You’ve been laid off – now what?

Jun 5, 2024 | Quick Takes

Getting laid off sucks – especially when you are great at your job, love it or need it. 😒

It’s easy to spiral into a vortex of negative self-talk:

I’m not good enough.
Why me?
Why not someone else?
It’s not fair.
Who will hire me with this ding on my resume?
How can I recover?
I feel so distraught.

As part of my 100 Days of Women campaign, I’ve spoken to nearly 75 women and non-binary people this year. Many of them have been laid off in recent months and they are struggling – struggling to make sense of it and struggling to know how to recover.

Layoffs are generally NOT the result of poor individual performance but poor executive performance. It’s true. Layoffs occur when leaders over-forecast revenue, under-forecast expenses, or fail to adjust to shifting market conditions. Further, they may have a board of directors, owners, or investors demanding a leaner organization. If so, layoffs are likely.
If this was the case in your company, getting laid off is not your fault. 🙅‍♀️

Please take that in. 👂

It’s not your fault.

Whatever you’re feeling is normal and valid. Being laid off can be disorienting, scary, and lonely. What should you do next?

Here are 11 tips to help you recover, reset, and relaunch:

1. Give yourself time to grieve. 😢 Unleash your emotions. Stay in bed, have a big cry, and yell into the wilderness. Whatever helps you process and release your anger, shame, or disappointment. Limit this time to a few days, one week, or one month—whatever you can afford—and then move on.

2. Rediscover spontaneity. ✨Listen to podcasts you’ve never heard of, read books stacked by your bedside, go to new coffee shops, venture to new neighborhoods, try a new sport (pro tip: pickleball!), or volunteer in your community. Say “yes” to activities you didn’t have time for previously.

3. Care for and invest in yourself. 🧘‍♀️Use this time to exercise, sleep, eat well, and sit alone quietly. You may want to invest in a coach, therapist or a getaway. Investigate taking a course to increase your credentials and demonstrate a growth mindset to recruiters and future employers.

4. Discover what fuels you. 🤔 Spend time reflecting on your values, strengths, what type of environment you excel in (or don’t), what you want in a future role (and don’t), your ideal workday, the people you enjoy working with, and the industries, organizations, and leaders that inspire you. Research “best places to work” in your community or industry to inspire your thinking. Use our free Reset Worksheet to support this process.

5. Craft an elevator intro. 🗣️ After reflecting on the Reset Worksheet, define what you’re looking for (and what you qualify for) so that others can more readily help you. Write a few sentences that describe what you’re seeking.

I’ve spent the last 8 years working in digital marketing for Amazon and Target, focusing on the customer experience. I was a Manager and then promoted to Senior Manager. I want to transition to the healthcare sector and help companies become more patient-centered.

I’ve worked in PR for traditional financial institutions for 6 years. I just completed my MBA and want to work for a growing, progressive company in AI. I’m open to in-person and hybrid positions.

6. Reach out to professional friends. 👥 Tap into your alumni network, reconnect with former professors or classmates, contact former colleagues, and sign up for in-person industry mixers. Focus on people who love what they do. Hold your head high and say you’re exploring what’s next in your career and would love to learn about their journey. (Most people love to talk about themselves.) Ask what they enjoy about their role, what strategies they’ve used to find a great fit, and what ideas they may have to inspire your search. This can be uncomfortable if you haven’t been networking as a habit. Be patient and stick with it. After a few times, you will build more confidence.

7. Sharpen your resume and LI profile. 📝 Incorporate best practices for updating your resume and keeping it fresh. Ensure your LinkedIn profile works as hard as possible, as this is a great way for recruiters to find you. Tap into a friend with excellent editing skills to ensure you appear professional and as intended. If you need the services of a professional, sign up for our Resume Revamp to get live 1:1 feedback on how to shape a compelling resume or LI profile.

8. Commit to a schedule. ⏰ Looking for a job requires structure, consistency, and follow-through. Dedicate at least half of your workday to networking, outreach, thank you letters, and applications.

9. Practice interview questions. 🎤 Glass Door published the top 50 most-asked questions, and Dilara Casey, an expert career coach, answered each in this empowering series of TikToks. Write down your answers and practice saying them aloud until you get comfortable. Focus on eye contact and resist looking away when answering difficult questions.

10. Stay positive and open to feedback. 😊 If you don’t land a role, ask for feedback. This is a great way to learn and sharpen your focus and message. (Sometimes, jobs go to internal candidates to reinforce a culture of upward mobility.) Even though you may feel fatigued, stressed, or demoralized at various moments throughout the process, dig deep to find your most upbeat self. Your energy can broadcast whether you’re a fit (or not). Bring your best self to the process.

11. Join an accountability group. 🤝 Author Phyl Terry wrote “Never Search Alone” and formed a non-profit that has accumulated volunteer experts who lead Job Search Councils designed to help people apply his tools, support each other, and secure employment that fits.

Getting laid off is a bump in the long, winding road of life. Use these proven tips to help you get back on track – and then pay it forward and support someone else when they are laid off and reach out to you.

You are equipt to recover, reset, and relaunch,

Congratulations to Aubrey Snyder for winning last month’s book giveaway of “Atomic Habits”! Package is on the way!

This month, we’re giving away a copy of the book “The Artist Way.” In this book, Julia Cameron demonstrates how creativity isn’t simply reserved for a subset of “artistic” people but resides in everyone – and simply needs to be unleashed.

To enter:

      1. Subscribe to our newsletter (done!) ✅
      2. Follow us on LinkedIn

For extra entries: Tag friends in our LinkedIn giveaway post!


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