How to Manage Your Emotions When You’ve Been Laid Off

I’m going to tell you a little secret that I don’t want you to keep to yourself: almost everyone gets laid off at some point during their career.

But, hardly anyone ever talks about it. It’s treated as something embarrassing, defeating, and worst of all: evidence of failure. This is because we personalize and internalize it instead of taking a step back and scouting out ways to turn this negativity into opportunity.

Sometimes, when people get laid off, they come to me for help. That’s how I know that there is a right and a wrong way to deal with being laid off. It’s tough, I know, but you can emerge from this experience ready to own your greatness and land your dream job! Here’s what I want you to do:

1) Be angry

That’s right. Shout, scream, complain, and let it all out to your closest friends, your significant other, and whoever else will lend you a pair of ears. The more you keep your anger in, the more you internalize what has happened to you and the less likely you are to pick yourself up and move on. Take this time to acknowledge your anger, because getting laid off, no matter why it happened, sucks. This is why it’s good to have a Career Coach to help you process your emotions and see things from different perspective to get you on the right track for your new job search.

2) Reflect on what you’ve accomplished

After you let your anger out, always take the time to remember your successes. You may have put your heart into your last position. You probably did your best to make it work, and maybe you were completely blindsided when you were told that you had been laid off. Either way, take note of what you achieved during your time there and you will be well on your way towards moving onwards and upwards! Not to mention that this information will be critical when you’re updating your resume for the job search.

3) Acknowledge what you’re grateful for

Every opportunity is a chance to expand your knowledge, develop yourself personally, and broaden your horizons. You may be disappointed and vulnerable now, but there must be something about your last position that added value to you or your career, whether it was a stepping-stone to better things or you learned a new skill that allowed you to grow.

4) Recognize what you learned from the experience

Maybe you loved what you did in your last position, or perhaps it never really clicked for you.  If you weren’t really enjoying it, then take the time to investigate why. Was it the work environment? Was it the hours? Was it the company culture? Was it the industry? Was the type of work just not inspiring you? Now that you’re prepping to get back into the job market, take the time to answer these questions and perhaps even re-evaluate your career-path.

5) Treat it as a growth opportunity

This is your chance to come back better than ever, with a more comprehensive sense of what you want to do and how you’re going to do it. You may feel intimidated by the impending job search, but if you tackle it head on you’ll be able to use the time productively. Are there industries that you think you may be interested in that you haven’t investigated yet? Have you been ignoring your hobbies since you started your last position? Would you be interested in engaging in personal development, such as taking a course, attending workshops and seminars, or investing in life and career coaching?

Everything happens for a reason. You might not agree with this now, but it’s true. In this job market, getting laid off is the natural progression of anyone’s career. You can dwell on it, or you can learn from it and emerge from the process better than ever! Have the courage to take advantage of this time, to learn more about yourself, and to broaden your horizons.

Have you ever been laid off? What is your top tip for others in that situation? Let me know in the comments section below!


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