So, you’ve just been laid off. You’re probably an emotional wreck, thinking about not having an income and not knowing what to do with yourself all day. That’s understandable, but losing your job is really not the end of the world. In fact, it may just be the new beginning that you have been needing. We have met with and interviewed many people that had been laid off at large companies. In fact the person that hired me at KazSource (parent company of SportsEpreneur.com) as an intern was laid off some years ago. As he told me when things like getting laid off happen, somehow find a way to see it as an opportunity.
Now let’s consider some of the positives:
It’s natural to be anxious about uncertainty; you don’t know where your next paycheck is coming from, and that’s scary. But that same uncertainty can be a huge advantage–what you do next is totally up to you. You can go do whatever you want. If you want to start your own company, now you can. If you want to change career paths, go for it. If you want to go back to school, nothing is stopping you. There are many different paths, and you can take whichever one you want.
Yes, you have the freedom to choose a new career path, but you have other kinds of freedom, too. Think of it as an unpaid vacation (unless you have a severance in which case it is paid time off). While you will likely have to put a lot of time and energy into the job hunt, don’t forget to enjoy sleeping in, playing outside during the day, or whatever else you haven’t been doing because you were busy at work. Job hunting takes a lot of work, but you can do it according to your own schedule. For now, at least, you work for yourself. While uncertainty and worry might make it hard to enjoy your time off, it’s important to remember that nothing is ever certain. Even if you did have an iron-clad contract with a great company, all you ever really have is today. Today, you don’t have to work (in the sense of how you worked at your previous job). Enjoy it.
Many people wake up and dread going to work. You know you deserve better, and you know more fulfilling work is out there, but it’s hard to walk away from a steady paycheck. There are no guarantees in life, and you’re not stupid to wonder whether you’ll be ok financially. But now, you don’t have to walk away—the break has been made! The job you didn’t like is done! Gone! Over! Feels great, doesn’t it? Now you have the freedom and the opportunity to find something you like better, a job where you’re actually excited to go to work every day. You may come to feel that getting laid off was just the help you needed to do what you should have done a long time ago (perhaps start your own business?).
Getting laid off is a scary shock. Go ahead and let yourself be upset for a while. Maybe take a good hard look at your performance and whether it was everything it should have been. But when you’ve finished doing that, don’t neglect the positives your new situation brings you. Find yourself, find what you love, and do it. You have been granted the gift of opportunity, happiness, and freedom. Keep your head up, stay focused, and hustle. Everything else will fall into place.