If you’ve been laid off or are in the midst of being laid off, it can be a very stressful time. Even if it has been your choice to leave your previous job, dealing with the aftermath of being let go is often an emotional experience.
1 Surround yourself with supportive people.
You’re going to need a lot of support during this time. It’s important to surround yourself with people who are supportive, sympathetic and non-judgmental. If you have friends or family members that can offer that kind of support, then by all means, lean on them for help. But if not–and even if so–don’t be afraid to ask for help from colleagues or organizations or online communities of folks who get-it. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable either; remember: everyone goes through difficult times in life at some point.
It’s also important not only to accept advice from others but also to give it yourself! If you know someone else who has gone through something similar before and succeeded at overcoming it (like getting laid off), ask them what they did so that your own experience doesn’t have any unnecessary obstacles along its path towards success as well.
2 Don’t make any decisions right away.
The first thing to do is take some time off to think about what you really want. Don’t rush into a new job unless it’s a good match for your skills, interests and pay grade. If the company has an open position that fits all three criteria, then go for it! If not, there’s no harm in waiting until one comes along–you might even get paid more if they offer raises as part of their hiring process.
One of the biggest things I see is losing sight of our wants and needs when we’re thrown into a situation like this, forgetting our standards, values and expectations in favour of anything that just pays the bills never gives the result we think it will.
Even more so, when we’re upset or stressed out by something that happens with our jobs (like being laid off), we can often feel overwhelmed by all sorts of emotions–and some of those emotions might lead us straight into making bad decisions without thinking them through properly first. Give yourself time before deciding on anything major like this because, more often than not there will be better options available later once things settle down again!
p.s. Only you get to decide how much time this needs to be and speaking candidly, how much of it you can afford. Not everyone can survive on a 30-day transition package followed by a bunch of uncertainty.
3 Keep an eye out for new opportunities.
Keep an eye out for new opportunities, the reality is there are no opportunities at your current or past company but it doesn’t mean there aren’t any others. Being part of a company, especially where you are happy can give you tunnel vision, you exist in a sort of bubble where the only thing that exists is your current role, team, company and anything that even gets close (read: recruiters tempting you with other roles) gets compared to that.
Apply for jobs that are a good fit for you but also don’t be afraid to apply for jobs that are a little outside your comfort zone. Really spend time reviewing your transferrable skills, your strengths and talents as well as your experience. Those things are unchanged, they don’t get taken away the moment you’re laid off; it’s important to remember that.
4 Practice self-care and take a break from the job search.
Now, you can save all the things on Linkedin and put yourself out there, but when you’re feeling down, it’s important to take care of yourself first. Put your job search on hold for a little while and focus on regrouping, the hiring process requires you to not only show up but to razzle dazzle and that will sometimes be difficult and almost impossible on certain days. Allow for this, it’s not the end of the world–it’ll be okay!
I know it’s easy to feel like everyone else is moving forward while you’re stuck in place or going backwards. But remember that everyone has ups and downs in their careers; even if they don’t seem like it now, most people have been through layoffs before themselves at some point in their lives and I’m sure they gave themselves a duvet day or two.
5 You’re going to be OK.
You’re going to be OK. You’re a resilient person, and you will get through this. You are strong, and the world is bigger than any one job or company or boss. If your company decides to downsize or lay off employees (and they probably will), take some time to mourn the loss of your job–but then remember that there are plenty more jobs out there for someone like you!
It’s easier said than done, as there are many things to think about when entering this new and unexpected phase of your life. I hope that these tips will help make the process easier for you as well as give some direction on what steps to take next.
Want more support?
Download the Re-Reflections guide by dropping your details below, listen to the podcast episode with my Break-Glass Messages for Navigating Layoff, Redundancy or Restructure and join The Vault membership which has the audio companion and monthly group coaching to support you through it all.