Layoffs are difficult, particularly when they come seemingly out of left field. I endured this type of layoff last year and was caught completely off guard. Feelings of worry, anger and rejection come bubbling to the surface immediately and it can be tough to deal with all these things at once. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with your layoff worries- especially if you have the foresight to see a layoff coming. It’s not the ideal situation, to be aware that you are going to be out of a job soon, but dealing with the anxiety and fear will help you in the long run with preparing your next move, career wise.
First off, talk to someone about your fears and pinpoint if there is even a need for the worry. Is your layoff something you can control by perhaps speaking to your supervisor and putting up a fight, or is it an inevitability that you get to just sit back and watch? Either way, talking to someone about your issues will help you differentiate whether you can do something to stop your layoff or if you just need to let it go. Over thinking an issue such as this, can lead to negative thoughts and put you in an even worse situation.
Second, if your worries are indeed substantiated, make the choice to be proactive. Consider the worst thing that can occur from this layoff and come up with an action plan to deal with your fear and worries. Spruce up your resume and start networking and looking around for other jobs. It is much easier to find a job while you still have a job and this way you can give yourself some breathing room and not be forced to accept the first job offer you receive. Remember to keep adding to your rainy day fund and if you don’t have one, start one now and try to set some money aside to get you through at least 3-6 months.
Third, refocus your thoughts and energy. If you notice your layoff worries beginning to consume you, focus your energy on something else. A hobby, interest anything that will keep your mind active and away from the negative thoughts that can begin to affect your daily life.
Finally, realize that if your layoff worries do come to fruition, that it is nothing personal. You are still a wonderful employee and will be of great value to another employer. Layoffs just happen sometimes and it is better to deal with those worries in a healthy, proactive manner than get down on yourself for being a “bad” employee.