Losing your job can feel like a gut punch. The initial shock and uncertainty after a layoff can easily trigger knee-jerk reactions that lead to impulsive decisions, ultimately hindering your job search. But before you dive headfirst into the abyss, take a deep breath and remember: a layoff is not a reflection of your worth or capabilities. It’s a business decision, often driven by factors beyond your control.
This month, we’re publishing a series of blog posts to help you regroup, refocus, and eventually thrive after a layoff. Let’s get started:
Handle the “Little” Details
The last thing you feel capable of doing after a layoff is, unfortunately, what you’ll need to address first: the logistics and “fine print” of your new situation. If you’re offered severance, consider these tips provided by Indeed to review, negotiate, and accept the terms. You’ll also want to understand your unemployment benefits and rights as well as how your insurance, accrued compensation, and retirement savings will be affected.
The Power of Pause
Then, allow yourself time to process the situation. Take a few days, a week, or even longer if needed, to grieve the loss and clear your head. Focus on self-care: sleep in, spend time with loved ones, and engage in activities you enjoy. Keep up with any unemployment requirements you may need to meet but, otherwise, give yourself time and space.
“This isn’t laziness,” says Craig Patterson, The HT Group’s Director of Sales. “It’s building the emotional resilience you need for a strategic and successful job search.”
Avoid These Knee-Jerk Reactions
You may need to find work quickly but resist the temptation to rush into your next permanent job. Temporary and temp-to-hire work are great ways to transition back after a layoff. Meanwhile, avoid:
Blasting out your resume: Sending out generic resumes to every job posting under the sun might seem efficient, but it rarely yields results. Take the time to tailor your resume and cover letter to each specific position, highlighting relevant skills and experiences. We’ll talk more about this area in the next post.
Burning bridges: Don’t badmouth your previous employer, even if the layoff was unfair. Your professional network is smaller than you think, and negativity can quickly spread. Maintain a positive and professional demeanor throughout your job search.
Falling into the comparison trap: Constantly comparing yourself to others who landed new jobs quickly can be demoralizing. Focus on your own journey and celebrate your small wins, like acing an interview or connecting with a potential employer.
Struggling in silence: You may need professional help digging your way out of the depths after a layoff. You’re not alone. It’s important to talk through and sort out your feelings. A friend, loved one, or maybe even a career coach or support group could help, but sometimes, the best way to get back on track is with the help of a medical professional.
Instead, for now:
Stay positive and motivated: Surround yourself with positive people and activities that uplift your spirit. Now is the time to build healthy optimism that you’ll want to carry throughout your job search.
Be patient: Finding the right job takes time. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t happen overnight. Stay focused, persistent, and trust the process.
Remember, a layoff is not the end of your career; it’s a chance to regroup, reassess, and emerge stronger. By avoiding knee-jerk reactions and taking time to build a solid foundation for a strategic approach, you can navigate the challenging time after a layoff and land the job you deserve.
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