Everyone is feeling it
You don’t have to look far to find a person impacted by a layoff in one way or another, so don’t let a layoff get you down.
We’re here to tell you why layoffs happen, how to keep your mental health in check, and how to bounce back with a plan of action. So, let’s take a deep breath and ride this wave together.
Why are layoffs even a thing?
Dan Wang, associate professor at the Columbia Business School, told Insider that labor and marketing costs are the first areas considered by companies for budget cuts.
This practice isn’t new, but it wasn’t nearly as common in the early 20th century. Job security was sort of…expected. It was one of the benefits that drew people to corporate jobs in the first place, and unless you made a huge mistake and got fired, you were pretty much set.
Layoffs became common practice in the late 20th century. According to Origins, Newsweek published “Corporate Killers,” announcing 131,000 total layoffs from 4 different companies. One interesting point is that executive salaries increased. Coverage at the time helped shift the perspective from the health of the workforce to the strength of the industry which didn’t help the average Jane and Joe.
Exponential growth is rarely sustainable. In certain cases, layoffs can be seen as a way to restructure a company and manufacture growth after lower than expected quarterly earnings. Downsizing frees up a company’s budget to support areas that are needed most.
How does the worker fit into all of this?
Layoffs are out of your control, straight up. It’s not your fault that a company chose to downsize your team. You deserve an opportunity to show the world what you can do. Here are some ways to stay resilient when times get tough:
Update your resume
Keeping an updated resume is very important. You don’t want to cope with the stress of a layoff and boasting about your skills at the same time.
Remembering all of your accomplishments is difficult at the best of times (because you’re awesome!) so take some time each month to update your current position and achievements in a cloud-based resume document before a layoff could happen.
⌚ Take your time
It’s easy to dwell on wondering what might have been, so accept it and take a few days to process your next step. These next couple of days are integral for adjusting your finances, reaching out to your professional connections, and taking care of yourself.
Learn something new
Take this opportunity to switch your career path! Going back to school and learning new skills creates professional connections. Sometimes being laid off forces us to consider our current trajectory and determine if it’s where we want to be. If it’s not, take advantage of the time you now have to place yourself on the right path.
Mental health is health
Never feel ashamed to seek the help that you need. Mental health professionals offer guidance, structure, and advice when you need it most. Some companies have the resources to extend your benefits package into the layoff period so this is your chance to use them!
If you have the chance to work with a career service, make the time to meet with them regularly and leverage the resources they have available. A quick resume review can do wonders.
Volunteer where you never could
Seek volunteer opportunities to pursue something you love. It’s a chance to explore a new hobby or learn a new skill. Keeping your mind occupied is the best way to get through a rough patch. Reach out to organizations and charities to see how you can make an impact in your community.
DTC’s editor, Claire Beveridge, says that “after a lay off from a tech startup in June 2021, I spent time volunteering to help seniors with groceries and meals. The experience was hugely rewarding and gave me a real sense of purpose after a career setback — not to mention that the seniors were funny and insightful AF, which helped lift my spirits!”
Schedule your day
Consider it your temporary job to work on your resume and develop professional connections. Dedicating 3-4 hours every day to building your resume or sending applications is the perfect place to start.
Remember to take breaks and take days off, just like any other job. Everyone gets a break, so you deserve one too.
Know when it’s time to ask for help
Intrusive thoughts are normal but not healthy to dwell on. Asking for help shows you’re confident enough to know when you need it. It builds trust and reflects positively on you.
Take this time to discover what makes you truly happy and leverage the resources you have to make the changes you need.