Laid Off? 5 Tips to Overcome the Shock
It’s amazing to me that despite how emotionally resilient we think we are, it’s still a shock when we actually get the layoff notice. Especially when we’ve been working for and thriving with The Company for so many years.
The pink slip. Why is it called a pink slip anyway? It’s more like a “YOU’VE BEEN CUT OFF FROM THE MOTHER SHIP!” slip. That’s how I felt when I got my official notification that I was being laid off. And even more so the day they cut off access to my company email system and intranet.
Here are five tips to overcome the shock of being laid off:
1. Acknowledge your Feelings, and Grieve the Loss.
It’s normal to feel a sense of loss during layoff, especially if you’ve been with The Company for so long. Acknowledge how you’re feeling. It feels embarrassing, especially if it seems like people are now avoiding you. What will my friends and loved ones think? They’re probably afraid it’s going to happen to them too. It also feels very sad. The people you worked with were like a community to you. Like a family. Yes, there were a few people you didn’t particularly like, but for the most part, you really enjoyed being around your co-workers and colleagues. Maybe even your boss. You will miss them. Know that it’s normal to feel sad about this. It’s also normal to feel embarrassed about being laid off. Allow yourself some time to grieve the loss.
2. Know That There’s Nothing Wrong with YOU.
It’s NOT a reflection on YOU. It was a business decision, necessitated by the economic environment. The Company must cut costs to survive during tough times. Intellectually, we know that. But we can’t help but to ask “Why me?” Well maybe it’s the role or position that was viewed as “not critical” to keeping the lights on. OK, the job was important and maybe even fun, but it wasn’t a “mission critical” role. It was the POSITION that was eliminated, not YOU. You have talents and skills that can be redeployed in another way to bring value to the world. There’s nothing wrong with YOU.
3. Accept that What Happened, Happened.
A key step to moving on after a crisis is to accept that what happened, happened. After you’ve allowed yourself to acknowledge your feelings and grieve the loss, it’s time to accept the situation and move forward. Don’t over-analyze the situation. What good does it do to keep stressing out over what happened? Don’t keep looking in the rearview mirror. Now it’s time to look forward at the road ahead of you.
4. View This as a Wake-up Call.
Sometimes we need a wake-up call to re-examine our life. For some people, it takes a serious illness or accident to make them think about their life. At least a layoff isn’t a life or death situation. At least you still have your health and your loved ones. In the overall journey of life, the layoff could be viewed as a speed-bump. Slow down for a minute and look at your life. What do you want to do next?
5. Ask Yourself What You Want to Do in the Next Chapter of your Life.
Look for the silver lining in the clouds. They say life is too short. If you expect to live to 100 years old (which is not unreasonable these days), you probably have another 40-70 years ahead of you. Do you want to spend all those years tolerating a life that you don’t absolutely love? So what DO you want to do in the next 50 years of your life? How about using this opportunity to reinvent yourself, and creating a future that is aligned with your passions? How about starting your own business, one that is both profitable and fulfilling?
If you want to find another job, get help from a career coach or a job counselor.
If you want to START YOUR OWN BUSINESS, get help from a certified Life Coach/Business Coach like Keiko Hsu. She can help you identify your long term and short term goals, passions and core values, and then help you explore business ideas that align with your needs, skills, passions, and values AND are commercially viable. She can also help you develop business plans to make sure your business idea is well researched, realistic, and has a high chance of success.
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Contact us to schedule an exploratory consultation. Keiko can be reached at (415) 738-2313 or by email through our Contact Page