1. It’s Not About You
Really, it’s not about you. It’s about your former company cutting costs. You, my dear special snowflake, were simply a cost to them. That’s not uncommon in today’s economy; Google “layoffs” and meet thousands of folks in the same lifeboat you just got tossed into.
2. It’s All About You
This time—right here, right now—is all about you. Lick your wounds, rework your resume, and forge onward. Now is the time to figure out what you want to do next.
3. Unburn Your Bridges
All those roads you poured gasoline on and then threw a match? Unburn ’em—and rebuild the bridges. Starting right now. Get out the wood and the nails, and pour yourself a giant cup of humility. Repair connections and repair your life—and remember to be a nicer person this time around.
4. You Were Probably Ready to Go Anyhow
You just didn’t realize it, or you didn’t want to realize it. Maybe you were great at your job. Maybe letting you go was the biggest mistake in the history of business. Maybe your departure marks a turning point downward from which your former company will never recover. Or maybe not. The really important question is this: Who cares? You don’t work for them anymore. What matters is that your departure was a turning pointfor you. Maybe now you can do what you always wanted to do, not what you were forced to do. Maybe now you are free.
5. Being Laid Off Isn’t the Worst Thing That Ever Happened
It’s not even the worst thing that will ever happen in your life. You had a job and you lost it. A job. You didn’t lose a baby, a husband or a wife, a sister, a brother, your mom or dad, or even your dog. You didn’t get a horrible diagnosis from a doctor with a sad face. Remember, even the best job in the world is still just a job. A role for which someone is paid money: that’s all a job is, when you really look at it after stripping away the emotion and the status. There are a million more jobs out there. Go find one. And hug your loved ones because they’re still here and they matter more than any job ever could, right? (Nod and say yes.)
Good luck. It feels like the end of the world, but it might be the start of something fantastic.
(Also published on LinkedIn here.)