How to Handle a Layoff

Unexpected Job Loss can be a Huge Challenge

You get up every work day thinking about the tasks you need to complete when you get to work. You may feel overwhelmed at work at times, but you know it’s good to have a job that pays the bills. Then, you arrive at work, and your boss calls you and several other coworkers into a conference room. A Human Resources person is at the meeting, too. Then, your boss gives all of you the news that you are losing your jobs.

Being dismissed from work is never easy. Your first thoughts are probably around how you’re going to tell your family (if you have one) and how are you going to pay the bills? Do you have enough money to cover your expenses for the next several months? It’s not as easy as it used to be to find a new job and even when you find something, some companies take several months before you end up starting with them. Many companies are using temporary employment agencies to “try out” workers before offering them permanent positions, and these “temporary” positions can last for years!

The first step is not to panic. Losing your job is definitely an adverse situation. However, it is not the end of the world. You will find something eventually. Besides, you can always start up a business online. It’s never been easier or cheaper to get something going. Of course, that doesn’t mean it is easy to make money when you take that route. It still takes work.

Next, don’t let the impending loss of your job adversely affect your self-esteem and self-confidence. It’s likely that you did nothing wrong – it’s the situation we live in nowadays. Layoffs happen for a myriad of reasons, and job performance sometimes has nothing to do with it.

Focus on Next Steps to Rectify the Situation

Don’t focus on what happened with your job. Instead, focus on how you are going to rectify the situation. That puts your energy in the right place. Further, you will have less of a chance of gaps in your employment history.

Some people start taking drugs or abusing alcohol after being laid off or fired, and that’s something you need to avoid. It’s easy to get hooked, and once you do, it is challenging to overcome the situation. It could lead to you postponing your search for your job. Worse, you will likely alienate your family and friends. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol is a depressant. If you are down about your situation, it will further drag you down.

YOU ARE NOT YOUR JOB. That’s right – you are FAR more than the job that you do (or have done). You have worth and dignity as a human being that has absolutely NOTHING to do with what you do for a living. You are worthy of love, admiration and multiple chances to get back on your feet – and as long as you keep a positive outlook, your situation WILL resolve itself in your favor.

Try to cut back on your spending immediately. It’s easy to rack up credit card balances which will become harder to pay when those balances reach unmanageable levels. Hopefully, you have saved some money for emergencies. If so, use this money instead of hitting up the credit cards, and be careful what you spend. This is not the time to go out and purchase a new “looking for work” wardrobe, though updating a few pieces in your closet might not be a bad idea.

Stay Focused on What’s Important and Essential

This is also NOT the time to decide you need a “vacation” to help forget your troubles. Instead, spend some time going over your resume and look into your local or regional employment office for free resources to help you polish up and expand on your experience. You may be overlooking something you’ve learned in your time on the job that needs to be listed on your resume.

If you find yourself strapped for cash, make sure you pay your mortgage or rent before any other payment. You don’t want the bank hunting you down and eventually foreclosing on your property. You can negotiate the payment terms on other bills as your situation improves.

One final tip: don’t let the negative emotions of shame and embarrassment stop you from using your network of friends, family and business associates to help you find your next position. The more people that know you’re looking for a new position, the more sets of ears and eyes you’ve got working in your favor. Sometimes people in your community can be a source of new opportunities beyond new positions – educational opportunities, new training (or re-training) programs, and incentives in new markets.

Keep your head and your spirits high, and do something every single day to move you closer to your goal of re-employment. Take a little time for yourself, but set your next goal and take the important and essential steps necessary to get you there.




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