What to do when you get laid off

      Comments Off on What to do when you get laid off

It’s been a few weeks now since I was laid off from my full time job. This was the first time I had ever lost a job. I had known for awhile that my time with the company was coming to an end and I wasn’t being fulfilled or truly appreciated as an employee, but I also wasn’t going to choose to leave before I had something else set up and ready.

So what do you do when the lay off happens and you don’t have another job ready and waiting on the back burner?

Feel the feelings

I mentioned that I saw this coming. I wasn’t taken entirely off guard, though I obviously hoped I wasn’t going to be one of the first they would choose. Regardless, when it happened there were a LOT of feelings. I was mad and upset; I was worried, concerned, and scared; I was relieved and hopeful. I’m sure there were even more feelings but those show the wide range. I let myself cry. I let myself get mad and vent to my boyfriend, friends, and family. I felt the whole wide range of feelings.

Watch your words

When we’re upset, it’s easy to say something you may later regret. While I was mad and had things I wanted to say, I knew they wouldn’t be nice and wouldn’t come out in a constructive way. I knew I didn’t want to burn any bridges. When HR looked at me and the others in my meeting, she asked if we had any questions. I asked if I could go back to my office, take a few moments to read the paperwork myself and check back in. She said yes so I got up and left. After I gathered myself together, I asked a few questions, packed up my stuff, and left. My manager and my boss reached out later that day but I didn’t respond immediately. In fact, I didn’t respond for over 24 hours. I wanted to make sure I had enough time to gather my thoughts, feel the hurt feelings, and open up a potential dialogue when I was ready.

Get your ducks in a row

I’m not going to go into the details because it can vary so much by state, but I’m basically talking about applying for unemployment, updating your resume and LinkedIn profile, and crunching the numbers to have an idea what you have to work with until you get a new job lined up. I had to wait for some paperwork to come through for health insurance and 401k options, but the things I could deal with right away, I did. This is also the time to get in any final doctor appointments before your insurance runs out. I got in for my 6 month dental cleaning a month early and made sure to see my chiropractor weekly instead of my usual bi-weekly, just in case I couldn’t get back for awhile.

Stay positive

I know it can be hard at times. I’m not going to say I’ve been a little ray of sunshine about the whole thing every single moment since it happened; I haven’t. But I can say that my attitude has been mostly positive. I can see the good in this situation; I can see how it’s pushing me towards better and more fulfilling things; I can see and feel the hope. I know I’m meant for more and I trust that things are working in my favor.

Lean on your tribe

In those moments when I’m not feeling great or when I need a little pick me up, I lean on my people. I talk through ideas and options with my parents, I share my worries with my friends, I soak up the comforting hugs from my boyfriend. Whether I’m feeling good or worried about things, I know there are people who are there for me and in return, they know I will always be there for them if they ever find themselves in a similar situation.

Keep moving forward

Eventually, we have to move forward. I let myself have the moments to reflect or look in, but I don’t let them last very long because I know I have to keep moving forward. I can’t change what happened but what I can do is keep looking for new jobs to apply to, opportunities that seem like a good fit, and journal around how I can best use this time to set myself up for success.

I wish nothing but good things for each and every single one of you. I never wish for people to lose their jobs or end up in a difficult situation, but ultimately we all know that life goes through cycles and sometimes we go through less than ideal moments. While I’m directing this conversation towards the idea of being laid off from your job, this advice actually works for a handful of situations. If you find yourself in that space, I hope you find this helpful.

How do you handle difficult situations like being laid off from a job?


What to do when you get laid off