When faced with a layoff, the reality of the situation can take some time to sink in. It’s a normal coping reaction that makes the process easier. However, when you sustain these emotions for long, it can prevent you from making progress in your job search.
Accept the reality
Don’t procrastinate in acknowledging and evaluating the situation. Accept the reality of the loss and begin the self-assessment process to explore what you might look forward to doing next. Staying in shock and denial will only cause further worries. Discuss the situation with friends and family members. Not only does it make the situation real, but it will also strengthen the support network around you.
Try to process your emotions honestly. Get angry if you need to! It’s healthy to move through these stages so you can move on to a productive job search and a successful future. It is common to experience feelings of loss after going through a layoff; you may even find yourself sad or depressed. Your sleeping patterns may change, you might experience weight loss or gain, or you may feel that this situation will last forever. Some may become overly stressed. Avoid withdrawing from life or your schedule.
Maintaining your schedule and regular activities helps to create a reliable structure that can be emotionally reassuring and productive. Make time to care for yourself physically and mentally. Exercise, eat right, get outside, and socialise. These activities create positive chemicals in your brain that boost your mood and energy.
Talk it out
Talk to someone. Whether it’s a close friend, a professional therapist, or a team of other job seekers, it’s important to talk out your feelings to be able to move past them. Being fearful can cause procrastination and prevent you from making progress in your search. When this procrastination catches up with you, you can become increasingly anxious and scared. You may blame yourself for the layoff, for letting your job search take this long, or for having a low level of search productivity. This panic and guilt can create a reactionary response rather than a strategic one. You may even come across as desperate or imbalanced in your job search. People process emotions at different speeds – don’t judge or blame yourself. Forgive yourself and move on.
Stay on track
Get organised to combat the disorganisation that comes with panic. Create and follow a strategic plan to stay on track. You may be angry with your employers for letting you go in the manner they did, angry at the job search or economy for being so new and complicated, angry with employers for not responding to your applications in the way you would like. This anger results in high stress and tension for yourself and those around you. Allow yourself to feel and address the pain that is causing your anger. Then forgive everyone and everything!
Take responsibility for your emotions and actions. It is not okay to treat others poorly or blame them for any lack of progress you’re experiencing. You must own your behaviour and be kind to others. Embrace change. While not always easy, it’s critical to your success that you learn to look forward to change and the opportunity to grow and develop yourself. You can then move from being a victim to being in control with optimism and renewed energy through this transition.
(Chaudhary is a Chandigarh-based image and style consultant)