If you have been affected by the layoffs, let me just say: “That sucks!” and “I feel your pain.” In August 2022, I was unexpected laid off from Collins Aerospace due to corporate restructuring. As a contractor on loan from a contracting agency, it was easier to just cut my position and reassign my documentation responsibilities back to the respective teams. I had been there for just three months. On LinkedIn, I have seen people with the #OpenToWork on their profile picture who say they were separated after three, seven, or even twelve years from their respective companies.
On the day I got laid off, I was staying at my parents’ house since they lived very close to my old office and returned there. My father was surprised that I was home so soon so I told him the bad news. We prayed together, asking God would provide a new job for me soon. Once we were done praying, I started calling every recruiter I know, updated my resume on all the job sites, and started applying for all open positions within my skill set.
Fast forward to 2023. I have been working for almost three months and that might be considered “fast.” One of my friends was out of work for almost 6 months before starting a new job in October 2022. Another friend got notice that his entire department was “eliminated” due to a budget shortfall back in December 2022. His last day would be February 1, 2023. Your story might be something similar: laid off, restructured/ resizing, no prospects for the foreseeable future.
There is a time to be bitter and there is a time to get better.
So yes, you ought to give yourself time, space, and permission to deal with the bitterness. Think about it. You spend 10 plus hours a day work. You might see your coworkers more than your family. You have even met your spouse at your company. At Liferay, Inc. there were several married couples who worked there – different departments and teams, though. You give your sweat (even tears) for a company that might have treated you very well. Day in, day out, months, then years. Then all that is taken from you with very little warning.
You need to deal with the emotions. Your emotions are real. You just can’t use them as the sole basis of making decisions.
More importantly, this is a great time to focus on the positive. That side gig that sounded more appealing? That might become your new main gig. If you always wanted to start your own company, do it. Now might be the time.
If you always wanted to finish your degree because you dropped out of college, now might be the time. Likewise, if you always wanted to get a degree in something that might help your career or something fun, go for it. Same for any certifications that might advance your professional development.
Bottom line, take advantage of your unexpected time off to deal with the negative emotions and do positive things.