Getting Through Being Laid Off in 3 Steps

By: Karrie Comfort

“We’re restructuring our company, and your position has been eliminated.”

Definitely not the words anyone would want to hear, and certainly not a recent college graduate who had just ventured into her first full-time job. This isn’t what was supposed to happen right?

Even though I hadn’t been particularly thrilled with the company I was working at, getting laid off was certainly not a part of the plan, and I had figured that I would continue to passively look for other jobs while remaining in my current position, then transition out slowly & quietly.

Whether or not you loved your job, or couldn’t wait to leave it, getting laid off is a swift change that affects you in all aspects, from your emotional to mental health, and even your physical wellbeing.

Here is how I not only got through, but also grew from my “getting laid off” experience: I know you can do it too!

1) Take a step back… and then road map!

Are you where you want to be? I don’t mean unemployed of course, but it’s a good time to consider if you are simply looking for a similar position, or trying to reinvent yourself. As author Cathleen Benko would point out, we no longer live in a world with a strict up and down corporate ladder, but rather an intricate corporate lattice, and you might be ina great position to make a slight diagonal leap into a position that better suits your needs and desires.

If you feel that there are any gap in your experience or skills that are preventing you from getting the job you want, then figure out what these things are and assess how to obtain them. Make a list that outlines how long it would take to obtain this skill, how much it would cost, and how necessary it is for the career you want.

I personally invested in a Google Analytics Certificate & a Hootsuite Social Media Certificate, along with a LinkedIn Learning & Skillshare memberships, where I’ve learned everything from Adobe Photoshop to personal branding!

2) Rest, Rearrange, & Reset.

Ok, breathe. Stop for a moment. You have been gifted with a brief time to rest and so put it to good use. Grab a face mask from target, sip some tea, and relax. Being laid off can enhance negative emotions like depression, mistrust of society, and even low self-esteem. It’s almost like a dear friend named “Your 9 to 5” has departed, and suddenly at that: it’s okay to mourn.

Take some time to run errands you have been putting off, pay bills that have fallen by the wayside, and rearrange your room the way you’ve always wanted.

I personally washed my car, returned some forgotten Amazon purchases, dropped off loads of dry cleaning, paid a forgotten medical bill, and painted a ton of frames in a giant room redecoration project.

3) Connect With Your Inner Circle

Consider this the reunion tour of your friend group. Use some of your new found free time to rekindle any friendships or family relationships that may have fallen by the wayside during your busy corporate life. The easiest way to remedy any lingering feelings of self-doubt is to be reminded by our inner circles,  just how capable we are, especially because our friends often see us in a more positive light than we will in such times. If you have a mentor, meet with him or her, and continuously seek the advice of those who have gone before you: there will always be strength in numbers.