How to Survive Being Laid Off

Everything is going as usual, you wake up, grab a coffee and a little breakfast but then something strange happens. The phone rings, you pick it up to your boss on the other end of the line calling for an impromptu meeting. Maybe it’s a new client, a promotion, but no.

You walk into the meeting to hear the dreaded words, “I’ve got some bad news for you.” As you try to get your mind around what is happening, they continue, “Business is slow and in this difficult economy, we are being forced to let you go.

Situations like this are playing out every single day and some people let this take them to some dark places but it really isn’t the end of the world. This is your chance to move forward!

The truth is, if money isn’t coming in, the quickest way that a company can cut costs is by laying off its employees. While it isn’t usually about any single employee, sometimes it just feels so damn personal.

You may not be able to control whether or not you get laid off, you can control how you react to the situation.

1. Know That it Will Be Okay

I understand that telling somebody that everything will be okay is much easier than to actually hear and believe it but it’s true. It will be okay! You must remain calm and keep your emotions in check. Getting angry about the situation is never a good idea.

Around 6 years ago, an ex partner of mine got laid off from the company she worked for, she loved the job. It destroyed her but she didn’t let it show. When things picked up for the business they took her back on. Around 7 months later the same happened again. To cut the story short, my ex was laid off 5 times from the same company until they managed to get things sorted. Last time I saw her, she was still working for that same company. Think about it, if she had lost her temper after being laid off on any one of those times, do you really think they would have taken her back? Do you think she would have got good references for her next job? Not a chance.

If you find yourself sitting through an impromptu meeting like we mentioned at the start, thank your boss for the opportunities that you’ve had and ask if you can list them as a reference as you begin your job hunt. Turn around and calmly leave.

You may want to cry, you may even want to yell and scream but if you must, wait until you get back home.

2. Take Some Time Out

It can be easy following a layoff to think that you need to head straight home and start applying for every possible job going. Your mind will most probably be all over the place and so doing this would never be a good idea.

Take a deep breath and take time out for yourself until your range of emotions have been and gone. Even if only for a day or two, you need this time!

3. Let Others Know

Your friends and family are going to find out sooner or later so as difficult as it may be, you’re going to have to tell them. Don’t worry about feeling embarrassed, why should you be embarrassed? It wasn’t your fault and you haven’t done anything to make the situation worse, you walked out with your head held high, right?

You are bound to be upset, it’s natural, but try to approach the topic with a positive outlook and you can avoid it becoming awkward. Don’t be tempted to take your frustrations to social media. This will not do you any favors.

4. Where Do You Want to Be?

Where do you actually want to be 5 years from now? This time out of work is a good chance to have a good think about it. Do you want the same kind of career or something completely different?

I mentioned my ex partner earlier and each time that she got laid off from that company she was able to secure better positions but turned them down because THAT was what she wanted to be doing.

5. Take a Look at Your Finances

It can be easy to just want to hide away but you need to take a realistic look at your finances and budget, and see how long a severance package or unemployment benefits are going to last you. If you fail to do this, you may find yourself in a much more serious situation.

Look at areas in which you can save money around the home. Do you really need all those subscriptions or memberships that you pay for? There is a big difference between wanting something and needing it.

6. Update Your Resume

You need to take the time to update and improve your resume. You can do this very easily yourself at home and isn’t something that will take too long to complete. Get a fresh list of things that you have already done in the past. Write down everything that you have done, even if it doesn’t seem sensible. Also, you should edit and make changes once the final resume is ready.


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