How to Come Back Stronger After a Layoff

Man on Computer

With so many businesses being forced to lay off employees just to survive during the COVID-19 outbreak, many people have now found themselves unemployed.  For some, this is the first time being without work in years. And to suddenly be let go for unforeseen reasons can feel devastating.  But there is light at the end of the tunnel.  By getting your documents in order and looking out for your own interests, you could find yourself in a positive situation sooner than you might think.

Keep these things in mind after a layoff and come out stronger on the other side.

DO take a break and re-focus – Give yourself some time to allow things to sink in. Get in touch with your emotions and allow yourself to process these feelings.  Losing your job can deplete your energy & emotional state. Do something nurturing, something you love that will replenish your feel-good reserves.  Finding time to relax emotionally and mentally will go a long way in helping you with a positive start moving forward.

You can also use this time to think about what types of jobs you want to explore.  What companies are you interested in working for?  What positions would you like to pursue? Think about your skillset and how you can leverage those skills in your search for new employment.  You may even be thinking about changing industries.  If you have talents that were not recognized in your former position, consider how you could use them in a new role.

DO tie up loose ends – Complete any necessary paperwork right away.  Sign anything outstanding from your former employer.  Start the process for employment insurance and/or other financial assistance programs available to you.  Get these things taken care of (or started) quickly so you can concentrate on your next steps.

DO rewrite and update your resume – If you’ve been following the steps above, you should have had time to think about the kind of job you’re looking for.  Now it’s time to craft your resume around that.  Resist the desire to send out a bunch of generic resumes in a panic.  This will not help you in the long term.  A little planning and effort put into writing a focused and detailed resume will set you up for landing a fulfilling career.

If you’re going back into the same position you were in before your layoff, or if you’re looking at a completely new path, you need to make sure your resume is current and up to date.  And that it reflects your relevant skills, accomplishments, and talent that you bring.

There are several considerations to be aware of when getting your resume ready, so do your research to get familiar with todays best practices before you start writing. There are many online resources dedicated to help you write a killer resume.  You also have the option to hire a professional to write one for you.  Either way, be intentional and know what you want before you start writing or sending off anything.

Do continue networking – Keep your relationships thriving and stay in contact with them.  Just because you’ve been laid off doesn’t mean you have to break off ties.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  Staying in touch and encouraging those you network with to keep connected not only helps with emotional support, but could also help open some new doors.  To get the most out of your networking, you do need to let your connections know you’re looking for work.  This is not a time to hide the fact that you were laid off.  Be open and share.  You never know who might know someone who knows someone who has an opening at a company that you’ve always wanted to work for. Networking is a great way to get a jump on your job search.

Although in-person interaction has been discouraged lately because of health mandates, online networking is easy and a fantastic way to keep your connections alive and to grow new ones. If you’re new to online networking, check out this blog about it – VIRTUAL NETWORKING TIPS 101.

Another thing to keep in mind while networking online is to keep your emotions in check.  You may still have feelings of anger, resentment or helplessness, refrain from speaking badly about or trash talking your former employer or coworkers.  Venting online is not productive and could hurt your chances of getting help from your connections.

DO stay productive – Amid all the stress and uncertainty that comes along with losing your job, use this extra time to stay current with your skills.  Do some personal projects you haven’t had time for while you were working.  Or just take more time to relax, de-stress and focus on cultivating a positive mindset.  Keeping busy and staying positive during a layoff is important to maintain.  This will keep your mind sharp, your thoughts moving forward and your skills current.  All valuable assets that will serve to benefit you in your next position.

Although losing your job can seem devastating at the time.  Know that a layoff is not forever.  You will find new employment and the road to get there can be as rough or as smooth as you make it.  You’re in the drivers’ seat.  Remember the tips above to help you move forward with confidence.