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How to Bounce Back After a Layoff

Updated: Aug 17, 2023


woman sitting on sofa depressed

There's no hiding it.


Since last year, the rate of unemployment due to layoffs and hiring freezes has dramatically jumped to an unprecedented level, especially in big tech names like LinkedIn, Netflix, Google, and Meta, to name just a handful.


And the talent and HR industry, the backbone of every organisation, is being hit the worst!


2023 in particular has been a year like no other.


Every time I scroll through LinkedIn, it's almost like everyone is writing the same post: "I'm sad to announce that I have been impacted by the layoffs at ___ so now I am back on the market."


I know all too well the initial shock, followed by the feeling of loss and grief, then the pain, then the anxiety and fear, of being laid off from a role.


You wake up with a sense of dread, where for the first time in what is years for most people, you have nothing to look forward to on Monday.


No sense of purpose or satisfaction of targets achieved.


No team meetings or company events.


No work emails to catch up on or respond to.


No annoying messages from team members who are in the habit of cc-ing you into correspondence at the last minute, then having the audacity to ask "Any suggestions or recommendations on the best way forward?"


And then to only make matters worse, all the rejection emails, ghosting from recruiters and hiring managers, and fake job postings from scammers claiming to be legitimate, are draining the life out of you!


How can you cope in such times when it seems like literally everyone is on the market right now?


Here are 5 ways to take care of yourself and cope after being laid off:


Take Time for Your Mental Health After a Layoff

This might just be easier said than done, but nonetheless it is essential.


Especially if you have dependants and you're worried about how to take care of them and the piling heap of bills, make use of external support such as friends and family, attending networking events, and even using helplines if you need to talk and offload your anxiety, grief, and shock.


Be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to breathe and grieve your loss. But at the same time, never internalize and blame yourself. This was not your fault, and you will get out of this rut soon!


Get out and go for walks to get fresh air so you're not constantly glued to your phone or laptop applying for jobs; exercise.


You can even pick up a new hobby or restart an old one!


I personally found that playing upbeat music and having my mother and people in my corner, really helped me stay positive when my contract ended early.


Also I maintained a routine similar to when I was at work, which kept me from falling into a state of depression.


I still woke up at 5am every morning and dressed in smart casual clothes, while job-hunting.


I still maintained the same lunch break hour, and I still allocated specific hours in my day for tasks and meetings, job-search related or not, that gave me a sense of purpose and structure to my week.


Try and maintain your work schedule while being unemployed, or at least create a routine that works best for you and your family, so that you don't fall into a lapse of depression or feeling like you're wasting your time.


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