My sister works in HR for a major company, and we know to send her food and water when her company has to go through the layoff process. She really hates it, and I can understand why. Losing a job is emotional and frightening and can completely throw someone off balance. How do you recover if you have been laid off? First, don’t panic. You are strong and have the education and experience to recover. Follow these four steps to bounce back and find a new job.
1. Take stock of your finances. Hopefully you will get a severance from your business. If not, apply for unemployment benefits immediately. Pull out your budget and your bank statements of finances, and determine how much you have, how much you owe, and what you no longer can afford while you will be finding a job. This should not scare you. It should give you a realistic picture of where you and your finances are.
2. Start networking. Some people like to take some time off between jobs after they have been laid off by their previous business. That’s fine, but don’t get lazy. Keep in touch with professional contacts will help in finding a job. Have lunch, attend seminars and stay current in your field of business. This is important for when you begin to take steps in finding a job again. Don’t let your skills lapse, and keep your name and resume in front of everyone who might be able to use it.
3. Try something new. Use some of this down time to learn something new in business or in your personal interests. Take a class, start a new hobby or go visit your friends across the country, if you can. Layoffs in business are almost always horrible, but there are silver linings. Let yourself relax a little before finding a job, and recharge your mind. Expand your horizons, and you never know where they might lead you.
4. Have a tantrum. This can be therapeutic. I’m not suggesting you become one of those disgruntled former business people who act bizarrely in public or start ranting to total strangers. But let yourself experience the emotions that come with a major life event such as a job loss. Cry a little. Write a manifesto in your personal journal. See a therapist or start working with a business coach. Get it out of your system, let those emotions and fears and anxieties have a field day and then set them free. You are on to bigger and better things.