3 Ways to Survive and Thrive After an Unexpected Job Layoff or Firing

If you’re working a job these days, it’s pretty likely for one reason or another that you’ll face either getting fired or being laid off. In days gone by, you could rely on being employed with a company for as long as you wanted to work there. Not so much nowadays; you’re doing well to be with an employer a minimum of a year or a little more. Well, how should you handle being fired or laid off besides the inevitable emotional reaction? Next time you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, try the following 3 tips to make your transition to the next phase in your life smooth and positive:

1. Don’t Burn Bridges

Although you work a job and have a boss, you’re ultimately in the ‘people’ business. Here’s the focus: don’t just concentrate on doing your job everyday and staying only to yourself. Get to know your co-workers (including your supervisor and / or boss) within your department and in other areas of the company. Relate to them as people that have lives outside of work. In other words, be a friend.

BE NICE… ALWAYS… NO MATTER WHAT! Here’s the best advice I’ve ever received when dealing with others especially when on the job: it’s not about what someone did and or say to you… it’s all in how you respond. Now, being fired or laid off doesn’t necessarily bring warm and positive feelings to mind, but you do have a choice in how you respond. Choose wisely. Keep labor disputes professional and never make them PERSONAL.

2. Know What’s In Your Personnel File

Always have the end in mind from the beginning. When you are hired, please understand what’s in the employment offer. So many times, we get overjoyed from being hired and we typically rush through the hiring paper work. This is a huge mistake and come back to haunt you in the unfortunate event that you’re fired or laid off. Take your time and ask questions for everything in which you need more clarity.

Request to review your personnel file at least once a year. How many of us have never even seen our personnel file until we’re fired or laid off? Again, this is another huge mistake especially when it comes to being up to date on annual work evaluations. Stay informed about how the company views your work and what (if any) negative remarks are in your personnel.

3. Stay Associated and Aware of the Bigger Picture

You are not your job and your job does not define you. In other words, your job should not define you as a person. You’re a human being rather than a human doing. Here are some ways to grow from a personal development standpoint:

  1. Join an association or networking group in your industry
  2. Obtain an industry recognized credential or certification
  3. Take the time to invest and build your personal network by volunteering, writing, and or mentoring individuals in your industry