You received some alarming news that will shake up your work life. And even though you may still have some time left with the company, it feels like you just got fired. Even worse, you have to keep performing while knowing you’re going to get the boot. It’s the feeling of being terminated but still having to put up with the office hypocrisy – layoffs!
It’s not going to make sense about who is chosen. Rarely will people at the top ‘know their people’ down near the bottom. Even if they do, their prime objective is to keep the business running. If that means cutting expenses, that’s what they’ll do. To pay for an employee’s wage/salary, benefits, 3rd party access, PTO, etc. can be very expensive. To get a better understanding of who to pick, employers will ask managers or department leaders what their thoughts are long before you hear the news. You would think the lowest performers on record are the first to go, but that’s not always the case. Most of the time layoffs are abruptly announced, and managers need to scramble to make their decision so the company can start to heal again.
If you were chosen to receive the ax, don’t let it get to you. Even by reading this article, you are doing some research to understand what happened. Someone else’s opinion of your work will never outclass what you are capable of. So don’t view this as destructive. If anything, it’s your free ticket out of the company that’s falling apart. New doors will open that you may have never known about until now.
The first step
Realize that you are not the problem. It’s the business you are in that is reflecting poorly upon the employer, not you as an employee. When an employer pulls the trigger on impacting the most important resource they have, it’s good to be rid of such instability. So before you get any further, strike any feeling of guilt or remorse from your head. It’s them, not you.
Friends. You may be leaving some friends behind. Such relationships at work are essential to keep yourself sane. Although, think about how many friends you’ve kept in touch with from your last job. Even when moving within the company to another department, they seem to disappear. How many loyal friends kept in touch? If some do, that’s great! These are true allies in your professional network. If you find yourself putting forth more effort retaining the friendship than what it’s worth, then it’s time to move on from them too.
The whole reason you had the job, money. For most of us, there won’t be another income option lined up. And that can be terrifying. We rely so much on working for someone else that we mold our needs around it. Nevertheless, we can consider that income gone forever. What can we do now?
If you haven’t built a savings for yourself at this point, or even if you have, you can start cutting your expenses. You may not want to, but it’s necessary if you’re not prepared to be unemployed. Think about your recurring bills; Rent/mortgage, groceries, electricity, auto payments, car insurance, cell phone, TV, the internet, financed repairs, etc. I’m sure there are more for some, but the idea is to focus on what you need. Shelter, food, and water are the bare basics. You might even be able to throw in your electric bill and car note, it all depends on your situation.
Some people out there have had to make bigger sacrifices, like selling their car or living without electricity. But life finds a way. They sell their car which pays off that debt, eliminates the need to buy gas (which helps the environment), ends the worry of costly auto repairs, and can leave extra money on the table. For those that sacrificed electricity, there are no electric appliances. There isn’t an option to waste time watching TV or surfing the internet. They go outside and enjoy the environment as it naturally is. They create a better ambiance by lighting a room with candles, discarding the artificial overhead lighting. Less electronic noise and a healthier circadian rhythm (our natural 24-hour physiological cycle) which helps with sleeping.
The main idea with reducing expenses is to hold onto your funds long enough to survive your job search. You may not need to go to extreme measures, but some people do. Being laid off can really open your eyes to how you’re spending your money. Of course, you won’t want to take off every other week to enjoy yourself at the beach. We all have bills to pay in while living in this society.
Money is a touchy subject, everyone wants more of it. But you don’t need money to create life experiences. If anyone says that you do, then they are a slave to it. Take money away from someone that is greedy for it and watch them scramble. When it gets rough don’t beg, borrow, or steal. You don’t need these negative intentions or debt that’s attached to this transaction. We all deserve an opportunity where we can be ourselves. Don’t chase money, and don’t be hypnotized by the value you think it has.
The truth is, money is like an anchor. The more you have the more you’ve got to lose. If your satisfaction is filled with the stuff you buy, that satisfaction has become tangible. Which is capable of being lost or destroyed. The irony is that those who have time want money, and those who have money want time.
This is a resource that is far more important than any monetary value. Money can be gained and lost, but time will keep its constant forward pace until you die. We all pay for our own deaths. Your family and friends are not impacted other than the feelings you leave behind for them. This makes us solely responsible for the time we use in our lives. The older you get, the faster time will move for you, and the further you push your memories away.
We spend time on learning, entertainment, relationships, and much more. It’s what defines our longevity and experience. Making the best use of time will depend on the choices you make. Below are a few good ways to use your time, but don’t assume that these suggestions are all guaranteed to work. You’ll really have to apply yourself. Much of entertainment are luxuries and time wasters that you can live without. Try at least one of these every day while looking for a new job:
- Spend an hour searching for fulfilling opportunities, rather than watching TV.
- Apply for positions that you easily qualify for, rather than scrolling through Facebook.
- Network by volunteering for a cause you believe in, rather than going out to eat/drink.
- Document your layoff experience and track your progress, rather than playing video games.
- Reach out to staffing agencies, rather than complaining to friends and family.
Creating good intentions is a powerful motivator to reach the goal you have in mind. The feeling of triumph after putting in a great deal of time and effort is an exhilarating feeling. The harder we work towards something, and more we endure that struggle, the better we feel once we cross the finish line. Anything that is simple and easy to do won’t come with the same satisfaction. Everything doesn’t need to be difficult, it’s nice to have the convenience. Even with technology, we are capable of receiving information within seconds. This evolution has afforded us wonderful opportunities to save time. But you can also guarantee that the innovators and companies that have made great accomplishments have put forth their time and effort to reach their goals.
Begin your search for something more fulfilling. As you can tell with experience, money isn’t the most motivating aspect of a job. Trading time for money is literally selling your life. Your career should be something that you are truly interested in. Fueled by your passion, curiosity, and the willingness to explore. There are no rules with your ambitions. You are not tied to the same line of work you have the most experience in, and it doesn’t always have to be the same gig you were just in.
Your career is based on what you want to experience, rather than being told what you should be doing. Everyone will try to pick up where they left off with a new employer. You have sacrificed time and energy and you don’t want that to go to waste. If you have worked your way up through the ranks, starting on the ground floor can feel beneath you. However, many companies boast about promoting from within. Since this is a hunt for a new employer, you can conclude that those senior positions come with a hefty price tag. A well-regarded and established employee will have more direct experience worthy of advancement than someone hired off the streets. Recruiters can always pick a top performer that’s already working for the company over demanding expectations of a new face and possibly save the company more money.
Once you get your foot in the door you’ll want some room to grow. Even the most qualified candidates working in entry level positions need some form of longevity before moving up, there are also probationary periods. If you’re taking a step down with a new employer, you can learn a lot about how their business operates. Just the understanding of the front line worker’s daily operations will give you a considerable leg-up when it comes down to leading a team of them. This will put you in a better position for advancement. You’ll have also earned the respect of your peers by earning the work experience with them.
Above all things is to find purpose in what you do. If you made the hard choice to work in a place where you can’t contribute to your passions, you can still understand the purpose of your role. Just by knowing what your actions and effort are worth can make the job much more fulfilling. Rarely will we repeat a task without considering how our contributions are making a difference. Sometimes, this is all we have. And that may be enough for some people. Others will create their purpose, learn new skills, and become curious about what they didn’t know before. Fulfilling these new motivations will grant you the same level of satisfaction as the effort you put forth.
Never forget your dreams. If you think that it’s impossible to do what you love, that would be the reason why you aren’t doing it. Make amends with yourself and be proud of who you are. If you can renew confidence in your abilities, while being respectful of the specialists in that field, you will produce the attitude that everyone looks for in their candidates.
For me, it’s all about conscious conditioning. I do my best to visualize where I want to be, and then summon the courage to take on the opportunities that come my way. It may not be exactly what I want, but life is supposed to be a surprise. It’s rare that we get exactly what we want. I no longer put up such a tiring fight to resist what naturally flows to me. That doesn’t mean I won’t push forward the extra effort for the sake of my passions. As king, you must find the goods in any situation.
Time flies with drastic positive and negative changes. It’s okay to have shoddy days. Just as we are accepting of the good times, we must balance ourselves with the low times. I’ve been exploring this way of thinking for so long, the ‘bad’ moments actually make me feel hopeful. As if the universe is daring me to see if I can do any better. We are due our reaction point. But if it doesn’t matter in five years, don’t waste more than 5 minutes dwelling on it. Resistance really is futile, be strong and take it.
If it helps, you can think about it like this: The closer you are to hitting rock bottom, the less it hurts when you fall. This isn’t the best way to evaluate your bad experiences, but it’s comforting to know that we’re able to mitigate the mental damage. We have experienced havoc in the past, and still found a way to survive. I don’t believe anyone is truly a strong person without having that durability; someone who can still be themselves even when the odds are against them. It polishes our character, making our positive attributes shine even brighter.
We got this like it already happened. Everything you experience becomes a memory before you realize it and we look outward for the next challenge in our lives. The jobs we work shouldn’t be the main focus of personal development or self-improvement. Jobs are merely one of the many subjects in our lives. Don’t let it define you. If you want a real challenge, make yourself by doing what you love.