May 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts May 2003 Current Issue
May 2003
Short Cuts:
Sensitive Send-Offs

How to bid farewell to laid-off co-workers


Saying goodbye to displaced employees can be awkward for the survivors. Instead of the usual sad farewell lunch or hurried cake in the conference room, put a positive spin on the situation and throw an unemployment shower. “What’s important is to create an event that leaves the person who has been laid off well prepared for what lies ahead,” say Nancy Collamer, author of The Layoff Survival Guide (, an electronically downloadable book that enables readers to connect directly to cited resources.

Co-workers can put together a binder containing their best résumé samples (for inspiration), business cards and Rolodex cards with personal contacts that might be helpful in the job hunt, along with invitations to lunch so the employee can stay in touch with friends left behind.

“The best gift is to be available for the person in the weeks and months after they leave, because it can be very isolating and lonely,” says career consultant Janet Scarborough, Ph.D., founder of Seattle-based Bridgeway Career Development ( Another great idea is for co-workers to pitch in and buy a gift certificate for an introductory session with a local career consultant. “Many of my clients have come to me that way,” says Scarborough.

And when it comes to must-have page-turners, include a copy of Are You a Corporate Refugee? A Survival Guide for Downsized, Disillusioned and Displaced Workers by Ruth Luban (Penguin Books;, who has spent the past 30 years developing programs for individual and corporate clients on life and career transitions, burnout prevention and self-assessment. “The book is a real manifesto for surviving, weathering and moving on,” says Scarborough.


Back to Current Issue index | Back to Short Cuts index
M&C Home Page
Current Issue | Events Calendar | Newsline | Incentive News | Meetings Market Report
Editorial Libraries | CVB Links | Reader Survey | Hot Dates | Contact M&C