Overcoming a Layoff: Getting Over the Emotional Impact
Updated: Jul 15, 2020
“Why dread over emotions? What's done is done. I’d rather get productive and start job searching,” says Jenny, my coaching client who recently got laid off due to Covid-19.
Well, in fact, it is important for us to acknowledge and process the emotional impact from a layoff as it can be detrimental to the actions you are trying to take.
In the previous blog, we explored how you could head start a transition in the case of a layoff. What’s next? Like Jenny, you might immediately jump into action mode - updating your resume and applying to every opening you see on job boards.
Although that might seem like a logical and proactive step, it’s often counterproductive. This is especially true when you do it to distract yourself from the multitude of thoughts running through your head:
Why is this happening to me? Is there anything I could have done to prevent this? Is this just an occupational hazard? Or, am I just not good enough?
Remember this: Your logic can’t fully function if your emotions aren’t taken care of first.
Here are some tips to help you get over the emotional impact:
Acknowledge your feelings Try looking at your feelings as a third person. What is it that you’re feeling? Give it a name. Is it shock? Fear? Anger? Say it out loud, write it down, and tell yourself “It’s okay to feel this way.” The key is to not ignore or criticize these emotions.
Build a positive narrative Our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all interconnected. The ability to form a positive narrative increases your chance of creating positive emotions and actions. Here’s how: - Be aware of your negative self talk or limiting beliefs - Challenge those thoughts by asking yourself, “Is this true?” - Replace it with a more positive (or at least neutral) narrative
Addressing the emotional impact is a frequently neglected but crucial part of the transition process. We know how hard it is, but the short and long term impact is substantial.
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