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.
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
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.
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.
- Don’t jump right into applying right away
- Get clear on your brand
- Get your resume, portfolio, and social media in order
- Fire up your network
- Start spreading the news
- Relationships matter. Connections don’t
Medium game – short term stability
- Start applying to a job
- Explore freelance and recruiters
Long game – long term stability
- Full time job
- New venture or your own company
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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