition and responses to potential questions. Practice with a friend or mentor.

    2. You could also record yourself on your phone and watch the replay. This is a fantastic way to self-audit and auto-correct!


    1. Negotiations happen at first contact, so it is important to know and rehearse how your answers to both common and difficult questions.

    2. It's easy to think, "I know my skills, and I can wing it," but don't make that mistake. Practice beforehand or get help fine-tuning your interviewing skills.


    1. Acknowledge your emotions - Recognize and accept your emotions related to the layoff. It's natural to feel disappointed, anxious, or uncertain

    2. Be kind to yourself - Treat yourself with kindness and understanding

    3. Talk to a mentor - Reach out to a mentor or a trusted friend to help you provide encouragement

    4. Document your skills and experience - Make a list of your achievements. The more specific you can get the better!

    5. Remind yourself of your worth - Review the facts. Realize the data tells a different story. You have the years of experience and the skills necessary to make an impact. Write it down, say it out loud - believe it!


Last but not least, remember that a good manager expects and wants you to negotiate for your value.

The confidence

My podcast guests, who are hiring managers at senior levels, often discuss this. They argue that if you stand up for yourself, it shows you will stand up for what's right and for the team and organization. In other words, feel confident in advocating for your worth.


Emotions around the layoff can cause you to doubt yourself, but implementing the strategies mentioned above will set you up for success.


If you need help, reach out to a coach or mentor. Once you are back on track, you will feel confident and self-assured!


Need help with job searching, interviewing or salary negotiation? Book a Discovery call!

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