Posted By Bob Garner on September 5, 2011
Getting laid off is one of the most stressful things that can happen to a person. It is especially hard for those who have spent years of their lives dedicated to a certain company, and suddenly have the support and stability provided by the job knocked out from underneath them. Unfortunately, the way things are going in the United States, many more people are losing their high-paying jobs, and as a result are having to scramble to cope with the effects of unemployment. This can be very, very depressing, and without the proper attitude, you could sink very quickly and deeply into despair.
The first thing that you should think about, once the initial shock has passed, is that people get laid off all the time, but they survive, and so will you. It may be difficult and jobs are getting scarcer, but if you don’t give up and keep putting yourself out there, regardless of any demoralizing set backs, you will come out on top in the end.
Once you receive the news, you will likely be pretty upset. In this case, you should leave your workplace and just go home. You can return to get your things when the time is right, but it can be very stressful to have to answer questions from coworkers and even their well wishes and sympathy will likely be too much for you to take.
Let your family know as soon as possible, especially your spouse. You will likely want to wait until after the strong emotions are passed and you get things more or less settled, before you let your younger children know the situation. Remember that your family is there to support you in just these types of situations, so don’t be afraid to share your feelings and try to work it out together. Other family members may have to take over more of the financial burden during the transition period, so you should all get on the same page and work together to keep things afloat.
You may or may not have saved up for a ‘rainy day’, but it’s likely that, even if you have, the amount probably won’t last for very long, so if you have a hard time finding a job within a month or two, you will probably have to adjust the way you live, and try to cut back on unnecessary expenses and luxuries.
During this time of transition, you’ll want to be able to keep your family provided for, so you should check to see if you are eligible for unemployment benefits, of if you are entitled to any benefits from your former employer. Often companies have severance packages that are meant to help laid off workers get back on their feet and find a new job. If you had a retirement plan with the company, try to find out if you can get it rolled over to your next job.
Even the best of workers can get laid off in this current economic environment. But for most workers, this is poor consolation. Knowing that it wasn’t your fault often makes it even harder to understand. If you have strong feelings about the situation, and the initial feelings of sadness, anger, or despair stretch longer than a week or two, you shouldn’t hesitate to get some professional help, or at least let people in your family know how you are feeling, so that they can help you to cope and move forward with your life.