Everything You Need

As I read about the layoffs that are cascading around the country, my heart aches for those receiving this news.

Whether you found out in person, by phone call, via email, or – the worst – getting blocked from accessing your work network and learning that way, the news is devastating.

As someone who personally experienced three layoffs in my professional career, I think back to how I reacted, and what I did next, once I learned my job ceased to exist.

I thought it might be helpful to share, whether you’ve recently lost your job or are still employed, though desperate to do something else, a bit of my own experience and perspective.

This has nothing to do with you.

Of course, this seems incredible as “Hey, I just got fired! How can you say it has nothing to do with me.” I know this seems counterintuitive, given the evidence. The environment changed, business changed, though you, however, are the same. Hold on to this knowing you are intact and everything you have learned and know remains with you.

You are the same brilliant person today, as yesterday

This event, though devastating and perhaps impossible to process, does not change who you are. You are the same talented, remarkable, and extraordinary talent you were the day before. It will take time to process this new reality, though know that you have everything you need to move on.

Allow yourself to feel, so you can move on

Reach out to a trusted friend, counselor, coach, someone who can listen and hear you through the feelings you are having. In my case, I got my news (for the 2nd time), after my boss flew to NY from the Midwest to give me the news in person.

Even though I had been through this situation before, it didn’t make it any easier to live through this again. Once I processed that my job no longer existed, I met with a trusted friend and asked if they would be able to listen to me and let me vent.

Asking for and getting the space I needed to get my feelings out, helped enormously. I knew I needed to do a dump of my feelings soonest so I could get beyond them. I grieved the job loss and found the peace I needed to focus and move on. OK, it took more than a few days, though the venting did help!

Find a guide to help you

If your company provides you with outplacement resources, sign up! Your company is paying for this and wants to give you the resources to find your next role. NOTE: Make sure you look through your severance paperwork to find the flyer or invitation about your career transition services. You must call or connect with the outplacement services online and say you want to use these services. It’s up to you to say ‘yes, I want this support.’

In my first job elimination, I did use the career transition services my employer provided. It changed my life! I learned how to apply my functional skills to all other kinds of industries and opportunities. My life is transformed since my first layoff. I learned to face reality and listen to the voices around me what could be possible. Importantly, I took action to make them a reality. You can, too.

This may be the beginning of extraordinary opportunities

I’ll be honest, I thought I’d never leave my first company once I landed there and that I would stay until I retired. However, the financial world turned upside down in 2008 and my role was eliminated. So much for my plans about staying forever.

This wrenching news would force me to face myself and to dig deep to discover all my dormant talents. I began to think aloud about what I wanted to do next and shared this with others. Doors began to open to the start of my next career and renewed life.

Losing a job is not on anyone’s Top 10 list of things they hope will happen to them. When it happens, feel the feelings, talk to a trusted source, use the career transition services your company provides or find the others who can help you get restarted.

In my case, I started to ‘think aloud’ about career reinvention and how to do it. I started talking with others about my career reinvention journey. Media outlets started to reach out and I’ve been interviewed on this topic over the years. I’ve spoken at industry conferences and online events on how to get restarted when you think your world has collapsed when you’ve lost your job or are in a career that is no longer fulfilling.

Everything you need you brought with you.

“What is this ‘everything’ you speak about?”

The ‘everything’ is you. It’s between your ears. You are the only one in this world who has your talents, your experiences and has seen the world through your eyes.

The world needs you. Think aloud and begin to discover your “what’s next”, too.

By: Joyce Murray Sullivan, Founder and CEO, SocMediaFin, Inc.

Joyce Murray Sullivan, Founder and CEO of SocMediaFin, Inc. is a business and executive career coach who Creates Environments for Talented People to ThriveSM. Her career reinvention book “Five Words” coming in April 2023, talks about how to reinvent your career especially after a job loss. Joyce is a speaker and writer on career reinvention, professional branding, and social media strategy. Joyce spent over 20 years in VP and SVP roles at global financial services and human resource companies.

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