Getting fired is never easy, no matter if you could have seen it coming, or if it happened out of the blue. It means your whole life will have to be turned upside down, and it carries a lot of uncertainty that causes stress. So, here is the ultimate guide on how to survive a layoff and stay sane during the process.
Your Initial Reaction Shouldn’t Be to Panic
No one likes to hear bad news, but the worst thing you could do once you get laid off is start to panic. Your brain can go into overdrive and start asking all kinds of questions, from is being laid off your fault, to how will you afford rent next month and is it hard to get a job after being laid off? Taking some time to recuperate after the big news is completely normal, but how do you cope when laid off?
The one thing you can’t allow yourself is to fall into a rut and feel sorry for yourself. A lot of people fall into a depression after getting laid off, which is the worst thing that could happen to you. You need to keep a positive attitude about the whole story, especially if you were laid off simply because of redundancy, with no fault of our own. This is the time where you’re supposed to improve and shine.
There Is an Emotional Process Everyone Has to Go Through
Is getting laid off traumatic? Getting laid off is mentally a very big obstacle, and it’s a very serious matter. And it doesn’t matter if you could have predicted that the unfortunate decision was coming or if you were completely blindsided, everyone has to go through the classic emotional stages. Believe it or not, studies have shown that all people go through these exact stages at first, they might last a bit longer for some people, but everyone experiences them. So, what are the emotional stages of a layoff everyone has to go through?
Your initial reaction will always be denial. Of course, you will go through a state of shock, followed by complete and utter denial. No matter how prepared you are for these news, you can’t help it, you will need some time to fully process the information.
Next comes the anger you will feel for pretty much everyone and everything in your surroundings, and even yourself. There is no logical explanation, but for some reason people tend to feel angry after being laid off. It’s very common and normal to go through this phase, and you will start to ask yourself questions like why didn’t I work harder, or perhaps why did I work so hard if I ended up getting laid off? You will start to question everything and look for someone to blame, when the truth is there is no one to blame when you get fired because of redundancy.
Once the anger wears off, you will automatically try to resist and fight the news you just got. You will desperately try to find a solution and a way out of this situation by thinking of some kinds of compromises, as if the decision wasn’t final. You might go as far as pitching an idea to your boss along the lines of working longer hours for worse pay, and so on.
However, once you fully understand that it’s over and that you did in fact get laid off, the worst part comes – you will start to feel sad and helpless. You will feel like you have failed and weren’t good enough, which is very common, no matter how unreasonable it may be.
Depending on the situation, many people fall into depression after being laid off. But have you ever wondered – can being laid off cause PTSD? Believe it or not, yes it can. If you start to notice any symptoms of depression or PTSD, or if you feel like you’re not going through the emotional stages properly, it’s vital that you consult a professional to help you understand and resolve your feelings in a healthy way.
The last emotional stage you go through is acceptance. It may take some time to get there, but there will come a moment where you will feel alright with the decision that’s been made. And once that moment comes, you will know you’re ready to get back out there and find your dream job.
Once You’ve Accepted Your Faith, You Need to Get Serious and Deal With It
There is no use crying over spilled milk, just like there is no use grieving over the loss of your job for more than a month. It’s okay to take some time to yourself, but you need to get back on your feet and start being practical. There are a lot of things that need to be done, even if you don’t have a job anymore. How do you cope when laid off – you get proactive.
Manage Your Budget as Well as Your Expenses
It doesn’t matter how much you want to just curl up in a ball and never get out of bed again, you need to face the music – you no longer have a steady source of income and you need to act accordingly. Create a budget plan for the next few months, dip into your savings if you have to, and cut down on all unnecessary expenses. Until you know where your next paycheck is coming from, you need to adjust your lifestyle.
Get All the Benefits You Possibly Can From Your Previous Place of Employment
Since you weren’t fired for any wrongdoings, just laid off due to redundancy, your company is more likely to be willing to help you out any way they can, and you need to be smart, not proud, and take full advantage of it. For starters, if you were wondering is getting laid off is better than quitting – yes it is, you could get a sweet severance package.
Not all employers will offer them, as they are not required by Federal Law to give out severance packages, so make sure to ask about it. If they do offer it, you can even try negotiating a little bit. Now is not the time to be too proud to ask for something – if you have leftover vacation days, sick pay, or any other benefits that could help at a time like this, use them to your advantage. Don’t be shy to ask your former employer for a recommendation letter or a job referral.
Get Back Out There – the Job Market Will Be Waiting for You With Open Arms
It’s normal to take some time off work once you’ve been laid off, but with the job market being very competitive, you need to act fast. Chances are you won’t get your dream job within an hour of sending out your resume, so you can send out resumes and rest while you wait for a job offer. That way, you will get a head start and probably have a job opportunity or two lined up once you’re ready to get back in the game.
If you decide to wait and send out your resumes once you’re willing to get back to work, not only will you have a bigger gap in between jobs, but you also never know when you will actually get a job. It could even be in a couple of months, and by then you will probably use up all of your savings and get depressed because you’ve been out of work for so long. So, give yourself a week to mourn over the loss of your job, and then update your LinkedIn account and your CV, write a killer cover letter, and let everyone know you’re out there searching for work.
Work on Improving Yourself While You Wait
A very common mistake people make is thinking that they can fully relax and do nothing while they’re in between jobs. And while you do deserve some downtime, don’t let yourself fall into a rut. Try to stick to your previous routine as much as possible – get up early in the morning and start your day like you would when you were still working. Don’t let yourself fall behind, try to improve your skill set and learn something new, it will mean a lot to you for your next job.
Which Method Is Used to Determine Who Will Survive Redundancy and Who Won’t?
If you’ve ever wondered who is most likely to get laid off, we’re here to tell you that there is a method to the madness. Of course, people who don’t really fulfill their work tasks properly and in a timely fashion are the first to go, but what do you do if you have a team of great, hard working people?
Who usually gets laid off first? That’s when employers are faced with a tough decision, and the LIFO rule helps them out. The Last In First Out method is based on seniority, which means that people who have been working for the least amount of time are the first ones to go.
What Happens With Employees Who Are Lucky Enough to Survive the Cut?
What Concerns Would You Have About the Surviving Workforce After a Layoff? Do you think they’re facing some consequences of redundancy? Even those who are survivors of redundancy can have some difficulty coping with the new changes and they can face survivor guilt. What is survivor guilt after redundancy and why would people who got to keep their jobs have anything to worry about instead of simply celebrating?
So, what is survivor syndrome after layoff? It’s the feeling of guilt people get because they got to keep their jobs when thousands of people who are just as qualified and hard working didn’t get to keep theirs due to redundancy and downsizing. It might sound silly, but it’s a very real thing, just as real as sudden wealth syndrome or winner’s guilt people get when they win the lottery. Why did they get to be so lucky when other people are so miserable?
Not everyone faces survivor guilt, but it is a very common occurrence. So, which employees may suffer from the survivor syndrome? Believe it or not, people who are less satisfied with their job positions or their own performance are more likely to experience survivor’s guilt.
Once You Learn How to Survive a Layoff You’ll Be Thankful for It
It might sound like a cliche, but things really do happen for a reason. If you were laid off, that only means there is a better job opportunity out there waiting for you, and you might not have heard about it if you were still at your previous job position. So, just keep in mind that better things are coming, and try to improve as much as you can so that you’re deserving of them once they come your way.