What to do after being laid off
If you have been through a layoff, you are not alone; it is not personal, and this will not last forever. However, it is expected to experience emotional repercussions. After all, you are losing income stability, and part of your identity is often tied to your career. Like any of life’s most challenging moments though, a layoff can also be an opportunity for personal growth.
Give yourself time to process
Having a wide range of emotions after a dismissal is customary and reasonable, and it takes time to process and work through them. Allow yourself a few days or weeks to wallow or feel whatever you need. Those feelings will still come up as time passes, but it’s important not to let them run the show.
Self-care is critical
Positive self-talk can help as well. List your strengths, contributions, and achievements you are proud of. One’s confidence can take a hit after being let go. Talking to former work colleagues can be a helpful reminder of the experience and skills that set you apart.
Remember to take care of yourself physically. Try to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, drink water, and exercise.
Create daily goals to stay focused
One of the hardest parts to adjust to after a layoff is the uncertainty of the future, including where you will land, what you will do, and what will happen next. It’s sometimes hard to enjoy the time off due to the uncertainty.
Try to set a daily goal that you will do one, two, or three things for your job search. Having a set number of tasks you need to do daily or a set amount of time scheduled to focus on will help you when you are unmotivated. It doesn’t matter how small these daily things are; just that you do them. If you need help sticking to them, ask someone like a friend or family member to hold you accountable.
Having a daily number of tasks or scheduled time you dedicate to your job search will help you focus on what you can control instead of what you cannot.
Reframe how you think about this time off
While it wasn’t your choice, and you may not feel optimistic about it, seeing this time off’s potential and freedom is also empowering. Look for ways to fill your time outside of job searching that will provide some personal fulfillment, whether volunteering, traveling, or learning new skills.
Seek a support network
Talk with peers or others who may have been through something similar. They may have learned tips or great resources that were helpful to them during their search.
Talk to friends and acquaintances. It may seem embarrassing to have gone through a layoff, but most people go through this at some point. If your friends and acquaintances know what you are looking for, they may know someone to introduce you to.
Consider therapy or a career coach or counselor to help you create a game plan while also dealing with the ups and downs of the process. Employers sometimes offer Employee Assistance Program support and resources to employees as part of layoff packages, which can provide access to mental health services and financial and career counseling.
Above all, remember that you are capable, talented, and worthy. Remind yourself of how you have confronted and risen above adversity.
Some other books we suggest checking out are:
- “Designing Your Life: How to Build A Well-Lived, Joyful Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
- “You Are A Badass” by Jen Sincero
- “Gainfully Unemployed: 17 Ways to Maintain Your Sanity While Looking for Work” by Jonathan Wade
- “Get Out of Your Head” by Jennie Allen
- “Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well” by Amy Edmondson