It happens. I have seen a few good friends and very capable workers get the bad news. Often it’s just due to market conditions, but it obviously affects peoples’ lives.
It’s my turn to go through the process. I have never been fired or let go from a job in my 13-year career, but my company was recently acquired and the new company already has someone in my position.
So, what to do?
Breathe, stay positive, and acknowledge your feelings
It does no good to get in a down mood and not tell anyone what’s bothering you. Being laid off or fired is a shock and will come with some tough moments. Being honest with friends and family lets them know the situation, and their support often turns into a brainstorm of ideas for the future. Talking it out is generally a win/win, but it is a process.
Finish on good terms
Whether you are marched out the door or given three months notice, it does no good to leave on bad terms. Thank them for taking a chance on you and giving you the opportunity. Say it was a great time in your life. Finish strong in your responsibilities.
Do not spew negative feelings. It might feel good at that moment, but you may come across the same people at some point in the future. Not only that, but they are a good starting point for networking as you begin a search. And who knows, maybe you will come back to work at the same place someday.
Get a head start on the job search
Get your resume ready. Have a few trusted friends look it over and listen to their critiques. Practice interview questions out loud. Let your connections know that you’re looking around. Familiarize yourself with your potential targets and learn about what they do. Get started applying.
Use your newfound free time for self-improvement
This is a great chance to focus on getting that certification or taking that class you didn’t have time for before. Plus it will help fill the gap on your resume and might even lead to creating some connections.
Tighten your belt a bit
Create a spreadsheet of each recurring expense, how it is paid, and what day of the month it is paid on. Remember annual expenses like car registration or tax service fees.
Look back on recent spending habits. If there are unnecessary subscriptions or excessive spending in other areas, this is the time to cut down.
A clear budget will indicate whether you need a side job to fill the gap until your next employment, or how long you have until you do need one. Getting organized will also prevent unnecessary overdrafts or late bill payment fees, which you don’t need right now.
Look Forward to the Future
It’s tough right now, but tomorrow will always come. Take the time to improve your resume, your skills, and yourself. Stay involved and get outside the house or apartment. Try volunteering and go to industry events. Stay positive!