So, you’ve invested years into a company, arriving at work like any other day. You attempt to log into your dashboards— your log-in credentials do not work. Moments later, you are asked to report to the manager’s office — “you’ve been laid off”. These words can be gut-wrenching and disheartening, causing stress and fear of what’s to come.
Recovering from a layoff is an emotional rollercoaster, especially during uncertain economic times, but having a plan to keep focused and move on will ease some of the layoff anxiety. It is okay to be gloomy for a while after a layoff as you put so much heart and soul into your work for it to suddenly be disrupted. With a bit of self-reflection, soul searching, and some preparation, this problem can be solved with tenacity and a new outlook on life, not just your career. Let’s review a strategic plan to help you heal and get back out there!
- Understand Your Benefits/Severance Package
Ensure you speak with an HR professional within your organization to get the ‘ins and outs’ of your severance/layoff package. This will eliminate any guesswork and give proper channel information to take advantage of all services. Understanding all the details can instantly reduce stress by eliminating ‘what ifs’, providing enlightenment about the unknown. Also be sure to reevaluate household budgets and maximize finances wherever possible.
2. Sign Up For Public Resources
There are many resources for job seekers and people in transition. Job and Family Services will even help people who want to start their own business rather than get another job. Your state and county offices are the best places to start seeking out these services. Here are some link that may hep you get started.
3. Give Yourself Time
One of the most important steps is giving yourself time to heal from the initial shock. Obviously, with a layoff, finances are an instant worry, but there are many things you can do the help heal while keeping extra spending low. Have pets you can spend time with? Books you’ve been meaning to read or want to catch up on your favorite TV series? Do you like to paint, get creative with crafts, or work in your garden? We all have hobbies, and spending some time diving into what makes us happy elevates our mindset. Remember to enjoy the little things in life while preparing for a new chapter and challenge.
4. Self-Discovery, Both Personal & Professional
Fully closed that chapter door and ready to move on? It’s time to ask, ‘what do I want in my life AND the workplace?’. A layoff could be a blessing in disguise that enables the opportunity to try something new, maybe different than anything experienced before. There are many advantages to understanding our personal goals, values, and aspirations in life. It is the key to being happy at our work and at home. Being authentic to ourselves and others around us can open many doors for current and future opportunities. Understand the role you want to play in the workplace, and then seek out tools to make it happen.
5. Get Your Professional Documents Ready for Job Searching/Networking
After you have had time to reflect on yourself, your life, and your career, it is time to knuckle down and grab that next opportunity. BIG things to have before your job search: an updated resume that is Applicant Tracking System (ATS) friendly, a cover letter that speaks to your life/career journey and where you want to go next, and a LinkedIn profile optimized for searchability and networking. Note that networking is a vital part of job searching. It is important to research your current professional network and see who you can reach out to for help. Sometimes letting others know you are seeking a new opportunity can lead you in a direction you never expected.