The despair is real with layoffs. Most people who have been through a layoff never saw it coming. It feels like a bad breakup. It’s stressful and overwhelming. While the urge to immediately jump into a job search is heavy on your shoulders, you should take a day or so to decompress and plan. Go for a walk. Listen to your favorite playlist. Reach out to close friends or family and vent.
Medium.com has a great list of ways to help deal with the loss of a job you loved. Once you’ve had time to grieve, start your checklist and let’s get back in the game. You never know, this may have been a blessing in disguise.
Take Care of the Necessities
There are a few tasks that you need to make you take care of as soon as possible after losing a job. They aren’t fun but they are things you should tend to in a timely manner. Some will depend on your financial situation and what benefits you were afforded before, but this list should help guide you.
File for unemployment
Secure insurance (COBRA or ACA are good places to start)
Update your resume
Ask for a recommendation letter from someone at the company who can include that you were part of a “reduction-in-force”
Make a list of any 401k accounts and decide what to do with that account moving forward
Let your network know that you are professionally single again. Who do you know personally? Who have you worked with before? Who can give you advice or a recommendation? If you’ve kept up your network this step will be easy. If you haven’t it may take a bit more work, but here’s a list of where to find your people:
Post on LinkedIn
Join a Reddit community in your field or industry
Join a professional Discord or Slack channel
Look for groups near you like Young Professionals or Women in Tech
Reach out to past coworkers, agencies you have worked with, and friends and family
Sales talent can create a profile on sites like Bravado
Marketing, PR, and communications talent can create a profile on Publicist
Tech specific talent can add their name to the list of employees laid off on this resource from Layoffs.fyi
Find a mentor to help guide you
Assess the Situation
Is your current field what you want to be doing? Is now the time to consider a career change? Can you financially afford to take some time off and learn a new skill? All of these things you’ll need to sit down and really think through. Make a pros and cons list, talk to others who have been where you are or who are where you want to be, and list out all of your options.
What didn’t you like about where you last were? Is there a way to move forward without that part of your role? What did you like? Make sure you are asking these questions when looking for new opportunities so that you can land somewhere that makes you happy and fulfilled.
Depending on what you decide, whether it be to pivot and learn a new skill for a career change, or if you love your field and want to find something similar, make sure the plan is written out and you are going after the things you need. If you hated the lack of diversity at your last place of employment, the questions you ask surrounding DEIB should be written down so you can ask them in your next interviews. You’re in a position to go after what you want and ensure that your next move gets you where you truly want to be.
Find Your Next Opportunity
For marketing, PR, and communications professionals there are many options besides just jumping back into another of the same old roles you were in. Why not try freelance work? Even if just until you find something else, maybe you’ll love it and want to keep it going as a side-hustle to ensure no matter what happens in your professional career going forward, you have a little something else going for you. Or maybe you discover that freelancing allows you the flexibility and freedom to be your own boss and you want to keep it up full time.
Publicist allows marketing professionals the opportunity to create their profile, for free, and list all of their accomplishments, set their availability and hourly rate. Here, some of the biggest and fastest growing brands can list the projects and even full time roles they need help with. Talent with availability can match with these opportunities and keep their schedule full as they own their future of work.
Some of the open opportunities are full time roles like Marketing Managers in Oil & Gas and Director of Growth in Healthcare. While many others are freelance or fractional opportunities like a media relations representative for a scaleup, an influencer relations manager for a non-profit, a PR pro in healthcare, or a content creator in the Fintech space.
Owning your own future is a dream for many. Publicist can help to deliver on that dream.
Getting laid off is absolutely a tragedy in anyone’s life; however, it’s not the end. Many people who get laid off end up saying it was a blessing in disguise and they landed something better or it gave them the push they needed to move on to something that made them feel truly fulfilled instead of just being stuck doing the same thing everyday out of habit. There is a community of people out there who want to help you achieve your professional dreams.
Making a plan, assessing all of the opportunities that exist today and being proactive in building your career can leave you feeling empowered. So let’s get started.