Over a million Americans are laid off each year — while that’s a tiny percentage of the total full-time workers in the U.S. (around 130 million), it’s still important to know how to react to a layoff in the event it happens to you. Whether you were caught off guard or saw it coming, you can’t control any aspect of a layoff except for how you handle it.
Of course, it’s unreasonable to expect you to be all smiles all the time. However, finding the silver lining or benefits of a bad situation can make it easier to deal with emotionally. For example, getting laid off can give you the freedom to pursue other career endeavours or move to a new city.
Additionally, don’t hide your layoff from your friends and family. It’s completely normal to feel embarrassed by the situation and it can be difficult to share your feelings on the matter, but in the end your loved ones are there for you. Whether you’re laid off, fired or hired your close friends and family will be there to support you.
For more ways to combat the stress of being laid off, check out the infographic below provided by Turbo.
How to bounce back after you get laid off
Give yourself time to mourn
34% of unemployed people suffer from psychological issues like depression. While it’s important not to waste too much time before finding a new job, you still need to give yourself time to recover from the loss of your previous job before moving forward.
Assess your finances
Most financial advisers recommend you save roughly six months’ salary to hold you over in the event you’re laid off. However, if you have a family, you’ll probably need to save a bit more. Spend money only on needs, not wants. Rent, utilities and bills should be your priority during this time.
Take care of yourself
Being laid off is far more than just a matter of lost income. For many people job loss generates anxiety and uncertainty that can impact their physical and mental health. By engaging in regular exercise, getting adequate sleep, and being open about your emotions will help with your physical and metal health.
Reach out to your network
Connect with industry pros both online — through professional networks like LinkedIn — and offline by connecting with people you know in your industry. That doesn’t mean asking everyone in your network for a job. It means building relationships so that you can comfortably ask for ideas, advice, and referrals to those with hiring power. Why? Because 85% of open positions are filled through networking.
Update your résumé
Out of desperation, you may be tempted to start sending out your old résumé immediately. Hold off. You’d be much better off taking the time to update and tailor your résumé. Depending on your career path, you can update it by adding quantifiable accomplishments such as revenue generated, sales numbers, or strategic plans implemented to show how you can help companies reach their business goals. This can help show potential employers that your layoff was not performance-based and you have a lot to bring to the table.
Take skill-related classes
If you’re looking to alter your career path, now is the time to do it. If you don’t have the skills to do it, however, the time following your layoff is the perfect opportunity to pursue that dream. Sign up for training workshops or courses at your local community college to improve your skill set and keep your mind sharp. It will also give you the confidence you need for your next career move.
Work with a recruiter
Staffing agencies and recruiters place 17 million Americans each year with the goal of helping companies find the most talented people possible. If you’re struggling with your job search, a good recruiter should have the connections you’re missing.
Keep a positive outlook
Trying to keep a positive outlook through being laid off can make a huge difference. Practicing daily meditation can help you keep that positive outlook, and studies show it can also increase mindfulness and decrease depression rates. So, instead of focusing on your perceived failure, recognize your hard work and accomplishments.
Consider part-time work
Securing a temp job’s often relatively quick and low-effort, especially if you go through an agency. In fact, after a laid off more than 56 million Americans do freelance work and 27 million work part-time, making it a great option to generate income in the interim.