From Layoffs to Liftoff: Reclaiming Your Career in Challenging Times

I received this message from a client last week:

“I’ve found myself unemployed yet again! Ugh. Your services worked magic for me last year, and after starting with a new company in January of this year, budget cuts and BS find me on the job hunt this week. I feel dead inside, but hopeful we can talk again!”

This email broke my heart. This client has a history of excellence, loyalty, and achievement. He was at his three prior jobs for at least 5 years each and consistently produced results.

How can such a solid, well-trained (MBA), and productive individual find himself laid off twice in one year?

Two words: today’s world.

This client is not alone. In fact, he’s among the 225k individuals in tech who have been laid off so far this year, according to TechCrunch.

And that’s just tech!

Here’s a short list of major employers that have made significant cuts this year:

  • Rite Aid filed for bankruptcy, plans to close 154 stores across 17 states
  • Geico (6% of workforce)
  • Rolls-Royce (6% of workforce)
  • Flexport (20% of workforce)
  • Qualcomm (2.5% of workforce)
  • LinkedIn (3% of workforce)
  • Ally Financial (5% of workforce)
  • Qualtrics (14% of workforce)
  • Lucid Group (18% of workforce)
  • Meta (13% of workforce)
  • Twitter (10% of workforce)
  • Twilio (17% of workforce)
  • iRobot (7% of workforce)
  • Disney (3% of workforce)
  • Zoom (15% of workforce)

In short, this sucks.

If you’re part of this, I’m sorry.

Know it’s NOT YOUR FAULT.

You didn’t do this.

The government did this.

America did this.

And the world did this.

So, what can you do?

There are some things you can’t control, like how all these layoffs are making it doubly difficult for people to find new jobs (fewer jobs available + saturated market).

What you can control is how you think about yourself and what you do with your time.

Nurture Your Mind

I know this is a tall ask, but try to engage in positive thinking.

  1. What gives your life purpose outside of work? How can you lean into those things over the next month or two?
  2. Give yourself a designated period of breathing room. Can you take a few weeks to collect yourself, clear your mind, and reset?
  3. Take inventory of what went well at your last job — put numbers to it if you can — and add it to your resume.
  4. If things didn’t go well and you were up against challenges, acknowledge how you strived to overcome them, recognizing that you did your best to positively contribute.
  5. Practice gratitude. Maybe you’re sick of hearing about gratitude (I am!), but there’s something to it. It is easy to look around at what other people are going through and feel grateful for what you have. Articulating what’s going right in your life can give you a tangible handle to hang onto as you navigate these choppy waters.

I can’t stress enough the importance of prioritizing your mental health.

Job loss can be a significant blow to one’s self-esteem and emotional well-being. Seek professional counseling if you find it hard to cope.

Lean on Your Relationships

Networking is more vital than ever. Reach out to your contacts, not just for job opportunities but for emotional support. Remember, many are in the same boat as you, and there’s strength in unity. Even a casual conversation can lead to an unexpected door opening.

Build New Connections

List 10 target companies you want to work for and start engaging with people on the inside. You can make headway to internal referrals for future job opportunities by forging relationships today.

While this webinar is for coaches, you’ll find the content invaluable in helping you best utilize your LinkedIn account to build your community and achieve your goals:

Here’s a video I made about using LinkedIn to make helpful “friends.” Warning — this is not the best video I’ve ever made regarding production quality, but I wanted to get the info out there for you, as time is of the essence!

Upskill Yourself

Enhance your skill set while keeping your mind engaged and away from negative spirals by learning new skills relevant to your next role. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, SkillShare, and Khan Academy offer free and paid courses on almost any topic.

Consider Freelancing or Consulting

While full-time roles may be more challenging to come by, many companies are still in need of project-based work. Websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer can be a good starting point.

Reevaluate Your Career Goals

Perhaps this is a chance for you to pivot into a new role or industry. What have you always been passionate about but never pursued? Now might be the perfect time to take that leap.

Stay Active and Maintain a Routine

Even if you’re not working, wake up at the same time, shower, dress up, and have a list of tasks for the day. This helps maintain a sense of normalcy and purpose.

Diversify Your Job Search

Don’t just rely on job boards. Attend webinars, virtual conferences, and leverage platforms like LinkedIn to directly connect with hiring managers or HR personnel.

Your value isn’t determined by your job.

Your value is based on who you are, the relationships you’ve cultivated, and the unique skills and perspectives you bring to the table. You are an important person, period.

While these times are undoubtedly challenging, they also present an opportunity for reflection, growth, and evolution. Stay hopeful, remain proactive, and believe in the resilience of the human spirit.

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