While not something you ever want to experience, being laid off is a reality of working. Sometimes you can see it coming, and you can prepare, but sometimes it comes out of the blue and catches you off guard. It can be tough to deal with a layoff, especially if you didn’t do anything wrong. Here are a few tips to help you deal with the sudden change if you are unlucky enough to get laid off.
One of the hardest things to deal with about a layoff may be your emotions. A lot of people depend on their job to not only support themselves financially but also to give them purpose. When you lose that purpose, you may feel angry, depressed, or worthless. You may feel like if you had just been a little better, you would have been able to keep your job. These are not healthy thought processes though, so make sure you don’t wallow in them. Beating yourself up and indulging in negative emotions is just more likely to make it hard for you to find new work. Instead, focus on the positive things. Use your time productively, instead of spending it all in bed or watching Netflix.
The best thing that you can do after a layoff is to start looking for a new job. You aren’t going to get rehired by your old company, and wallowing in unemployment isn’t going to do you any good. If you are lucky enough to get a severance package, that is great, but that will run out sooner rather than later. The longer you are out of work, the worse it looks to future employees, so start by updating your resume and begin searching job listings.
While starting your job search, it may be a good time to evaluate where your career is going and what your goals are. If your current track isn’t getting you what you want out of work, now may be the best time to make a change. You can examine other options within your skill set, or you can use this time to go back to school to gain additional skills. There is no set list of things that you have to accomplish to be “successful” or “fulfilled.” The change may be difficult, but it is easier to start from scratch when you don’t have any current obligations to a job.
It is important to budget the money that you currently have so you can make sure that it lasts until you get a new job. If you have been budgeting before your layoff and you already have some emergency savings, you are in much better condition than you would be otherwise. Take a look at what expenses are necessary and what you can cut back on. Try to avoid using your credit cards if possible, since you don’t want to have to deal with more debt during this period than is necessary.
It can be embarrassing to let other people know that you were laid off, but hiding the fact that you don’t have a job can do more harm than good. Networking has been proven time and time again to be one of the most effective ways to find a job. But if your friends and family don’t know that you need a job, they can’t help you find one. You don’t have to tell them all the details, but you should let them know that you are looking for a job and what kinds of jobs you are qualified for.
Getting laid off is never easy, but it doesn’t have to ruin your life. Use these tips to bounce back and find a new path forward. What is important is that you don’t give up. You will find another job, and you will be able to support yourself and your family.