The beginning of a layoff is always hard, but with some planning and preparation you can make it much more manageable. I’ve been through layoffs myself, and I’ve seen what works for many people in this situation. If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to manage your stress during the transition from full-time employment to job searching/landing that next job.
The first step in being prepared is to stay informed about the status of your company, your industry, and the economy as a whole. Many layoffs are announced with little or no warning, which means it’s important to be aware of what’s going on around you and research any changes that might affect work at your company.
I remember being in a job and 2 ½ years out, I saw the handwriting on the wall. I knew it was going to get tough in the organization I was in. They were managing people out (I have a video on being managed out of your job, you can view it here.)
My solution was to get another degree and do 180-degree career shift. That worked out for me. It has been 17 years, and I now own a business using those skillsets and that degree. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, a layoff is going to be stressful. The best thing you can do is prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario and hope for the best instead of worrying about what might happen.
- Keep a positive attitude. It’s easy to fall into a negative mindset when you’re worried about your job, but this will only make things worse! Try your best to stay positive and remember that there are additional things in life besides work that are important—like spending time with family and friends, eating healthy food, exercising regularly, volunteering at an organization near your home or doing something creative like writing a book or painting a picture or playing guitar…you get the idea!
- You could be prepared to take a pay cut if necessary (or even relocate). A much better idea is to hire a career coach. When you’re in survival mode, you don’t make the best decisions. Hiring a career coach who has the skill to do both anxiety coaching and career coaching is a win-win. She can help you land another position that meets your skillsets and meets your salary requirements.
If you need funds rent/mortgage payments or electricity bills, then yes—you may have no choice but to get a bridge job from another employer temporarily until something opens up that meets your salary requirements.
- Develop your mental fitness so that when stress inevitably comes knocking on your door, it won’t be able to get inside and wreak havoc on your life.
- Mental Fitness is your capacity to respond to life’s challenges with positive rather than negative mindset (Shirzad Chamine, ⦁ Positive Intelligence, Inc).
- Take an active role in your career. You’ll have a better chance of finding a job that’s right for you if you’re proactive and involved in the process, rather than waiting for an offer to come your way.
- Get involved in your company’s career center, which should be available to all employees during a layoff period. The career center will help you develop skills, network, and find jobs beyond where you work now.
- Network with people in your industry, even if they’re not at this company or connected to your industry at all right now—this lets them know who is out there looking for work so they can pass along job opportunities when they come up later on down the road!
- HIRE A GREAT CAREER COACH who coach and guide you through the process.
Be realistic. Set realistic intentions. Your situation is not going to change overnight, so it’s important that you stay realistic about what the future holds. While it may be tempting to avoid any tasks at work and spend all your time thinking about your job search, this will only make things worse in the long run. Instead, try putting your energy into whatever tasks you have on hand by keeping a positive attitude and staying focused on what you can control—your own actions and attitude.
If possible, keep a journal of all the progress being made in order to keep yourself motivated during difficult days when motivation seems hard to come by or when it feels like things aren’t moving along fast enough for comfort levels (e.g., “I’ve sent out 100 résumés this week!”).
Take breaks. Finding a job is a full-time job. Those breaks will help you maintain your joy and be a better decision maker and problem solver.
There are two types of patience, the patience that comes from knowing that you can’t control everything, and the patience that comes from finding joy in things happening at their own pace.
The former is helpful to remember when you’ve been laid off and are struggling with feeling overwhelmed by uncertainty and responsibility; it will help you enter a state of being where you understand that things will work out as they should.
The latter is helpful because it reminds us to take time for ourselves and see our lives as a journey rather than an obstacle course.
The most important thing about being patient during this transition is making sure to keep your expectations reasonable—there’s no way around it: laying off people sucks!
But if we approach our careers like any other part of life, we’ll find ourselves less stressed and more content overall.
Going through a layoff can be stressful, but with some planning it doesn’t have to be as bad as you think.
A layoff is a stressful event. It can cause depression, poor health and performance at work, poor performance in relationships and more.
It is important for you to manage your stress during this time.
- Stay On Schedule as much as possible:
- Write down everything you need to do around the house.
- And everything you need to accomplish in your job search.
- Writing down your intentions helps to keep you focused, especially if you don’t get hired before you are physically laid off.
- Keep exercise, prayer, meditation, etc. on the schedule.
All in all, going through a layoff isn’t easy. But if you plan for it and keep your head up, you can make it through.
Twanna Carter, Ph.D., Career Transition Coach.
I help high achieving professional women who are anxious about transitioning into a new career, have absolute confidence and belief in their own abilities, so they can communicate their unique value, honor their true purpose, and boldly pursue their dream career.
Are you done with stress? Are you ready for peace of mind?
If you’re ready to learn how to manage your stress, overcome obstacles, stop self-sabotage, and live a life that’s truly your own, ask me about my Mental Health Fitness coaching program.
In 7 short weeks watch your life change! So that you can finally start living the life you want. Set up your Mental Fitness Success Call here!