Laid Off? Me? Now What?

My plan was to have this post be about starting a new business. That plan changed due to events that have occurred over the past week. As I charged out of the gate last Monday, I was certain that we were in store for a better year. I still feel that way; however, each and every day last week, I was contacted by friends and close acquaintances that had just lost jobs. While I do not pretend to have all the answers, I feel compelled to share what I know about the experience and offer some tactics for dealing with the situation.

First, breathe. Find a solitary place, close your eyes, clear your mind, tighten all your muscles, then release and take a deep breath. Now, keep your eyes closed and listen to yourself breathe… This is you. You have dealt with bigger problems. You have overcome greater odds. You are talented, hard-working, dedicated, experienced, and exude integrity. You will attack this challenge head-on, and as you do, you will take advantage of what you’ve learned about yourself, the gifts you have to offer and what the world desires.

Now, before you jump into the job search, take a little time for some self analysis:

1.       How is your faith? This is not a sermon and I am most assuredly not a pastor, but the question is important. What do you believe…and why do you believe? Is your faith stronger or weaker as a result of these circumstances? Take some time to reflect and, if need be, re-engage.

2.       How is your health? Had a physical lately? Exercise and eat right? Take this time to take better care of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “The first wealth is health”.

3.       How is your mind? Read some great books lately? What are you hungry to know more about? This is your journey, your adventure, your rebirth.

4.       How is your family? Are you connected? Are you willing to make the first move?

5.       How are your friends? Are you willing to ask for their help? And offer help in return?

6.       Finally, who do you need to forgive? Your ex-boss? Family? Friends? Yourself? It is difficult to move forward in a positive way when you harbor anger or guilt. Deal with this now, make a clean break, and focus on your future.

If you pay careful attention to the six factors listed above, you will be in a better position, spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally to face the challenge ahead of you.

To development employment leads via networking:

·         Reconnect with colleagues, friends, family and others. Most of the people you know will genuinely want to help you succeed.

·         Take advantage of social media tools, such as LinkedIn, facebook, Twitter and others. The basic services are free and it’s easy to learn how to engage. Your results may surprise you.

·         Touch base with your local chamber of commerce, economic development office, college or university.

·         Join a service organization and/or volunteer with non-profit organizations. You can make a real difference in people’s lives. In addition, it will keep you grounded and will help you build your network.


·         Insulate yourself from others

·         Live in the past (learn from it and MOVE ON)

·         Watch TV News (narrow focus on negative events…the world is not that bad)

·         Eat, drink, or smoke too much (you’ll only add to the guilt)

Most of us want a new beginning, and now you have one. This is your challenge and your opportunity. I, along with many of your family members, friends and colleagues are rooting for you. You have what it takes. The world is a better place because of you. Thank you for all you have accomplished and for all you are about to accomplish.


2 Responses to Laid Off? Me? Now What?

  1. Lori says:

    Good advice, Russell! My mom was recently layed off after 23 years with the same company and she is like a fish out of water. I will certainly share this information with her. Hope all is well!

  2. robbin says:

    Well said. I love this post and will point it to people who have called me looking for work. There are so many good folks looking. Smart people will find the opportunity in this mess. AND things ARE getting better.

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