I was let go from one of my first jobs after only 6 months. I was young and naïve, and unprepared for the day I was terminated. I didn’t know how to tell my family and friends. I was shaken to my core, my confidence shattered. It took me years to admit I was fired. It took me even longer to realize what a toxic work environment I had been working in.
I was wounded, and I healed. I found a better fit with another organization and I soared. Looking back, it was one of many experiences that helped shape who I am today. The pain I once felt is replaced with gratitude that I got out when I did.
Take Control of What You Can
Maybe you or someone you know has been laid off. Maybe you saw it coming, maybe not. Although it hurts and may be difficult to understand when it happens, remind yourself you will be alright, because you will. You may feel your world is spinning out of control, but you do have control over your reaction to what is happening.
You can choose to be angry, bitter or revengeful. You can choose to take it personally, allow it to hit your self-esteem. Or you can choose to simply accept what has happened. It doesn’t have to be labeled good or bad. Whether it should or shouldn’t have happened doesn’t matter; it is what it is.
You Can Allow the Layoff to Define You or Begin to Redefine Yourself in this Moment
Many people have lost a job and traveled a similar journey as you. As a result it prompted people to take action on ideas, inventions or dreams that had been tabled. Layoffs have led people to uncover talents, start new businesses and reinvent themselves. Some people become more tolerant, humble, less ego driven human beings.
Attitude is Key
Years ago I was called in to present several seminars to over 3,000 employees of a major corporation during a time when layoffs were imminent and morale was low. People were showing up physically, but mentally and emotionally checked out. Impressions were being made based on how people were responding to the situation, and the impressions were lasting. As a result of the downsizing new companies were formed. As people moved on to other organizations, it wasn’t the bitter or self-pitying ones who were called to lead and move on with others; it was the individuals who continued to show up each day until their last with a positive attitude, dignity and professionalism.
A Layoff can be the Best thing that Happened to You
Final impressions are lasting impressions. If you are let go, leave with your pride and reputation intact. You will never regret it. How you react to and speak about your layoff speaks volumes about you.
There is life after a layoff; be open to the possibility that the best is yet to come.
For more information and tips on surviving a layoff, go to:
The interview with Sue begins at approximately 9 minutes into the show.