You've Been Laid Off - What Next? 3 Empowering Facts You Need to Know.

Benadatte Kaggwa | 28th July 2020

You've Been Laid Off - What Next? 3 Empowering Facts You Need to Know.

You've Been Laid Off - What Next? 3 Empowering Facts You Need to Know.

Benadatte Kaggwa | 28th July 2020


You've Been Laid Off - What Next? 3 Empowering Facts You Need to Know.

Panic, mental anguish, and despair; not to mention the drastic lifestyle adjustments you need to make. Then there's the potential for 'gaps' in your resume if another job doesn't come along soon enough.

Are you experiencing such thoughts and feelings?

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many "employment casualties" in its wake.

"This couldn't have come at a worse time!" And you're partly right if you express such sentiments when you're laid off.

Where do you send a job application? Most companies are also downsizing, and others have simply closed shop.

Before you wallow in self-pity and despair, there are 3 empowering facts to remember.


  1. Experiencing Grief is Natural

Take it from someone who's experienced it thrice! You WILL feel psychologically traumatized after being laid off.

Acknowledge the emotions you're experiencing. After all, your job represented your professional identity. It was the reason you woke up daily, and it put bread on your table. But you've just lost it.

John Lees, a career strategist, explains how getting laid off is essentially a professional rejection. The company is making a statement: we can move on without you.

Losing your job will elicit a measure of grief. It's natural. We grieve after losing something (or someone) valuable and cherished.

Resist the urge to immediately jump back in the “professional saddle”. Your mind isn't ready yet. The job search can wait a while.

Give yourself time to reflect on what you've lost - and gained. What are your positive takeaways in terms of increased work experience, improved competencies, and added skills?

Empower your mind while experiencing grief by realizing it's not a personal rejection. Ultimately, everyone in a company is dispensable. This realization leads us to the next fact...


  1. You've Lost Your Job, Not Your Experience and Skill Set

The company has only taken away your payslip, not your professional skills and work experience. You now have more to show for on your updated resume.

That's an empowering fact!

However much you lose in terms of contracts, payslips, or appointment letters, your wealth of professional expertise remains intact. Hold onto it, and build on it.

If you were a diligent worker, there's the bonus of receiving a stellar letter of recommendation. That's your other takeaway.

We usually assume layoffs happen to the least productive workers. However, rigorous cost-cutting measures can see even high-performing, well-paid workers sent home. A company restructure could result in pruning a whole department, or segments of it.

A layoff can actually work in your favor, advises Dr. Ben Michaelis, a behavioral expert. Do you know of friends who've chosen to stay in unfulfilling or stressful jobs, because they fear the unknown? Perhaps you felt the same way about your job.

Use this opportunity to reevaluate your career path. Take stock of all your competencies, skills, and improved work experience. What strengths did you display in your previous job? How can those strengths guide your next job search?

Let’s assume you’ve thoughtfully outlined your outstanding skills, competencies, and areas of high performance, what next?


  1. It's a Prime Opportunity for Self-Innovation

Like it or not, it's back to the drawing board. This is your time to be open-minded and proactive. Think self-innovation.

Weigh your career possibilities: should you seek for employment again? Can you set up a business, as you continue job hunting? Can you learn a trade that'll earn you sufficient income?

You can map out a new career path that's more fulfilling; one better aligned to your special expertise, academic qualifications, natural talents, or professional skillset; and one able to pay the bills, too.

Be wary of trades that are nothing more than indulging in a hobby, unless they can actually turn your passion into profit.

Before you embark on a blind business venture with your severance package, evaluate your assets. You're more likely to succeed in entrepreneurship when there's a steady source of capital.

Consider investing part of your severance package, which can serve as contingency funds should your venture fail. We'll address this in finer detail in a future article.

If you opt for employment, your wealth of work experience now empowers you to negotiate for a better remuneration package. Know your professional worth, and let this shine through during your next job interview.


What's The Reassurance?

Getting laid off can feel very personal. To an extent it is; you'll experience feelings of grief over your loss of livelihood, social status, and professional identity.

That's natural and nothing to be ashamed of.

Whatever the reasons for being laid off, the empowering fact is you haven't lost your professional skills and work experience.

You've now been afforded the prime opportunity to reinvent yourself. Indulge in some self-innovation as you map out your next career move - whether in employment, in entrepreneurship, or a little of both.

And remember: this too shall pass.  


Tell us how you’re coping with getting laid off. Share your tips and words of wisdom, and let’s build each other up in this challenging time.


The author is a freelance article writer, blogger, and content creator who's passionate about health, nutrition and wellness; business management and personal finance; communication and etiquette; work productivity and self-improvement. 

Check out BenaWriting for more of such informative and enlightening articles.

1 Like | Login to Like

You Might Also Like