When you're laid off from a job, it can come as a shock; it is a major life-changing event that affects you emotionally and financially. In India, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the job market took a severe hit. Layoffs were at an all-time high of 20.3% during the early months. The tech sector itself has seen more than 30,000 layoffs which have had a widespread impact on mental health.
Although the situation has improved slightly, with the unemployment rate now at 8.3%, the aftermath of a layoff can still be devastating. The job market is fiercely competitive, and job security is always a concern. If you have been laid off, it might seem like a confirmation of your worst fears about your education and skillset. But remember, it is not a reflection of your abilities; it can be an opportunity to soar to even greater heights.
In this challenging situation, taking care of your mental health and finding ways to get back on your feet is essential. You can bounce back more vital than ever with the right mindset and strategies. That’s why we came up with this list of the four best tips to cope with a layoff:
1. Give Yourself Time to Process What Happened
Losing your job can be a jarring experience that sends shockwaves through your system. It is perfectly normal to feel a range of emotions, such as anger, sadness, and anxiety. You might feel shocked or even betrayed by your boss and teammates. You may begin to question your abilities and your worth. Some people feel anxious or depressed about the future path that lies ahead. There might even be a sense of anger towards colleagues who haven’t been laid off.
Whatever you're feeling, it's essential to acknowledge and accept these emotions. Give yourself time to process these feelings without being too hard on yourself. You can write them down or talk about them to someone you trust. Ignoring your emotions will only delay the healing process.
Going through all this alone isn’t easy. Try to find different avenues of support.
2. Reach Out to Someone for Support
Layoffs can leave you feeling vulnerable and shaken. Getting back to work and looking for another job is tough. That’s why it is essential to have different kinds of support, such as:
- Emotional Support: Friends, family, or a therapist can provide emotional support, validation, and encouragement to help you feel better about your current situation. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family, practice self-care, and focus on the things you can control.
- Financial Support: Losing a job often means a sudden dip in income, which can cause a heavy financial strain. In such a situation, you may be eligible for severance pay, government assistance programs, or have friends and family who can help you briefly.
Don't be afraid to seek support from family or friends. Be open to taking professional counseling to help you cope with your emotions.
Try Manah's free emotional wellbeing assessment now!
3. Take Stock of Your Finances and Start Budgeting
Along with external financial support, it is essential to closely examine your budget and identify areas where you can cut back on expenses. This could mean canceling subscription services, cutting back on eating out, or downsizing to a smaller living space.
One option to supplement your income is to take on freelance work or a part-time job to make some extra cash. When you're on a tight budget, every penny counts. It is wise to prepare for the worst-case scenario by budgeting for more extended unemployment than you expected. Experts recommend saving at least six months of living expenses, but it may be wise to budget for double that amount in today’s job market. By planning, you'll have a safety net to fall back on if your job search takes longer than expected.
Remember, while losing a job can be stressful, it's also an opportunity to reassess your priorities, learn new skills, and discover new passions. You can turn this setback into a stepping stone toward a brighter future by staying positive and proactive.
4. Begin Upskilling and Adding to Your Resume
While you update your resume to begin the job search, start investing in learning new skills. With more free time, why not consider taking an online course, attending a webinar or workshop, or reading books related to your career? Not only will this make you more marketable to future employers, but it will also give you a confidence boost.
Upskilling is a great way to prepare for the job market's ever-changing demands and increase your value to potential employers.
If you feel lost after being laid off, know you're not alone. Resources and support systems are available to help you navigate this challenging time. You can also connect with a career counselor, friends, family, or a therapist, or join a job search support group to get the guidance and encouragement you need.
It is essential to remember that you still have valuable skills and experience that can set you apart as a top candidate in the job market. Take some time to reflect on your strengths and update your resume.
A layoff is not the end of your career. You can find new opportunities and achieve success beyond your wildest dreams with determination and perseverance. By staying proactive, connecting with your network, and continuously learning, you will be well-positioned to thrive in today's rapidly changing job market.