The First Thing to Do After a Layoff

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The First Thing to Do After a Layoff

Whether you’ve recently experienced a layoff or simply chose to transition on your own, it is common to feel overwhelmed by all the things to do to move forward.

Any transition, especially being laid off, is naturally stressful. It hits your income, livelihood, and ego. But when you experience a layoff, before delving into your resume, consider the value of first taking some time. Taking time on the front end of any transition comes with many benefits and ultimately, leads to a more positive outcome.

Give yourself time after a layoff

Time might feel like the last thing you want to give yourself after a layoff. Instead, you feel the pressure to get back to work, contribute to your family, and end up in a better place than you left. But to do this effectively, you need to give yourself time. Here are three reasons why.

1. You need time to grieve.

A layoff is often unexpected and therefore, lacks the closure you seek when leaving a job. You weren’t able to say goodbye to coworkers, you’ve lost a job you loved and even an organization you believed in with a mission you were passionate about. By giving yourself time to grieve, you allow yourself the opportunity to honor the good relationships and experiences, and move forward.

2. You need time to work through your anger.

A layoff means you didn’t have a choice to leave. If you felt like you had given the company, your team, and your role your all, anger and resentment are natural reactions. You may feel like your all wasn’t enough and you weren’t a valued member of the team.  Working through the anger prevents you from allowing bitterness to seep into your future conversations with your network or prospective employers.

3. You need time to catch your breath.

Working hard often means pushing yourself to do more and more without a break. After a layoff, you finally have the time to pause and realize … you feel exhausted. The truth is people are ineffective job seekers when they start from a place of exhaustion and desperation.

The lesson here is to give yourself time. The amount of time is unique to you. But take time to think about what you want to do instead of defaulting to what you know. This is an opportunity to reshape your career and your job based on what is important at this junction in life.

An investment in yourself [and your happiness]

After a layoff, realize your search is more like a marathon. You must start from a place of strength and confidence to make it through the months ahead. Those who don’t take time on the front end often have a hard and slow road head. And surprisingly, they don’t necessarily find a new role sooner.


About the Author:

Cultivating Careers was founded by Karen Kodzik, a Career Consultant who has worked with individuals in transition for over 13 years. Karen meets professionals at various points on their career path and works with them to gain a clearer sense of where they want to take their careers. Karen Kodzik holds a Masters Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Career Development. Karen couples seasoned counseling skills with a solid business acumen. She has coached and consulted various levels of professionals across industries to successfully reaching that next point in their career.

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