Layoff. The very word strikes fear into many workers’ hearts. If you are laid off, the fear can be debilitating.
It may seem strange but being laid off can be a good thing. They provide the opportunity to explore new paths, enter new careers and get a new, fresh outlook on life. However, our fear of being laid off is rooted in the fact that the journey is not easy. However, there are things you can do:
First, break through the fear. Layoffs can happen at any time. There really is no such thing as a “permanent” job anymore. Receiving a job offer is not a guarantee of uninterrupted employment. Today, people do not retire from the same company that they started working for in their 20’s. In 2008, it was reported that only 10.9% of workers had been with their same employer over 20 years, but nearly 23% had been with their employer for less than 12 months.
Second, do some soul-searching and tactical research (if necessary). Being laid-off allows you to explore other careers /jobs. You will need to think through the process. Change requires resources, and you need to decide if you have the resources necessary to see yourself through the transition. Your ability to embrace change may be different if you are young and single vs. if you are older and have college-age dependents. For example, after a layoff many people try to
- …switch careers. However, many new careers require additional education and/or training. This might cost a significant amount of money. You need to research salaries and demand; then analyze whether or not you will see a return on that education.
- …start a new business. However, starting a business from the ground up requires a certain amount of capital and sales skills. Do you have money saved up and are you comfortable selling yourself, your value proposition and your business?
Third, get out there. No matter what you decide, you need to leave your house and make things happen. If you decide to look for another job, applying online for an hour or two a day and then hanging out in your pj’s is not productive. If you decide to make a change, you need to research, benchmark, and network. Make appointments to meet others for lunch, coffee, etc. Networking is the key to re-invention. You never know what opportunity will present itself over a quick lunch at your neighborhood Chili’s.
Fourth, do not get discouraged. Career progression is really not like climbing a ladder. It is more like scaling a rock wall. Sometimes you can grab a foothold and pull yourself up, and sometimes you have to take a step sideways (a lateral step, if you will) to better position yourself for the climb up. The point is that career progression is a climb. It is effort, and sometimes you need will to step to the side, assess and regroup before you continue your climb.
Taking on temporary work is a perfect solution to handling all the transitions that come with a layoff. Being employed as one of our temporary associates is a fantastic way to explore new career options, test out new work environments and perhaps even find your new best-fit career.