Rebuilding You - The Reality Of Being Laid Off
Before we experienced the 2019 Covid pandemic, I had just got my foot in the door into tech and was excited for all my new opportunities, new growth experiences and new self confidence. I came from a background where I experienced change a lot in my atmospheres and it unfortunately put a hard wall up where I would tell myself not to get comfortable with things in life, because it was all temporary. This new chapter into tech, I would work even harder to build down that wall and find moments of being proud of myself instead. However, when the 2019 Covid pandemic hit and everyone was facing hard times in all sorts of way from physically, mentally to financially, I started to see signs early on that my dream opportunity as a beginner in tech, was slowly about to crumble around me. I denied the reality of being laid off so much because I had never experienced it, nor have I ever been fired from a job before, which I took hard pride in.
But the reality of life, is there are things we cannot control no matter how hard we try. I was laid off from my first tech job due to “budget cuts,” during the pandemic and my survival panic kicked in, I found myself begging my connections to help me find another position quickly and self blaming a lot. Through the depression, I got lucky and found another tech position but I was doing things I had no idea in how to do, and once again, I found myself being laid off again from that job for the same reasons, “budget cuts.”
So from someone who has been laid off back to back from two different companies, during an extremely hard time in the world, let me help you build yourself back from the realities of being laid off with tips and things I learned through the experience.
Advice 1: Set A Week Of Time To Express, Feel and Grieve
When I lost both my jobs, I was grieving really hard and wondered why I was going through the stages of grief emotions during this experience. I did some research and found this blog by Emily Stroia and she explains through it that “losing your job can feel like the death of a loved one.” Which makes sense, right? Losing a job can disrupt a lot of things in your life and also put some things on hold, just as if you lost a loved one. So acknowledging that this does suck to go through is okay, and I use the setting a week of time to express, feel and grieve method because we are acknowledging that we need time to heal and get those emotions loose from us, but we are also holding ourselves accountable that we will begin to rebuild ourselves once that week is completed. It can be extremely easy to spend longer than a week grieving, and thats perfectly okay. Working through the grief after a week so that we can be back to being okay, is the goal.
( Losing Your Job Can Feel Like the Death of a Loved One by Emily Stroia Blog )
Advice 2: Tune Into Realistic Words Of Affirmation
What are ‘realistic words of affirmation?’ Words and advice thats honest, sometimes hard to hear, but will help you more in the long run. Sometimes when we listen to toxic positivity podcasts, online entrepreneurs, etc. they speak words and success stories that dismiss the reality of situations. How hard things can be, the work that goes into rebuilding yourself, the work it takes to actually put in effort when you have 0 energy and the mental health toll it takes on someone to find the motivation for all of that. I made a list of some podcast episodes that really helped me tune into realistic words of affirmation.
Advice 3: Growing Comfortable With The Financial Burden Work
I think the biggest thing everyone absolutely hates and gets the most anxiety + fear from (without generalizing,) is doing the financial burden work after being laid-off. Re-evaluating our expenses, budgeting and pausing on some of our finances. Something I have learned is that though this is scary to face, once you face it, something clicks in you where once you starting cutting back on things, you are almost using the well-known Marie Condo method. Use this time to cut back on things that no longer serve you, spring cleaning if you will and learning that its okay to let things go because sometimes you have to remove things, to make room for the better things to come. Everything is going to be okay 💜
Advice 4: Build Your Profession - Portfolio, New Resume, New Skills
Find time to put in for yourself. You have worked to build companies up with your amazing skills, but now its time to build your profession up. Building a portfolio full of things like success stories from past project accomplishments, awards, degrees, certifications, and learning programs can really highlight things that helped you achieve success. Throw away that old resume, and begin a more captivating one full of new skills you've learned from the previous jobs, find new ways to make your resume stand out. Take some time to also start learning new things in your free time, things that can build your resume and portfolio. Some of the following are helpful resources I've found to help with all of this.
Advice 5: Community Groups Can Build Connections
By finding support through communities, you also find yourself building lifetime connections. Understanding that making friends and building yourself in these communities, could open doors for you just as much as you can open a door for someone else. You can find your fields community groups through places like Linkedin, Slack, Discord and even TikTok.
Advice 6: Action Over Self-Blame
Falling into self-blame and taking our lay-offs personal can be deep. But the reality of a lay-off is that there is nothing personal about it. Your entire personality, existence and self-worth does not fall on your job, it falls on you and how you see yourself. By taking action in continuing to build yourself and your skills is something no job, or person can take from you. You are more than a boss, you are YOU. So continue your action in yourself over self blame, you deserve it.
To all those that have experienced being laid off, you will accomplish greatness and new chapters will always have something good in them. You will find that next role and it will build a newer version of yourself that you never knew you could achieve. You got this. 💜