Being laid off is a tough spot to be in. You are facing financial stress, and the emotional toll can be steep. It can be challenging to keep control of your emotions and not react by saying or doing things that cause long-term damage to you, your relationships, and your career.
If you’re facing layoffs in these challenging times, here are 4 top mistakes to avoid to prevent your unlucky situation from becoming damaging.
Mistake #1: Losing Touch with Former Coworkers
You probably forged connections with your coworkers if you worked at your job for any length. Some of them may even be good friends. Whether you consider yourself close with former work colleagues or not, don’t lose touch with them. Staying on good terms with former coworkers gives you an excellent source for professional references and potentially even a new job.
Mistake #2: Badmouthing Your Former Employer
Feeling upset when your company chooses to lay you off is natural. Whatever the reason, it is a big mistake to voice your bitterness or anger on social media or, even worse, during an interview. Not only is it unprofessional, but it could even make you vulnerable to a lawsuit. Keep your cool, stick to the facts if asked about your situation, and keep emotion out.
Mistake #3: Not Networking
Losing your job is discouraging and stressful, so, understandably, you may not feel like reaching out to others immediately. This is a mistake because if you don’t get out there and network, you may be unemployed for much longer than necessary. Swallow your pride and ask friends and former coworkers for help.
Mistake #4: Wallowing in Your Misfortune
It hurts when you get laid off, even if you saw it coming. It’s also stressful and scary. Take some time to grieve the loss and experience your feelings of disappointment and self-pity. After a day or two, dust off your resume, search the job boards, and contact former coworkers. Returning to the job market will help you feel better and get a new job much sooner.
No matter how you look at it, being laid off is hard. It can be easy to get stuck in a cycle of bad feelings and inactivity, making mistakes that cause long-term harm. But you can turn your unfortunate situation into a positive one. And your next job could be even better than your lost one.