To the laid-off employees,
If you’ve recently been laid off or furloughed, I’m sorry. It’s hard. It’s scary. You might feel sad, or mad, or anxious. You may be asking questions like,
“How am I going to pay my bills?”
“Why was I the one that was cut?”
“Could I have done anything to prevent being laid off?”
“Will anyone hire me with a lay-off on my resume?”
“Is anyone even hiring right now?”
“Should I apply for unemployment? How do I even do that?”
On top of the stress of Covid-19 and just trying to stay healthy, you now have the stress of no job. First, it’s okay to feel all of these emotions and ask all of these questions. You are a human, and when some of our most basic human needs are in jeopardy of being met it’s natural to be upset and worry. Give yourself a moment to grieve.
Now, take a step back. How does everything else look for you right now? Are there any silver linings? I would be willing to bet there are, if you choose to acknowledge them. I can speak from experience, because I have been laid off in the past. My position was completely cut and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. I felt the sad feelings, asked all the questions of myself, cried. And then my husband reminded me of the silver linings and flipped my ‘gloom and doom’ mindset to a mindset that saw my lay-off as an opportunity. Soon, I got to explore my options! What a freeing, and exciting journey it can be. I know it feels like there may not be a lot of options right now, and I get it, but hang with me.
What if right now you get to…
When is the last time you actually rested? Completely freed your mind of work, to-do lists, and let your brain just breathe? My achiever-self wants to fight this advice so bad right now, but it’s not bad to rest! Resting is not synonymous with laziness. Know the difference and keep reading.
Normally, when you apply for unemployment you must prove that you are searching for jobs and report where and when you are applying/interviewing. Right now however, under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provision, many states are providing extra weekly pay for those who have just lost their jobs and for temporary lay-offs have removed the requirement that you must be actively seeking employment. This is a unique time where you can file for unemployment and not stress yourself about quickly finding work because that weekly check is not cutting it.
I’m not advocating that you do nothing but I am saying you can take your time. Use this opportunity to dream a little bit. Put it all on the table! What do you want to do? Write it all down. Go through each idea and think through the pros and cons, and then create an action step for yourself to pursue that thing. Maybe that next step is learning or practicing a skill for a new career path. What better time than now to take an online course, enroll in that grad program you’ve been putting off, or collaborate with a friend on a project you have been wanting to pursue but never had the time? Go for it! Maybe it’s applying for a position you’ve always wanted to have, but never put yourself out there. Polish up that resume and send it in. What have you got to lose? You may just come out of this quarantine with a new skill at minimum, or a new career at most. Either way, it’s a big win.
Sacrificially provide for your family.
For some of you, collecting unemployment until this pandemic blows over isn’t an option. In fact, you may be laughing at my “idealistic” advice so far. This pandemic is affecting people in so many different ways, and for some of you that means you do have to find additional work. Maybe you’re an event planner and your business or position has become completely irrelevant for the time being. Well, maybe you have to deliver pizzas or stock shelves at a grocery store right now. Is that your expertise? Nope. Is it what you want to do? Probably not.
You’re not alone in having to look outside your normal line of work to be able to pay your bills and support your family. But, look at you rise to the occasion! Your family will so appreciate your sacrifice in this season. This also won’t be forever. It won’t. Don’t let this j-o-b go to waste. From those experiences, employers will also look at you as someone who is scrappy, resilient, and willing to get out of your comfort zone; especially during COVID-19. This will only make your next opportunity that much better and fulfilling.
I personally don’t believe in chance. See the purpose in this season and use it to grow and learn. It’s up to you.
Find someone in your life who you can be vulnerable with right now. Is it a friend, your spouse, a family member, a mentor, your therapist, your pastor? Talk to someone who will both empathize in your struggle but also motivate you to action. We all need people like that in our lives, and if you don’t have anyone, consider a coach. We love coaching people through difficult situations and helping them meet their highest potential, and we would love to set up a call with you!