The first thought that pops into your head after hearing that you are being laid off is that your life is over. Your life flashes in front of your eyes, and you fast-forward to moving back home with your parents to live in their basement. You see your high-school friends in the supermarket and tell them all about your new career as a baby sitter, how you spend your days watching TV with your mother while trying to remember what it was like to work with people who don’t constantly cr*p their pants.
But I am here to reassure you that this is only a little bump in your career, and everything will soon get better. It will not only get better but being laid off can actually end up being the career boost you have been looking for.
Here is a list of four career lessons you only learn from being laid off:
1. Learn to Breathe
I bet that you loved your job, right? And if you did, I am sure that you worked extra hard every day to finish all the tasks your boss gave you, and did your best to secure that new deal. Actually, you have been working non-stop. And now that you have been laid off, they are forcing you to take some time off.
Even though this new timeout period may be a little bit strange for you - you will be constantly checking your phone for emails or calls - you will soon be able to recharge and relax. Of course, you shouldn’t put your life on hold, you can search for a job, network with other people in your industry, complete part-time gigs but you can also sleep in when you feel like it or have three main meals without constantly looking in front of a computer screen.
Apart from feeling better, you will have enough time to think about what you truly miss from your old job and what never worked for you so you know what you will be looking for in your next job.
2. Think About Your Priorities
When you already have a job, and you are searching for something better, you always seem to find a few opportunities that are not “perfect”- they have low salaries, tight schedules, people you don’t like and so on. But when you have no other choice but find a new job you actually sit down and look at each posting more realistically.
You think about your priorities and what you think is more important in your career. A salary or flexible working hours, for example? You will find openings that you would have otherwise rejected.
3. Take More Risks
You have been laid off for reasons that may be outside of your control, so what can you do now? Well, first thing is not to cry (too much ) about it, but instead, use this opportunity to take on some risks.
Everyone that gets laid off may hit rock bottom, and it’s a very difficult period . However, everyone eventually gets over it. So, don’t overstress about it, take a risk and do that one thing that always scared you; move to a different city, try out a new job in a very unstable field, you will never know if you never try.
4. Your Job Does Not Define You
Before losing your job, people who usually work long hours and on weekends tend to be defined by their job. And that’s usually why people lose it when they hear the news that they are being laid off because they think that they’ve lost everything now, including their identity.
But if you are reading this article then I bet you found out soon enough that you can actually breathe, talk with other people and live without having an official title at a company.
I bet you are worried “but how am I going to introduce myself to people now?” you need to learn that your career doesn’t define you. Yes, it is part of who you are, but there should be plenty other things that define you. It could be that you like dogs, read poetry, go on adventures, or horseriding. Take this opportunity to rediscover yourself, see what you enjoy doing and follow your dreams- these dreams can be way more than just a career.
Have you ever been laid off? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments section below.