News of massive layoffs are rampant, shifting the course for many professionals across the U.S. Zoom recently laid off 15% of its workforce, Disney cut 7,000 jobs in early February, and before that, Google laid off more than 12,000 staff members.
I was laid off more than a month ago from what most considered a dream job that seemed to be flourishing. And whether a job transition is planned or unplanned, it’s disappointing but happens to us all at one point in time in our careers. The feelings of betrayal and outright fear can creep up as your future goes from secure to uncertain.
What I have found to be true is that you can get through a company break up just as a personal break up with time and focus. Here are the five healing self-care steps that helped me in the aftermath:
1. Adopt a new perspective.
So much of my personal and professional being was wrapped up in my job so that conversation of my loss lingered in the air for days, and it only made me feel more inadequate. It’s important to redirect those conversations to takeaways; focus on what new skills learned or what new authentic contacts were made; not on the loss but on what was gained.
2. Take time to be alone.
While my job was tasking, it rarely allowed me to spend time alone and in quiet spaces; now that things are different, there is time to spend thinking. It can be customary to try to work harder, network stronger and get right back on that wheel but the opposite has been true. Spending time alone and in thought allowed me to be laser focused on what it is that I really wanted to do with my life. Your laser focus might be on getting a more stable job or starting a new company or finding companionship; spending that time thinking and alone can do wonders for your healing.
3. Find ways to serve.
I have found this to be true when getting over a bad break up, spend that, now available time in service and the healing will commence faster. When you are in ‘giving’ mode, your problems take a back seat and things start to happen in the universe in your favor. There are groups and individuals that flood my inbox during times when I’m my most busy but during this time, I make time to give back knowing that it comes back twofold.
4. Learn a new skill.
It is true that you should put as much or more into yourself than you put into a company. Right after being laid off, I signed up for a free LinkedIn class; participating in as many networking and panels as I could fit into my “now” completely schedule. The practice of learning can be invigorating and the networking was contagious. Most of the social media platforms have free workshops on how to utilize them to your benefit. Remember, you must learn.
5. Ask for help.
This one can be hard but necessary in the healing process. Change your employment status and let your support system know that things have changed. If they make your feel bad about it, then change our circle; if they are encouraging and helpful, take the help. Apply for food stamps, or unemployment; they are put in place for this very reason and don’t be too proud because your taxes pay for it.
Let your bank, the landlord, your pastor and especially, your family and friends know about what happened. We’re all in this together and suffering in silence makes it worst. I’m not saying dwell in the misery. I’m saying be a part of a village that supports the well being of their own. You’re not alone and people want to help.