Here’s How to Bounce Back After Getting Laid Off

Did you get the rug pulled out from under you at work? That’s never a fun experience, and it’s a place most of us never dream of finding ourselves. Regardless of the company’s reasoning, being laid off can undermine your confidence, leave you uncertain, and send you into panic mode.

How Do I Know?

I’ve learned first-hand what it’s like to lose a job during a recession and the ugly truth of the emotions that come along with it. I quit my job in civil engineering without a plan. I landed a job as a Director of an Art Studio then the 2010 recession came and found myself laid off and unemployed. What a shot to my ego after leaving a prestigious job and being laid off from one that I found on a whim. After a month of Ben & Jerry’s and moping on the couch, I realized I needed to make a change. Fortunately, my past experience helped springboard me forward into a new career that eventually led me to the path of coaching. Let my personal experience save you a little heartache, calories, and time from sitting on the couch in sorrow.

Here’s How to Bounce Back

1. Give Yourself Time to Process

Grieve. Being laid off and losing a job is like experiencing death. Allow yourself to remember the things you liked about your job: co-workers, the work, the company’s mission, etc. Let yourself feel the emotions for up to 3 weeks max, but not enough time to become utterly depressed to the point that you feel like you have no options, no motivation, and no hope. Eat the ice cream, sit on the couch, and do the things you like to do in your free time, but don’t let this drag on. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and be done.

2. Get Your Resume Updated

There are two ways to do this. You sit down and add updates based on your perspective and memory. Several free resources can help you do this well: Growth Hack Your Career, Career Contessa, and the plethora of Google results. Writing and updating your resume can be an icky and difficult task. The other option is to pay a professional resume writer to update your resume for you. We get our clients on the phone and walk them through every relevant job they’ve had and have them explain what they did and how they excelled in that job. Then we write the resume and send it over for final reviews. Writing your resume is totally doable, but there is something about someone else writing it without having a biased perspective and a professional focus.

3. Get Clarity On What Type of Role You Want to Seek

Make time to sit down and write out every idea you have. This is what we call a “stream of consciousness.” Get it all out. Then research what each role entails and evaluate if your skillset would match the expectations. This will help you narrow down the jobs that fit you best. Note: If there is a job that you really want to pursue, identify the skills you need to obtain and find a course or certification to grow those skills. If you need an outside perspective on your skills and strengths, that’s where a career coach comes in. With all our job search and career change clients, we discuss their interests and skills. Then from there, I can evaluate and analyze what has been shared and give them my professional perspective on what route to take. Bonus, a career coach would give a non-biased perspective.

4. Get Your Head In the Right Place for Interviews

Start imagining yourself in an interview and being asked questions about your career history, strengths and weaknesses, and the dreaded question, “Tell Me About Yourself.” Get a list of popular interview questions, plan out your answers, and practice delivering them. Be sure to include your breezy and confident response to the inevitable question: why did you leave your last role? Take your interview prep even further by having someone to help you. An accountability partner is key to success: either a trustworthy friend, family member, or an outside perspective like a career coach or mentor.   

5. Start Applying!

There is a difference between getting trigger-happy and being intentional about clicking the application button. Only apply for jobs that align with your clarity research. Also, make sure you have a resume for each job you’re applying for: project manager, marketing, sales, etc. One resume doesn’t rule them all! 

6. Network, Network Network!

In all honesty, this is the gold mine for finding jobs. It’s still about who you know. This is the hidden job market! And it’s specific and customized to you! Tap into your LinkedIn Network, which should include: Alma Mater Alumni, previous co-workers, organization connections, and even previous clients. Take your networking even further by setting up an informational interview! There’s nothing like getting on the phone or face-to-face with someone to really ignite a connection.

7. Do Some Math

Now, what do we mean by that? You’ve been laid off, so money coming in isn’t happening, or maybe it is at a lower amount. Cut out the things that you don’t need to save money. This will allow you time to be intentional about your job search by giving you time, rather than feeling the pressure of finding a job so you can keep all 87 streaming services you pay for each month. Those shows will be there once you’ve been hired and are working again. 

8. Keep An Open Mind.

You never know where the next opportunity will take you, even if it seems like a step back or a temporary solution to the financial woes of unemployment

9. Be Confident You Have Value to Add.

You have something to offer an employer. Be ready to show and tell them what that something is! You have value! Believe in yourself, and others will believe in you.

Being laid off does not define you or your worth; believing that is the key to successfully navigating your job search.

Slingshot Forward

In short, I wouldn’t be where I am today hadn’t I been laid off and lost my job during the 2010 recession. While being laid off is one of the scariest things that can happen to you, it can also be an enormous blessing. You never know where you’ll be slingshotted next and what success you’ll encounter.

Don’t want to navigate this on your own? Connect with us and find a time to chat about your opportunities, skillset, and what your customized plan could be.

THe No-BS Blueprint for a successful job search

Award-winning career coach Angie Callen covers everything you need to know about job searching in the current market. 

No more trolling job boards and free advice for hours on end, just outcomes-based strategies to maximize your career. Click the link below to grab your copy today! 

Get the guidance you need to land your next great role. 

  • Strategies to make your search efficient and effective.
  • Resources to create a resume that resonates.
  • Ideas on how to remove the ick from networking
  • Proven framework to help you nail your next interview.

Angie’s resume guidance transformed my job search. I used her feedback to revamp my resume, responded to a rejection, and within a month, I landed the job of my dreams! – Will, Netflix Engineer

Angie Callen, Founder

I created Career Benders to inspire confident professionals. In just three years, we have helped nearly 500 professionals navigate job searches, nail interviews, and find satisfaction in their careers. We’re here for you!

Recent Posts