The COVID-19 pandemic has affected an unprecedented amount of professionals, many of whom have been laid off, furloughed, or have had their hours and/or pay cut.


Being laid off or unemployed during this time of crisis feels different; there is a paralyzing sense of the unknown. We are just trying to get through one day at a time, while realizing we need to plan for the future, even though the future, for most of us, has never seemed more uncertain.

It's normal to go through the five stages of grief after losing your job. But there is one thing you should never do if you find yourself in this situation.

The Worst Thing You Can Do For Your Career? Feel Sorry For Yourself.

Man laid off due to the coronavirus

If you get laid off, feeling sorry for yourself won't help. It will only make things worse for you and your career.

Success starts with your mindset. While it's okay to grieve after being laid off, never pity yourself. When you have negative thoughts about your career, that negativity pervades every other aspect of your life. It also makes it that much harder to overcome adversity.

How To Avoid The Pity Party

Woman keeping a positive attitude after being laid off due to COVID-19

We understand how hard of a time this is for you. Being laid off or furloughed makes you second-guess your value as an employee, and your skills and abilities as a professional. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, though, here's how you can avoid the pity party:

1. Take Ownership

Being laid off during COVID-19 was probably something you couldn't control. Still, the key to getting back on your feet is taking ownership for what happened in your career and accepting that you made choices that are impacting where you are today.

Everyone has good and bad career experiences. Losing your job is a "bad" experience until you decide to look at your career objectively and take away all the negativity associated it. Being laid off is a learning experience. It is a chance for you to reevaluate your career. Most of all, it is an opportunity for you to take accountability for your career growth.

2. Practice Gratitude

When you've lost something important to you, be thankful for the things you do have. Practicing gratitude has the ability to completely transform our outlook on life. We have so much to be grateful for, even during times of crisis.

3. Set Goals

The best way to distract yourself from self-pity is by setting ambitious, yet achievable goals. These should be short-term and long-term goals. Having something to work toward in your career, no matter if you're currently employed or not, will make you feel like you are making progress, because you are. When you are unemployed, "working it daily" becomes that much more crucial to your career success.

By focusing on these three things, you'll avoid feeling sorry for yourself and be in the right mindset for a successful job search.

What To Do Instead...

Once you are ready to look for a new job, there are a few things you can do instead of feeling sorry for yourself:

  1. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile
  2. Make a company bucket list
  3. Check in with and add value to your professional network


Feeling sorry for yourself is the worst thing you could possibly do after being laid off. We hope these tips have helped you realize you are not alone in this. You can't control everything that has happened to you. But you can control how you respond.

Stay safe and healthy everyone! Better days are ahead...


If you've recently been laid off, fired, or furloughed, check out our FREE layoff checklist and masterclass to learn what you need to do in order to get back on your feet as soon as possible.


Looking for a job? We can help! Join our career growth club today and get access to one-on-one career coaching, resume and cover letter reviews, online tutorials, and unlimited networking opportunities—all in your back pocket!

If you want FREE career advice in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter The Daily Dose!