How to Thrive After Being Laid Off

Date: December 20, 2016

It doesn't matter if they call it being laid off or downsized— losing your job isn't a fun experience. But some of the best and the brightest experience job loss — including Walt Disney, who was fired for not being creative enough — so take heart. The key to surviving and even thriving after a lay off is to deal with the emotions you’re feeling, make a plan and take action.

 

Avoid Shut-Down

Don't go into crisis mode, shutting down emotionally and bottling up your feelings. You are understandably upset, so allow yourself a few days to relax and unwind. Staying in bed with ice cream and Netflix isn't good for you in the long run, so unwind by eating well, exercising and spending time in nature. Don't hesitate to talk to supportive family and friends about what happened. Keeping the layoff a secret won’t make the situation easier, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed.

 

File for Unemployment and Plan a Strategy

You are eligible for unemployment when you're laid off from a job due to circumstances beyond your control, so go ahead and file for benefits. Whatever your financial situation, that extra money coming in will feel good. But this is a time to pause, not to come to a full stop, so jump right back into planning your future job strategy. Reconsider your life goals and ask yourself if a career change makes sense now.

 

Spend Time Job Hunting

Now that you have the time to look for a new job, get your search going. Update your LinkedIn profile and resume, schedule meetings with local employment agencies and make a free website advertising your skillset. Even if it’s just a homepage with your resume information on it, this is something employers can quickly look over. If you have skills that you can use to make money freelancing, then this may be an option for you. Use this newfound wealth of time wisely to help ensure that you land a job.

 

Network, Network, Network

Whether you start your own independent gig or look for another job, you'll do best with a little help from your friends. The contacts you developed during your time as an employee may be able to provide information that can assist you, but you'll only know if you reach out to them. Explain what happened and describe the kind of work you're looking for.

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