Career Center

How to survive a layoff during challenging times

Jobs can be lost due to rising competition, economic slowdowns, or natural disasters. It is always possible for the economy to turn around when it is weak, and the turnaround can be quite quick. Imagine the sudden change in employment climate following the onset of COVID19 in 2020 and staffing shortages experienced just a year or two later. Unemployment may catch you unprepared, so you should take advantage of this time to think about how you can be well-prepared in the future.

If you are able to deal with your concerns and feelings effectively, you will be able to mobilize yourself and build the necessary resources to begin your job search and to prepare to reenter the job market.

Take these steps to deal with your layoff's emotional challenges:

Here are some tested strategies for handling layoffs.

1. Keep calm
When you are laid off, you should not panic, just try to keep calm. It is important not to lose sight of two facts: you are a skilled worker and you are going to work again in the future.
Make the best of what has happened and focus your energies on finding a solution. In order to survive a layoff, the way you view the loss of employment is crucial. Stay away from negative thoughts.

2. Express yourself without fear
The experience of fear, anxiety, and depression after losing your job is completely normal. Be honest with yourself about what you are experiencing, otherwise you won't be able to cope.
3. Make a note of everything
Feel free to put your feelings down on paper. Your writing should be a place for all your negative emotions to escape and to be expressed. Make sure you do it as many times as you need to. It is even possible to write a letter to the company and then burn it.  Catharsis can be very beneficial in this situation.

4. List all the positive things about yourself
It is a great way to build your self-esteem and feel more positive. Get recommendations from colleagues and managers. Boosting your confidence and assisting you with your job search are both essentials for surviving a layoff.

5. Make a list of any positive outcomes from this experience
By gaining value from the experience, you gain the ability to move from victim to survivor. Make sure you tell yourself positive things about yourself.

6. Take part in stress-reduction activities
Yoga, jogging, walking, or whatever relaxing activity you prefer are all great ways to relax. You need to prepare for renewal and reduce your anxiety during a layoff by getting involved in activities that you enjoy.

7. Make a financial assessment
Knowing your layoff rights will contribute to reducing your financial anxiety.
Is your salary sufficient to meet your needs? You should consider your savings, your expenses, and your assets. Would it be possible for you to sell assets that are no longer of use to you? Is every expense you incur on a monthly basis essential?
If you review your financial situation, your salary requirements may change, allowing you to choose a job or career that is more suitable for you.

8. Reflect on your actions
The layoff provides you with the opportunity to examine your job and career history, your possible career path, and your personal career goals. This gives you the opportunity to consider all this and determine what your next step should be.
Taking some time off the treadmill gives you the chance to figure out where you are and where you can be in your professional career.

9. Make a list of your knowledge and current skills
Take a look back at your work experience and determine the skills you possess which are most valuable and marketable.

10. Develop your skills
In order to survive a layoff, it may be necessary to take advantage of the time provided by the layoff to learn new skills.  It is critical to continue to learn and upgrade your skills and knowledge in today's job market.
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Do you have any interests that can be converted into workplace skills?
You may even want to consider changing the location where these skills are offered. The location of where you work can be changed to match where the demand for your skills is.  When people move from low employment areas to high employment areas, their lives are changed forever.
You will need to prepare your resume and begin your job search once you have taken these steps. Learn how to survive a layoff.