Episode 98

CAREER:

What to do if you get laid off.

There are few things more anxiety-inducing and career-altering than getting laid off or furloughed. I know because it’s happened to me twice in my career and it taught me a lot. In this episode, we will look at the practical and emotional steps you should take when you get laid off or furloughed, some helpful resourced, and how you can use this to help change your career.


Listen now:


If you are listening to this you have been laid off, furloughed or worried one of those is about to happen. I’ve been laid off twice, talked about it on Design Matters with Debbie Millman and people are always surprised that I will admit to it.

In this episode, we will look at the practical and emotional steps you should take when you get laid off or furloughed, some helpful resourced, and how you can use this to help change your career.

We want to start with two important things: The emotional and practical challenges

Emotional challenges

Take a deep breath
It is going to be OK but it is important that you keep your head on straight.

Don’t take it personally
It feels like this was done only to you but this was more than lively a business decision and not a reflection on you so don’t take it too personally.

Don’t play the victim
This is a difficult time but doesn’t
feel sorry for yourself or play the victim

Don’t make any drastic decisions
This is a lot of change so don’t do anything
drastic or make any big decisions until you are able to get some perspective.

Understand how people will treat you
Your friends and family will probably get weird and not know how to treat the situation

Have a response ready for when you don’t want to talk about it.
Part of this is getting some idea of what you are going to say when people ask what happened.

This is going to be emotional
Let it hurt
Get your head right and think about the big picture


Set a time limit
Don’t stay in the state of pain or dwell on it too long so set a time when you want to start to move past what happened.

Practical challenges

You want to look at this in you need to start working on three phases. Short medium and long term. How you prioritize these will depend on your situation for things like if you got severance, saving, bills, unemployment, and other things.

Short game

Medium game – short term stability

Long game – long term stability

Resources

Amazing Design People List

Final thought

The first time I was laid off is a moment I will never forget. But I turned it into something positive by using it to fuel my career. To build my brand, network, safety net and more. It is hard now and you will want to forget in time but don’t forget everything as this can be something that can really help propel your career.

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