A layoff is a blow to your income as well as your self-esteem. Layoffs are especially tough on millennials who came of age after the financial crisis of 2008. To bounce back strong after a layoff, follow these suggestions.
Take a Break – After a layoff, give yourself time to decompress and grieve. Get out of your head and recover by going hiking or camping. Take the opportunity to process what happened and how you feel about it, so you can move forward.
Assess Your Finances – Get a handle on your finances and determine how long you need to find a new job. Assess your household budget and factor in, if applicable, your severance package and unemployment benefits. Look for ways to cut back on spending. Don’t go it alone. Involve your family.
Consider Career Counseling – Spending money after a layoff may not seem smart, but this investment is worth considering. (If you receive a severance package that includes free career counseling, take advantage of it.) A layoff can be a blessing in disguise. You have an opportunity to do something different with your life after a layoff. A career counselor can help ensure you’re headed in the right direction.
Build Your Skills – Prepare for your next gig. Expand your employment options and experience by learning new skills, whether it’s a Photoshop or writing class. Also, pick up some freelance work if you can. Developing new skills and honing existing ones can be positive after a layoff.
Revamp Your Resume – Being downsized multiple times due to mergers or acquisitions is commonplace now. You can address this either in your cover letter or in one sentence per job:
123 National, June November, 2015
(123 National was acquired in December by ABC Global, eliminating my job.)
Network! – You have to network to get work, so get out there! Keep in touch with existing contacts and make new ones at networking events. Make sure your social media profiles and, if applicable, work samples are in order. Reach out to friends and former colleagues and consider signing up with agencies and recruiting firms that specialize in your field.
Above all, stay positive! You will encounter ups and downs throughout your career. By staying positive and following the suggestions above, you’ll put yourself in the best position to succeed.