When life throws lemons at you, pick ‘em up and make lemonade, then make a profit. Yes, it hurts to get hit hard and I’m sure you feel down right now. If you get through this it will only make you stronger and hopefully you’ll be prepared next time adversity comes flying in your direction. I was recently laid off. It came as a surprise but in this economic market I didn’t feel alone. I felt like I had been pushed off a bridge and all of a sudden I was free-falling into the abyss. I’m currently trying to come to terms with the whole situation and here are some things I’ve done.
It was embarrassing and painful to be let go. The whole process of packing up your things and leaving your nest is unsettling. Saying good-bye and leaving notes for colleagues who aren’t there is humiliating. Then the walk of shame to car, it’s as if survivor has kicked you off the island and your flame is no longer lit. I felt like a failure…but I had it all wrong. Crying is natural and I’ve found it to be a part of the healing process too! I usually feel a tad bit better once I cry. There have been moments where I recapped what happened and realized come Monday I’m still unemployed. At that moment a puddle of tears slides down my cheeks and I’m comforted by my own sorrows but no longer pity. It is the feeling of sadness and grieving the loss of one self. Thinking my position defined me and where I was going was the biggest issue. You define who are and your worth. Never assume life is over until it truly is.
Reminiscing: Recapping the moments
You may try to figure it all out, like why you and not the other person? Why today and at this moment? Realize layoffs are just that, unexpected and temporary fixes to more problematic issues. It’s not personal but have a moment of self-reflection.
It can most certainly be compared to the lottery because sometimes it’s the luck of the draw (if only your luck was so successful in the lotto). Advice “Let it go and learn from it.” This part is extremely hard because you have to set aside your ego and give yourself an evolution. Determine how you can at your next career destination become more important than your last. How can you step up your game, sharpen your skills and abilities to become more of an asset to the company? That mind-set will position you in the direction to move forward.
Handle your business:
Don’t waste time, remember thousands of other hard-working individuals, like yourself were laid off too! So visit www.edd.gov and get started right away. Have the following documents handy before you apply.
-Information on last company you worked for
-Previous year work history
-Social security #
-Driver license and other legal documents
-What you were paid and any PTO payments
-Have patience and wake up early. EDD office opens at 8am. Process it on-line if applicable (in my case I had to call in).
Create a schedule:
Make daily or even weekly goals/task to be done. This will aid you in keeping your eye on the prize, a spanking new job!
Update your resume and sharpen your interviewing skills. Visit websites like http://resumeaid.com/, or http://tinyurl.com/5sms27cthat can aid your resume in a facelift. Send it to friends or other professionals to edit and criticize for your benefit. And, do mock interviews with them too! This is the playful part where you can make it as fun and creative as your heart desires. It’s like polishing an old table. It takes a bit of your time and elbow grease but in the end it’s just as good as new if not better!
- Eat regularly (every 2 to 3 hours) you’ll lose track of time. You don’t want to start looking sickly because you’ve forgotten about food.
- Open the windows/ blinds and let air into your home.
- Conserve gas by cutting down on your daily trips. When you need to run errands do it all in one day.
- Vent: write it down, talk about the situation but whatever you do get it out of your system.
- Help others: the small things count too! Sometimes helping a friend or stranger will boost your spirits. Either way you have more free time on your hands why not use it productively for someone else’s benefit too?
- Get out of the house (apartment) even if to take a stroll around your neighborhood. Try to go outside at least once! And whatever your interest, partake in them (painting, running, dancing etc.).
- I went to karaoke to chill and remind myself that life goes on as well as to give my friends/family an opportunity to see I haven’t fallen into a depression.
Don’t give up on you! You are your biggest fan and the most important element in the scheme of things to push your progression. Be optimistic and open-minded. Take this time to find what you really want to do or who you’d really love working for. Shoot for the stars and stay humble.