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Job | Strategies

You’ve Been Laid Off, Now What?

Millions of Americans are experiencing something that maybe they’ve never experienced before in their lives. I know I was one of them — you lost your job. Are you living on your own? Do you have a family to provide for? Are you living with your parents? Do you even have the option to move back in with your parents?! These are roadblocks and/or concerns that people have to deal with, on top of figuring out how to provide for oneself and others.

Now you’re sitting in your makeshift “home office” reviewing the news that you just got. Did this actually just happen? Did I hear that correctly? Surely this was a mistake. Did they mean to send ME that calendar invite to tell me I was being laid off? All of your accounts, email and chats we’re all shut off in a split second. You’re texting your work friends reviewing what happened. But there is one underlying question that needs to be addressed — now what?

First and foremost, you need to give yourself time. Your mental health is just as important, if not more, than you finding a new job. There is a chance you may not be thinking straight upon hearing the news of you losing your job. Give yourself the rest of the day, and even the next day, to digest what happened and figure out your next move. You also need to understand that this is business and not personal. The last thing you should do is jump on LinkedIn and start bashing your former employer. It would be a shame if you’re interviewing for a job and your potential employer sees how you react when something goes wrong — you are your own brand.

Second, after taking some personal time, you need to devise a plan. Your job search is now your 9-5. You need to know what you want, what your worth is, and how you’re going to get it. Start asking yourself things like “Do I look for the same/similar role?” or “Is this time to look for an advancement in my career?”. Questions like these will help you create a path to follow. Organization is key. Use a tool to keep track of your applications and interviews to stay on top of things. Find a staffing firm to help you connect with as many hiring managers as possible. This may seem like extra work, but it will benefit you in the long run.

Third, stay positive and get better. This is easier said than done, but this will help you more than you know. Something like this is out of your control. Instead of pointing fingers, figure out how you can grow from this. Everything happens for a reason. You ARE going to find another job. You will NOT be laid off forever. Use this extra time to improve on your skills and better yourself to be a desirable candidate for employers.

Figure out what you want in life and go after it. You’ll thank yourself later.

Peter Eterno