When I faced a lay off in my early 20’s, it was due to an “Organizational restructuring” they said. I was full of mixed emotions that I could not control. I thought it was all my fault and since I didn’t have control over my emotions I had missed to take several important steps one should review during a lay off.
Control your emotions
This was my first and last lay off so far and it sucked. I didn’t know what to do. I had a feeling of disappointment glooming over me. I was disappointed at myself. I felt like I didn’t do my job correctly and that’s the reason they were firing me. First of all, I want you to erase that thought out of your mind. Layoffs are not due to your performance. It takes place because the company will save some money down the road by cutting some employees. After being disappointed at myself, I started to compare myself with the employees they did keep and didn’t lay off. They must have done something right. I am just incapable I thought. It was a low blow at my self-esteem. That disappointing feeling turned into anger and I wanted to write a really mean email (which I didn’t and you shouldn’t either). Because when you are in a situation as such, you want to keep in good terms with your former employees.
Steps to take
First things first, calm down! Don’t play the blame game. The idea to always keep in mind is nothing secure in life, no matter how much we would like to believe that we are trying earn security. Take a breather! You are not financially instable just yet, that’s why there is unemployment insurance. When the unfortunate news is given to you, please the take the time to take the information in. Then review your options. Make sure to ask for a lay off letter from your employer. This will help in getting the unemployment insurance from the Government. Go to your HR and review your contract. Ask them what your severance package includes and how long your benefits last, and if there are sick days and vacation days remaining. Some severance packages offer employee transition assistance and also resume help, take advantage of these!
The layoff usually happens out of the blue and it’s hard to keep a calm and cool temperament. However, you have to let your HR and employer know that it will be hard for you financially and to find a job today’s economy and you would require assistance in the process. Make sure to be in good standing with your employer and ask for a reference for future employment.
After the layoff…
Please take a week off to relax. Go on a vacation and do things you wanted to try. This will take your mind off of things and help you in gaining a fresh perspective. The best way to boost back from low self-esteem is by writing down 25 of your accomplishments. This will help you reflect on what you really enjoy doing and want to focus on in the future. After you are at a better space, update your social media to reflect a professional appearance. Update your Linkedin and make sure your status say’s you are looking for opportunities (specify the field). Network! Network! Network! Get in touch with a career counsellor, the can revamp your resume. Talk to people about your interest. Let people know you are looking for opportunities. Don’t get disheartened! It takes a while to gain new employment.
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