Every now and then, HR leaders, C-Suite officers, and employers have to make tough decisions about the structure, budgets, and size of their workforce. In some cases, these decision lead to furloughs and layoffs.

Finding out that you are on the chopping block for layoffs are never easy, but there are many ways of dealing with the stresses of an unexpected transition out of a company.


Experiencing grieve after a loss is completely natural. Often times you’ll feel the rush of anxiety, sudden loss of income, and uncertainty of the future ahead. The best thing to do is accept reality, and don’t take it personal (easier said than done but companies are focused on business). Your self confidence is critical for the next phase of your professional career. Give yourself time to adjust and find positive ways to let out your frustrations without overreacting.


The natural response for news like this is to retreat and pull away from loved ones in fear of embarrassment or shame. Understand that you will not be the first nor the last to experience lay offs and there are many who’ve risen above such loss. Talk to people who you trust for encouragement and guidance. If you are looking for an unbiased opinion seek a therapist for support.


It is always a good strategy to be consistent with being open about your professional journey on professional platforms such as LinkedIn. There are many other people who openly share their career journeys and outreach for new employment opportunities. Closed mouths don’t get fed, so make sure you are putting yourself out there and showing future employers your skills that you’ve learned at your former job.


The job search can feel like a never-ending gauntlet to the finish line, but while you are in the middle of search, remember that your health comes first. When you no longer have a routine or tasks t complete it tends to be boring. You have to treat your free time just like you would do to prepare for work. Set up a schedule, fit in some self-care routines, and break up large tasks into smaller goals. Remember to focus on things you can control and when things get hard, divert your mindset to things that keep you staying positive.


Your job doesn’t define you. Losing a job happens and it can certainly open doors for new opportunities. Try out a new hobby, find what brings you joy that you didn’t have time to do when you were working, volunteer in the community and find your purpose. Before you were laid off, the former employer say something in you that convinced them to hire you. Understand what you bring to the table as a person and shine.

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Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...