10 Tips to Survive a Layoff
Throughout your career, you will face different challenges every now and then, and you will learn from them new skills that will enrich your personality and experience. If you had your ideal job, it could be a challenging experience to lose it. People react differently to this significant challenge, depending on how it affects them financially and emotionally. Some may have financial commitments, whereas others may miss the status associated with their position or the passion felt every day practicing a profession they loved.
In any case, good management of the emotional shock of losing your job is key to overcome it.
It is normal to feel angry, sad, depressed, stressed, and worried about the future, or perhaps you cannot even believe what happened. Afford yourself some time to deal with your negative emotions. Take some rest, maybe for a few days, or even a week so that toxic thoughts may not take over your mind. Later, you should be able to accept reality and adapt to the new situation. If you are still unable to do so, there is nothing wrong with consulting a psychologist to help you recover.
You have to stay positive and know that job loss is not the end of the world. Your attitude will define your future. If you believe that the problem lies in you or there are no solutions, you will never manage to bounce back, whereas if you consider the whole experience as a temporary adversity that can be overcome, believing things will be better even though the current outlook is uncertain, you will work it out.
Always look on the bright side. It may be an opportunity to work for a new company with ample room for self-fulfillment, make a career shift, or start your own business.
Now, do a careful situation analysis and reconsider where you are. Think of it as a transition period to further career development.
Focus on your new temporary job, which is seeking a new job or even a new career track. Here are ten tips that can help you get back on track:
1- KEEP YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
At first, try to maintain a daily routine similar to that in your employment days — at least the wake-up time. If you later find that you are more productive during other times of the day, it is okay to adopt a new routine. Generally speaking, it is advisable to get up early to make use of the daytime, when you are supposed to contact employers. More importantly, do not escape the world through sleep or let yourself become too lazy.
2- GET YOUR CV READY
As a job hunter, your CV is your biggest asset. Write a CV that highlights your strengths, such as the skills you have, the know-how you acquired, and the achievements you made at work. When applying for a vacancy, make sure to include a cover letter explaining how your skills and expertise match the requirements of the position, and can contribute to the growth of the company.
3- ESTABLISH YOUR BRAND
Personal branding became crucial for those who want to promote their expertise and capabilities. Pay attention to your page on LinkedIn. Use it to showcase your experience and communicate with individuals and companies in your field of work. Also, promote yourself on other social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Select the ones that serve you best, based on their suitability to the content that would describe what gives you an advantage in the industry. Create a profile on other job search websites, such as bayt.com and monster.com. It is also a good idea to launch a personal website where you can post an interactive CV or publish a career blog.
Contact your former colleagues and other connections to find out if they know about any vacancies in other companies. Do not be shy to do so; you are just requesting information, not asking them for a job. Do not presuppose that others will not help you nor expect too much of them. Moreover, do not be frustrated if you do not receive the expected help from them. Attend workshops, conferences, fairs, or any other career events related to your field. It will help you build up your social network, showcase your experience, and evolve your personal brand. You can also consider volunteering.
5- NEVER STOP LEARNING
No matter how considerable your expertise and potential are, some of your skills will necessarily need improvement, because they were not required for your former job. In addition, there must be new skills in your field that you have not possessed yet. Allot a specific time every day to learn, through enrolling in academic/training courses in your field, or even in other fields. Exploring new areas that match your capacities might lead to a career shift or open new doors for you.
6- BE FLEXIBLE
Do not expect a job with the same level and benefits as the one you used to have. Do not turn down a readily available job opportunity out of pride or shame from loss of prestige, so long as it would expand your experience and skills. And why not consider a career change if you have the competencies to land an available job in a different field? Other options for you may include independent or project-based work.
7- STAY FRIENDLY WITH YOUR EX-EMPLOYER
Whatever the circumstances surrounding losing your job, try to keep in touch with your former manager. Leaving your company is not the end of your story; it will feature in your CV forever. A future employer may want to talk to your former manager about their evaluation of your work performance or the reasons for laying you off.
8- LOOK AFTER YOUR HEALTH
Do not ignore your physical or mental health! Now, you have enough time to exercise. Even a walk can boost your mood and clear your head. Consider doing yoga, meditation, or any other practice that has a positive effect on your mind. Also, make sure to surround yourself all the time with positive people.
9- SORT OUT YOUR FINANCES
More often than not, job loss causes financial stress. One essential step you have to take immediately is to devise a financial plan for what we call the ‘transition period.’ Review your current resources and outstanding obligations, and try to cut your spending as much as possible. Purchase just what you need, and opt to invest in what would push your career forward.
Do not be disappointed if your early attempts at finding a new job fail. Every interview you attend, and every message you send to a prospective employer, is in itself an experience. Do not stop searching until you get what you want! Keep learning, and always be hopeful. Remember that only those who are persistent achieve the greatest success.