Layoffs are a harsh reality that many of us may face at some point in our lives. Whether it's due to downsizing, restructuring, or other economic factors, being laid off is a challenging experience. However, life does not end after a layoff. In this blog post, we'll explore some tips for coping with a layoff and moving forward with your life.
Take some time to reflect:
Being laid off can be a shock to the system, and it's important to take some time to reflect on what happened and how you feel about it. Give yourself some space to process your emotions, whether they are anger, sadness, or relief. It's natural to feel a range of emotions, but it's important not to dwell on them for too long. Use this time to reflect on your career goals and what you want to achieve in your next role. Sometimes our emotions can be confusing and difficult to feel. Here are some things you can do to try and create space to process your layoff:
Go for a walk - focus on your senses, the ground beneath your feet, the trees and the sky
Try a meditation practice - Jon Kabat-Zinn said, “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” This does not have to be anything intense or out of your comfort zone. Here is a list of resources to get you started.
Start journaling - journaling can be a great way to figure out what you’re feeling. Write or draw a little bit every day, but don’t force it!
See a counselor or career coach - layoffs can be traumatizing, and sometimes the best option is to seek professional guidance.
Focus on your strengths:
After a layoff, it can be easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you're not good enough.
However, it's important to remember that being laid off is not a reflection of your worth as a person or employee.
Reflect on your strengths and accomplishments. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Ask your friends and family what strengths they see in you. Begin to make a list of these things and focus on them in the days to come. Remind yourself what you excel at and what you are passionate about, and use these as you find a new role or even as you switch careers! A layoff can be a time to reorient yourself to your talents and natural interests and find a role or career that matches your passions.
Networking is an essential part of finding a new job after a layoff. Reach out to your former colleagues, friends, and acquaintances in your industry. Attend industry events, job fairs, and other networking opportunities. You never know who might have a lead on a new job or be able to offer you some advice.
How to network
Networking can be difficult and confusing. It is a term that is thrown around in professional spheres, but rarely is it explained what it is. Here are some things to think about as you begin networking:
Relationships matter - networking is about more than just getting your name in front of as many people as possible. You need to make a connection with people. Instead of “speed networking” and tossing your business card at as many hands as possible, focus on getting to know people.
Share your story - it is impossible to sum up a human being in a resume. While you are networking, do not be afraid to tell your story. What can you do that only you can do? How have you grown through your career experiences, through your layoff? You are more than a resume, don’t be afraid to share this!
Ask about others’ stories - While networking, don’t just talk about yourself! Ask questions and be curious about those you are meeting. This is the best way to form relationships with people, and you will learn a lot by asking others about their experiences.
Don’t spam inboxes - social media is an amazing networking tool. LinkedIn was created with this purpose in mind! But sending a million personal messages to someone is off-putting. By all means, use social media to forge new connections, but don’t overdo it.
Update Your LinkedIn
After a layoff, one of the first things you should do is make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date. Your LinkedIn is your digital resume, and you want to make sure it reflects your skills, passions, and interests well. Be sure to change your profile to “Open to new opportunities” to let alert recruiters that you are actively looking for work.
While updating your LinkedIn, it is smart to think about your personal brand. Who are you? What skills make you stand out from others in your field? How do you want to come across to colleagues, superiors, and clients? LinkedIn is a great place to start the process of showcasing your unique qualities and sharing the story of who you are.
One more thing...
After a layoff, it is a great idea to get references from a boss, colleague, or client as soon as possible–anyone who you have known in a professional context who is willing to shout your praises. References are a key aspect of the job interviewing process, and the more you have, the more robust your resume will be. These references can be physical letters or endorsements on your LinkedIn profile - the more, the better!
Update your skills:
Take advantage of your time off to update your skills and knowledge. Consider taking online courses or attending workshops to learn new skills or improve your existing ones. This will not only make you more marketable to potential employers but will also help you feel more confident in your abilities.
Work on Yourself
Losing your job to a layoff is a disorienting experience, but it is important to keep some consistency in your life. One way you can do this is by seeing yourself as your job now. Searching for a new job can be labor intensive, and updating skills and certifications is time-consuming. But you lay off can be the perfect time to work on things you’ve always wanted to–like actually becoming proficient in Excel. If you can reframe your layoff from a season without work to a chance to work on yourself, you may find it easier to continue applying for jobs, network, and “get back out there.
Being laid off can be a difficult experience, but it's important to remember that it's not the end of the world. With the right mindset and approach, you can come out of a layoff stronger and more excited about your career than ever before.