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  • Writer's pictureadvanzher

10 Tips for Life After Layoff


 

For some of you a layoff is simply a business decision, nothing personal, it is what it is and perhaps a part of life. For few others, a layoff is a sense of relief. You weren’t particularly loving your job anyway, and now you have a newly found freedom you've been waiting for. But for the majority of you, a layoff brings about many unanswered questions and can often lead to much stress and anxiety about the future.


No matter your age, a layoff can bring about much reflection. While there are a number of reasons a company can lay you off, the truth is, it doesn’t really matter, because at the end of the day, you still don’t have a job. 


Now not all is lost, and while it may feel like the world is ending, a layoff can be a very transformative time. A layoff can be an opportunity to pivot your career, elevate your career or even start from scratch as scary as that sounds.


According to the Tech Target, as of March 2024, more than 200 tech companies laid off over 50,000 employees in the early few months of the year alone. Maybe even you were impacted by one of these layoffs. Either way, likely you found this post as a result of being impacted by layoffs. But now what? For some of you, getting back into the job market is not a problem, you’re great with interviewing, you can apply to a job and you hear back right away. Your resume is on point, you don’t get nervous for interviews, it’s a breeze! Unfortunately, that’s not most of you.


Getting laid off is hard. Not only is it emotionally taxing, but mentally, it’s a confusing time. Getting laid off hits humans at their most basic need. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs indicates the basic needs include things like food, water, shelter, clothing, sleeping….breathing. Breathing? Yes, even breathing. If you haven’t put energy into saving for a rainy day, or didn’t receive the best severance package, preparing for a lay off, an initial reaction to a lay off can really feel like an attack to your basic needs.


How am I going to pay for my rent? What about my bills? Should I even pay for food now? These are questions that most people would have storming their mind, if their access to money was cut short. The problem here, these triggering thoughts can lead to some undesired outcomes. Having consistent thoughts in this way, can even impact quality sleep.


What can you do to take back control? Here are some actions you can take to get yourself in the best mindset to recover and bounce back from a layoff.


 


  1. Breathe Taking time to slow down breathing is an immediate way to regulate your nervous system. In the flight or fight mode, one of the first things to get lost in translation is breathing. But if you’re not breathing, you’re not living.

    1. Tip: Try placing one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Inhale slowly from your chest. Feel your chest and stomach rise. Exhale from your stomach first slowly until all the air is out.

 


2. Move Your Body


Take a walk. Run. Do some yoga. Stretch. Have a dance party! Moving your body allows you to break up stagnation. Taking on full exercise helps your brain release endorphins. Releasing endorphins naturally picks the brain up and redirects negative thoughts. If you feel like you tend to spiral with thoughts and your thoughts have a domino effect, creating habits that help you get out of the domino effect quickly like moving around can really help break up thoughts and combat negative spirals. Remember, your thoughts can create your reality. What do you want that reality to look like?


 


3. Reach out to a Friend


Reaching out to a friend serves as a dual purpose. Reaching out to a friend takes literal action. Sometimes when you’re not feeling great about yourself, it can be helpful to push yourself to foster relationships. While you may process deep thoughts on your own, it’s important to remember, going through a layoff can be difficult, but you are not alone. Isolating can lead to increased negative thoughts. Try doing something fun together, like going to the beach, getting outdoors for a hike or listening to music at the park. There are lots of free activities that can get your mind off of your current situation.


 


4. Read


Reading is a powerful tool to shift your mindset and gain new perspectives. Whether it's diving into a self-help book, exploring a novel, or catching up on articles related to your field, reading can provide a much-needed escape and a wealth of knowledge. Books on personal development, career transitions, or even inspirational biographies can offer valuable insights and motivation during this challenging time. In addition, books that take you to another place, can provide some balance and relief. Consider creating a reading list of books that can help you navigate through your layoff and emerge stronger.


 


5. Find a Coach or go to Therapy


Sometimes, talking to a professional can make all the difference. A career coach can help you identify your strengths, polish your resume, and prepare for interviews, providing a structured approach to your job search. On the other hand, therapy can offer a safe space to process the emotional aspects of a layoff. A therapist can help you work through feelings of anxiety, loss, or uncertainty, and equip you with coping strategies. Both coaches and therapists can be invaluable resources in your journey to recovery and growth.


 


6. Network


Reconnecting with your professional network is crucial after a layoff. Attend industry events, join professional groups on social media, and reach out to former colleagues. Networking can lead to new job opportunities, provide support, and keep you updated on industry trends. Don't hesitate to let people know you're looking for new opportunities; many jobs are filled through referrals and word of mouth.


 


7. Learn a New Skill


Use this time to upskill or reskill. There are numerous online courses and certifications available in almost every field. Whether you want to enhance your current skills or explore a new career path, learning something new can make you more marketable and boost your confidence. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer a wide range of courses that can help you stay competitive in the job market. Also, for a free resource YouTube can be a great platform but also check out what your local library may offer.


 



8. Set Goals


Having a plan can help you stay focused and motivated. Set short-term and long-term goals for yourself, whether it's applying to a certain number of jobs each week, completing an online course, or attending networking events. Break your goals into manageable steps and track your progress. This structured approach can help you feel more in control and keep you moving forward.


 


9. Volunteer


Volunteering can be a fulfilling way to spend your time while you're between jobs. It not only allows you to give back to the community but also helps you stay active, meet new people, and potentially gain new skills. Sometimes it may even lead to networking opportunities and expand your network in a way you may not have been able to in the past. Volunteering can also be a valuable addition to your resume, demonstrating your commitment and ability to stay engaged even during challenging times.


 


10. Reflect and Reevaluate


Take some time to reflect on your career path and what you truly want from your professional life. A layoff can be a catalyst for reevaluating your goals, passions, and values. Ask yourself what you enjoyed most about your previous roles and what aspects you'd like to change. This introspection can guide you toward a more fulfilling and aligned career.



A layoff can be a daunting experience, but it also offers a unique opportunity for growth and transformation. By taking proactive steps such as breathing exercises, physical activity, connecting with friends, reading, seeking professional help, networking, learning new skills, setting goals, volunteering, and reflecting on your career, you can navigate through this period with resilience and optimism. Remember, this is a temporary setback, not a permanent state. Embrace the journey and trust that it can lead to new and exciting opportunities.

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