A layoff is an unexpected and direct shock to your system. There are no 2 ways about this. And when layoffs happen in bulk, they cause shockwaves in the entire professional community leading to a period of sadness and uncertainty for everyone.
I am no different. Earlier today, I read a post from an employee who has a 2 year old daughter, living on H1B in the US, and he and his wife, both were fired by the same company at the same time. I cannot even begin to imagine the state of mind they would be in, and still the guy plucked up the courage to post and ask for help. Kudos and the world’s best wishes to him!
I decided to contribute by trying to bring some structure to the response that can be taken by the folks who have been impacted by the recent range of layoffs. Sharing my thoughts below in 2 parts – Options available and Actions to be taken.
1. Poor Me…
You can sit down and feel sad about yourself and how this decision is unfair to you.
2. That bad person…
You can sit down and blame the HR and the Company and the CEO of the company that laid you off.
3. What can I do now?
You can decide to not focus on the first 2 options. Instead decide to do something about the situation so you get out of it.
Simple suggestion – Take a couple of hours or couple of days to get the cribbing and blaming out of your system, let the shock sink in, and move on to option 3.
P.S.: You can use this triangle in your daily life. Instead of cribbing & complaining & blaming every single time something goes wrong, do something about it.
When you have agreed to move on and do something to change the current situation, here is a list of actions. Consider the below as a new project assignment, and you are expected to complete all the below tasks as per timelines mentioned below.
1. You are working for yourself now
DO NOT STOP following your daily schedule. This is extremely important. Wake up at the same time as earlier. Freshen up, exercise, eat your breakfast and sit down to work – for yourself – 9 am to 5 pm – daily. No one is coming to help you or push you – you are an adult and on your own.
2. What are you going to do from 9 am to 5 pm daily?
a. Refresh your resume – make 5 separate copies (Duration – 2 days)
* Make 5 different copies of your resume. No one in today’s date performs only 1 task or role in office.
* So for each role, create a separate CV, and highlight achievements related to a particular role in each version.
* Get at least 1 of these resumes reviewed by a resume writer from any jobs website. This is beneficial as they know keywords that recruiters are searching for. They will help you get those keywords added to your resume.
* And will give you a commonly accepted resume format.
b. Use your network – you need to sell yourself (At least 20 calls in a day)
* Go through each and every contact on LinkedIn and on your Phone.
* Write down names, designations, companies, contact details of all of them.
* I would not recommend filtering, but sorting and prioritizing is important.
* Write a clear dialogue that you are going to have with the various folks.
* Call. Ask for help. If even 1 colleague helps, this would be the best option.
* Now is the right time to ask for help, and sell yourself. The entire community understands what you are going through. There is no shame in asking for work. If you never ask, you will never know. Time to hustle.
3. Job websites (Search all websites Daily)
* Ensure your resume is updated on all the job websites.
* Job websites today offer a lot of options to search – spend some time understanding how search works on each of these.
* Some websites will also notify you about recruiter searches for jobs which are not even posted online. This is generally a paid service.
4. First come, First serve
Story time – I was born and brought up in Mumbai. I used to catch a “local train” to get to college daily. The Mumbai suburban railway system has 2 types of trains – slow and fast. Slow trains stop at all stations, fast trains stop only at the bigger stations. Hence, slow trains will take an hour and a half to reach the terminal, fast trains only an hour.
Question – It is raining. A slow train has arrived at the platform in front of you. A fast train is arriving within the next 5 minutes. Which one will you board?
Answer – Always board the train in front of you. There is no guarantee the next train will even arrive. This was an unofficial rule / understanding that every daily commuter was aware of. When it rains, board the first train in front of you.
I believe the rule is applicable in the current scenario. Consider this is monsoon time.
5. Time to earn, Time to learn
* This is time for you to refresh all the technical stuff that you have not been able to do due to long working hours
* A good combination when Learning, is to include courses and certification on technologies already known to you, and even something new that has always been an interest area.
* Last, but not the least, read books or listen to books on Audible. This will keep you motivated and your spirits high.
* Write your thoughts down with pen and paper – super motivation activity.
6. Eat Right and Exercise. Spend quality time with family and friends.
* Work cannot be an excuse anymore to eat Pizza regularly; and not go to the gym, or for that daily walk.
* Utilize the time to focus on your health, and spend time with the family.
* Fix that electronic device or light bulb, take care of your plants, or get plants if you don’t have any.
* And stay away from Social Media and Netflix!
Unfortunately, the times we live in, I feel these actions from mega-companies and rapidly growing VC funded startups are going to become common news.
Keep a calm mind. Ups and Downs are part of life. Focus on 1 day, 1 step at a time. And you will soon be out of this mess. And back to the mess that you were dying to run away from until yesterday. 😉
If you have more suggestions or actions, do share your feedback.
If you think I can do more, do share those suggestions as well.
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