If you have been laid off from work along with 16 million other people and counting, there is hope.
Though it can feel like a pretty hopeless situation, especially given the numbers, you might think you should file for unemployment, apply for the requisite number of jobs, and wait.
But there’s more to it than that.
Let’s start by looking at some of the do’s and don’ts of how to deal with getting laid off from work.
Laid Off from Work: The Do’s and Don’ts
There are several do’s and don’ts you should think about in this situation. I’ve listed some of the most important below:
DO allow yourself to feel a range of emotions
Getting laid off from work can be an emotional time.
Expect to feel anything from sadness, grief, loss, hurt, anger, and betrayal.
Co-workers that you once saw daily are no longer part of your everyday life. Big goals that you may have once been driven to achieve have vanished overnight leaving you with a sense of loss, and a title that once formed part of your identity is gone.
You may feel anger at the company or your boss for betraying you after years of loyal service.
You need time to mourn these losses and and talk about these feelings with trusted people. They are normal. Just like you would need to process any shift in identity, transition or break up of relationship, you’ll need to think and feel through this too.
DO start making a plan for what’s next as soon as possible.
You may want to do nothing for a while. If your job was especially stressful, your boss was toxic, your work culture negative, you might want to sit on the couch for a week (or a month) watching Netflix to recover from the loss, but you should start planning for your job search right away.
There’s no telling how long it will take to land a new job, and you can always negotiate your start date on the other end if you want to.
Get out there and start talking to people. Establish a routine for job searching, just like you would a job – devote a certain number of hours per day to it, do it in real clothes, not pajamas. When you take your job search seriously, the results will come back to you.
DON’T become toxic or burn bridges.
There is never a good reason to burn bridges at your old company, even if you’ve been laid off or fired.
Old bosses and co-workers are your connections to new conversations that will bring you leads to new positions. That is your network. Even if you never call on your old boss, badmouthing him or her can only reflect badly on you.
Getting laid off, especially right now, it’s not about you, after all. Even though it’s not personal, the pain is no less real.
DON’T forget self-care.
Self care is critical if you’ve been laid off from work.
It’s important to maintain a self-care practice to take care of yourself. Include attention to diet, exercise, social activities (even virtual ones), noticing when you’re not feeling well and trying to understand those feelings and attend to them.
Taking care of yourself is critically important in this time when finding a job can feel daunting.
Hope After Being Laid Off From Work
There is hope after being laid off from work. You have skills and experience that you’ve gathered from years of employment, and those can serve you now.
Discover how to pivot by diving into your network to learn what value you can add.
People will be willing to hire you if you can remain positive, proactive, and focused on what you can do next rather than what you’ve lost.