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Surviving a layoff

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Tough people last, tough times don’t, right? You’ve lost your job, but it’s not the end of your world or career! In today’s economy, more employees than ever are suffering job losses from budget cuts, downsizing or corporate restructuring by their organisations.

Getting laid off is one of the most traumatic things that can happen to you and can be a huge psychological blow. Sometimes you can see it coming, and sometimes you can’t! Whatever be the situation, it can certainly stir up a lot of negative emotions, mostly towards your employer. But you can’t let these feelings affect your chances of getting another job

Don’t let a layoff throw your life off track! Use these tips to successfully thrive, not just survive after a lay off.

Accept the situation:

Before anything else, be honest about the intensity and force of the emotional fallout and be easy on yourself. You’re likely to experience disbelief, anxiety, a sense of identity loss and dread all at once. All of a sudden your dreams will come to a standstill, along with your financial stability. Acknowledge that it’s ok to feel these emotions. Don’t be scared to seek counselling or emotional support while you are coping with the loss. The sooner you work through your emotions, the faster you will recover and find yourself back on your feet again.

Reflect and Restore:

Take some time to step back and clear your head. Don’t sit around and mull over it endlessly with your friends, family or colleagues. This can make the condition a lot worse as you feed off one another and create a huge ball of negativity or panic others around you with your anger and vehemence. Neither is conducive for good decision-making or clear thinking. So sort your emotional baggage or else jeopardize dragging it with you on your job search

Organize your finances:

There is nothing faster that burns after a layoff than Cash. So the best thing is to take an inventory of your expenses. Everything comes out of your pocket – EMI’s, payments and all other expenses. Take a good look at your spending habits and list your expenses into two groups- compulsory and optional. If you are already without a job then limit your expenditure in the first group. And if you are still employed but foreseeing a layoff, start cutting back in the optional areas. Think of ways to save a few bucks here and there. A general rule of thumb is to set aside enough cash for at least two months for expenses and other emergencies. Incase you didn’t get a chance to do so at the time of your termination, you still have alternatives. Almost all companies offer a severance package to laid off employees. If need be take some good financial advice from your bank and financial counsellor for helping you tide through the layoff period before you get a new offer.

Create a plan for success:

Ideally, you would want some time to recover from the shock of being laid off, but often the best way to overcome this is by laying down a fresh routine like your old job schedule. Set your alarm, take a shower and get your day started! More essentially, have precise actions for your day, which should include networking, meeting up with ex- colleagues or advancing your professional expertise through formal or informal learning opportunities. Also keep aside an hour or two for your “me” time wherein you can indulge in your favourite leisure activities. Inevitably, your job hunt will take longer than you want. So mentally get ready for the long-haul by integrating a healthy equilibrium: eat right, sleep well, exercise and do everything in moderation. Also start networking aggressively! Be open about your layoff and inform all relevant people that you are presently in the job market. It is not a disgraceful thing; it is merely a reality of businesses failing in good monetary management. Networking is the number one way people find jobs and it can be done in innumerable ways. Connect with influencers on Twitter or Facebook, join professional groups or volunteer in industries that interest you. The more contacts you have and the more people know that you are searching for work will increase your chances of landing an interview and ultimately a new job.

This is a fantastic time to reassess your career, evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, chronicle your accomplishments and decide where you want to be eventually. If the job you just lost wasn’t a stepping stone towards the career you wanted, you now have ample time to mull over the other options.

Oddly, being laid off can prove to be a blessing in disguise! We often stick to jobs we don’t like out of inertia. A layoff drives us “out of the nest” into an instinctive job search — which can lead to a better opportunity, a career change, more money and even more

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