The headlines are everywhere…Facebook’s parent company, Meta, laid off 13% of its total workforce. Twitter slashes 50% of its employees. Peloton lays off thousands. Hundreds of employees cut from Netflix and Shopify. The Gap cut 5% of its employees just prior to the busy holiday shopping season. It seems that the recession everyone has been worried about has arrived.
With all this chatter about folks being laid off, I realized that for many this may be the first layoff of their careers. As a person that has been down that road not once, but twice (not to mention some periods of under employment in between those layoffs), I thought I would share a few small pieces of advice that I wish someone would have given me.
Here are 4 helpful tips for surviving your first layoff:
- Job hunting sucks for most people. If you were laid off with others, try to make it a group activity. Get together with former coworkers once a week at a coffee shop or on a Zoom. Help each other out. Share job listings or contact info for good recruiters. Make intros. Celebrate each other as people in your group get jobs and the group gets smaller. Don’t have coworkers you can group up with? Post on LinkedIn. There are lots of folks there that are job hunting right now that would love to join you.
- Whatever you do, don’t make job hunting a full time job. It will drive you nuts. Get outside. Do things you could never do while you were working, even if it just grocery shopping during the day when the stores are a little less busy. Give time to a charity you believe in. Learn a language or a musical instrument. Listen to your favourite playlist and have a dance party in your living room. Have lunch or coffee with your working friends. Trust me, you don’t get this kind of time off often in your career so take advantage of it to do things that fill you up.
- Try not to sweat the money stuff. If you have to dig into an emergency fund, that is what it is for. If you don’t have an emergency fund, that is where credit can fill in. Money comes and money goes. You will work again (assuming you want to). You can worry about the money stuff when you are back to making a regular income and can make repayment plans that will have an impact.
- Lastly, you are so much more than your job. It may not feel like it right in this moment, but try to remember that. If you have to, write your non-work related strengths down on sticky notes and post them on your mirror. Even better, ask the other people that love you to write a sticky note for you. Personal affirmations can be very powerful at a times like these.
Losing your job can be scary. But it isn’t the end of your world. You will find another company to work for or perhaps this is when you decide to start off on your own. Either way if you have value to give, it will find a home. Good luck with your job search!