10 Things To Do If You Have Been Fired or Laid Off

  1. It may not have been fair, just or your fault, but don’t “go off” on your employer.
  2. Your experiencing a wide range of emotions – it’s a grieving process so give yourself time to do that. It may take a day, a week, a month.
  3. Give yourself a certain amount of time to decompress. Even if its just a day or two (though preferably longer) make it YOUR time to do nothing, do something fun, be with your family, etc…
  4. Make a list of ALL the things you are thankful for in your life. Sometimes
    during a traumatic event we have a tendency to forget these.
  5. Reach out for your friends and family – let them support you. Isolation is NOT what you need right now.
  6. Resist any temptation to jump right in to looking for your next job. Again, give yourself (even just a little) time.
  7. When you are ready, have a symbolic “moving on” ceremony. It could be a dinner, a day at the spa, a vacation, a day of golf, a conference you have been excited to attend or enrollment in a certification or MBA program. Whatever it is, big or small – it will help I promise! (2-years ago my “moving on ceremony” was a dinner with my husband, complete with a big cake, candlelight and a notepad and pen. We had so much fun brainstorming on all of our goals for the next 12 months and it really helped us to get focused!)
  8. Be brave. It will be okay.
  9. If the TV is overflowing with negative news, turn it off. Every month millions of professionals are hired. It just doesn’t make the news. Surround yourself with positive reinforcements.
  10. Many people have been fired or laid off in their careers – many highly paid and otherwise successful people! Don’t get down on yourself or start interviewing if you feel unusually sad or bitter (this tends to come out in interviews). Look for a support group, a coaching group, a mastermind group, a church group or any group where you can get positive support which helps to keep the negative thoughts at bay.

By the way I am not talking about a group of people to commiserate with – steer clear of those people right now! This will help you more than you know. I speak from personal experience and as someone who is “not a joiner” Just take a deep breath and do it for yourself. I promise you will be glad you did!

Got any tips to share? If you have ever been fired or laid off, what helped you get through it? Please feel free to add your comments!

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of CEOresumewriter.com and Maryelizabethbradford.com and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

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