After I was laid off from my job at the ripe age of 23 (you can read more about my story in this post), the following pieces of advice helped me ease the stress of the transition period that I’m in:
Remember That It’s Not You
Could you have worked longer hours, spent less time tweeting on the job or taken fewer trips to Starbucks? Of course. But that’s not why you were laid off. Remember that layoffs are business decisions, not a reflection of your talent or commitment.
Find the Silver Lining
It’s easy to romanticize your job in retrospect. I had flexible work hours and the ability to work from home, which I instantly appreciated more as soon as I was laid off. But chances are, your job wasn’t perfect. Maybe your pay was lower than what you would have liked, or your work attire was more formal than your style. Think of being laid off as a blessing in disguise—you’re one step closer to finding a job that fits all of your workplace priorities.
No matter how tempted you are to send a snarky email to your boss or shoot out a biting tweet from your company’s account, don’t. Step away from the technology! Remember that there is no way to delete your harsh words from cyberspace or from someone’s memory.
The one word of feedback that stuck out to me most when I publicized my layoff was “graceful.” Readers and friends commented that my blog post was direct without making me look petty or bitter. If future employers see the post, I have faith that they will see it in the same light.
Feel Your Emotions
When I got the call from HR about my layoff, I cried. And I’ve cried several times since then. Pushing your emotions aside won’t benefit you in the long term, but acknowledging them will. I oscillated from laughing to crying to disbelief—and back—in a matter of hours.
Guess what? You’re laid off; you can sleep in! You can have a few drinks on a weekday. You can work out in the middle of the day. You can take a day trip to a cool nearby town. Take advantage of your newfound freedom and break out of your normal routine for a bit.
…Just Not Too Much
Then get back to your normal schedule. Wake up at a decent time. If you work out regularly, keep fitting in gym sessions. Eat healthy, home-cooked meals if that’s what you’re used to. Remember that job searching is just a like a job—you have to commit many hours to it, so make it easier on yourself by sticking with a routine that you’re used to.
Reach Out to Your Support Network
Contact friends, family or someone else who was laid off with you—anyone who will allow you to express your sadness over the loss of your job or your fear over your need to start job searching again.
Surround Yourself with Go-Getters
Likewise, don’t sit at home on the couch in your pajamas all day (okay, maybe for a day or two). Job search at your local Starbucks or coworking space, make dates to meet up with people who inspire you and read blogs of professional development gurus. These positive influences will keep you motivated and away from your fifth pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
Getting laid off is never a wholly positive experience, but you can spin it into an experience that you can grow from.
Have you been laid off? How did you deal? Tell us in the comments.
This post originally appeared on Levo League.
Cristina Roman is a Raleigh lover, a business owner and a former Junior Recruiting Coordinator. She is obsessed with volunteerism, Twitter and Starbucks and loves tennis, gluten-free cooking and professional development. Cristina likes to think of herself as professional with a goofy streak. She blogs about just about everything over at Scintillating Simplicity. Find it here: http://www.cmroman.com/