Whether you saw it coming or were blindsided, being laid off from your job is a traumatic experience. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Don't crawl under the covers or down seven gallons of ice cream. This isn't the end. It's only the beginning.
These tips here will help you pick yourself back up, lick your wounds, and get back out there and thrive. Chances are, you will look back and realize that this wasn't a death sentence to your career but a blessing in disguise. Like the old adage, when one door closes, another opens.
We tie so much of our value and self-worth to our profession. If you lose your job, it's easy to experience grief associated with a loss of identity, a loss of relationships with your colleagues, and the loss of your daily routine. Perspective is everything. It's easy to take this layoff personally, but odds are you were probably just at the wrong place at the wrong time.
That being said, you should still take time to reflect and assess your performance in your prior role. Make sure there aren't things that you can avoid in the future.
Remember, a lot of people stay in the same job well past its expiration date, which leaves them stuck and unable to move on. A layoff gives you a fresh start. Keep an opportunity mindset and don't take it personally. This will serve you as you set your sights on your next adventure.
It's easy to let your emotions and anxiety spiral out of control. First off, know that you're not alone. Many people experience being laid off. There are things you can do to put your mind at ease. Keep a routine. Don't lie in bed and wallow all day. Take care of yourself; eat healthy, exercise, try meditating. Lean on your support system, whether that be parents, friends, or a spouse. Don't cut yourself off from the outside world.
One of the first things you should do is assess your finances and tweak your budget. Worries about money will only lead to higher levels of stress and cause you to make hasty, ill-informed decisions, such as ignoring red flags and jumping on the first job opportunity that presents itself. Getting a handle on your financial situation will allow you to keep stress and anxiety in check and allow you to be more strategic throughout your job hunt.
Need a little more padding in your budget? Consider temping or freelance work. Perhaps, set yourself up as a consultant. Not only will this help your financial situation but it will also allow you to gain new experience and develop new connections.
Find Your Passion
Chances are you've been bogged down in the daily routine of your previous job. It is also likely that your prior role didn't exactly fuel the fire of your passions. Take some time to think about what really motivates you. How would you want to spend your future days?
Don't spend your days scrolling through job boards. Don't get caught in the trap of endlessly applying to every new job posting. Yes, the first thing you should do is update your LinkedIn profile and let the masses know you are ready for your next opportunity. Promptly dust off that resume. You want to be strategic. Get clear on your value and your career goals going forward.
Take the time to rethink your career path. Would you be happier in a different role or industry? Reflect and go through your accomplishments and strengths and what they mean to you. This will be exactly what your confidence needs. Don't spend the entirety of your day obsessing over job boards.
Protect Your Brand
You are a business-of-one. Now, more than ever, it will be important to protect your personal brand. Don't burn bridges. Getting laid off can feel like a personal attack. It's important to avoid bad-mouthing your former managers or company during interviews or while networking. A hiring manager won't respond well to hearing you vent your anger and frustrations. Keep it positive.
You do want to make sure you can clearly and concisely explain why you have been laid off. Keep it brief and positive. Avoid a long winded and painful story. You also want to be sure that this explanation checks out with past managers and potential references.
Your network is your net worth. Now is the time to lean on those contacts and get networking. Don't just send notes or make calls, invite people to coffee or lunch. Take some time during your layoff to expand your network. You never know who might have an opportunity for you.
Be targeted. Make a list of the organizations you admire. Are you able to line up some informational interviews? This ensures you are top of mind with hiring managers the next time they have an open position.
Ask For Help
Be sure to make a great first impression when stepping out into the job market. Perhaps it's been a while since you have interviewed. You have questions on how to frame your resume. In the present day, a job search is complex and managing it on your own can be difficult.
Don't be afraid to ask for help in these areas. School teaches us everything except how to get the job. A little help can make a world of difference for your career.
Remember, you are still a valuable player! While being laid off is traumatic, it isn't the end of your professional trajectory, only a minor setback and perhaps a great opportunity should you play your cards right. Focus on you, be strategic, and you can bounce back stronger than ever.
If you've recently been laid off, check out our FREE layoff checklist and masterclass to get back on your feet as soon as possible!
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