The 7 Stages Of Grieving After Getting Laid Off

hands with a bunch of things on a desk
Brooke Lark

Everyone reacts differently to the news that they’ve been laid off. For some there are high stakes like a family and a mortgage to consider, and for others it’s only the beginning of their career. No matter your situation, being laid off is disruptive and can throw your life off balance. You may be racing to find your next position, but there are a few common stages to get through first before landing that new job.

Step 1: Grieve

The natural first step in anyone’s process is to grieve what you’ve lost. It could be a stable income, steady hours, colleagues you consider friends, or in the best of cases, all of the above. Allow yourself some time to be sad about these things, but try not to stay there for too long.

Step 2: Pick Yourself Up

The most necessary step after any lay off can be one of the hardest and the most personal. Do whatever you need to do to pick yourself up. Indulge in your favorite activities. Be a little selfish. Think about what makes you awesome, and understand that getting laid off often says nothing about you as a person or your work ethic. Positive self talk is important in getting through this stage.

Step 3: Reassess

Something you may not have considered is that getting laid off is a good time for you to reassess the career path you’ve chosen. Decide if you’re truly feeling fulfilled in your current field, then move on to step four.

Step 4: Reset

Think about the career you want, not the one you had. Refresh your LinkedIn profile and resume to reflect that. Even if you’re not pivoting career aspirations, an update of all your discoverable channels with achievements from your last job will help you land the next one.

Step 5: Use Your Resources

Reach out to others in the company, whether it’s for resume advice, a chance to job shadow, or to connect over a casual lunch. If you’re lucky, your boss or even your boss’s boss may be able to connect you with a new position. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

Step 6: Research

Thoroughly research the job market. In the moment it can feel crucial to jump on the first new opportunity that comes your way, but you’ll be more satisfied in the long run if you put in the time and effort to evaluate all the options available. This will give you the ability to make your next employment decision confidently.

Step 7: Apply

Now that you’ve gone through several stages of necessary emotions, all the way from grief to action, you’re ready to hit that apply button. Cast your net wide, but selectively, and best wishes on the job hunt! TC mark

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Image Credit: Brooke Lark