Hola What’s Hot Fam,
Today, I come bearing news that I’ve been debating whether or not to share for quite some time. Well, what better time than now when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the US economy lost 20.5 million jobs in April. My confession is that I was one day late of being a part of that number. On May 1, my employer laid me off as a result of COVID-19.
Amid my hunt for relevant SEO phrases for this blog post, I discovered that many internet users have typed the words “I’ve been laid off what do I do” in Google’s search engine. As a result, I’ve decided to share some insight on how I’ve dealt with this in-between phase of life.
To say it happened with no warning feels like an understatement. I was literally putting cinnamon rolls in the oven that Friday morning when I was notified that it would be my last day until the coronavirus pandemic passes. Keep in mind, I had just started this fully remote job three months prior.
To make things worse this was my second full-time job as a reporter since undergrad and the second time I’d been laid-off due to economical reasons. I’m frustrated to say the least, but I’m writing this to let others in the same boat know that they are not alone.
When my first job laid me off in 2019, it felt like my life as a whole began to take a downward spiral. At the time, my mood and feelings of self-value heavily relied on how busy I was professionally and having a steady stream of income. I’m a person that loves to shop, invest in my interests and spoil my loved ones. With that being said, getting laid off disrupted the lifestyle I’d created for myself. To make matters worst it felt as though I couldn’t tell anyone outside of my immediate family because I felt ashamed.
It seemed like it took forever to land my first full-time gig after college. And after less than a year of being employed, here I was again at square one. I felt lost.
This time around I’ve decided to let go of that sentiment along with feelings of depression and fear. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel those emotions knocking at the door. However, I’m refusing to let them in.
Reflecting on this all brings me back to that search phrase: “I’ve been laid off what do I do?”
I find that a fair balance of productivity and relaxation is essential to my sanity during times of uncertainty. For example, I enjoy sleeping in more days of the week, but I also make a point to do things that will benefit me personally and professionally every day. Here’s a list of things, I’ve found helpful in coping with a lay off:
- Get productive right away
- After being laid off from my last job, I found it beneficial to finish out the work day as I had planned. After clocking out, I took a short break before I updated my resume and began applying for a new job. Sticking to my schedule gave me a sense of closure and allowed me to turn my worry into something positive. I felt a sense of accomplishment after submitting applications.
- Identify and complete things I haven’t done due to work
- For me, this list usually consists of some household chores and being more consistent with my fitness and self-care routines. This also helps me feel productive.
- Unemployment options
- Although mustering up the energy to apply stresses me out, receiving unemployment money definitely helped me stay afloat until I secured my next job. In order to receive the benefits, the department requires you to apply to an assigned number of jobs per week. This obligation forced me to work towards my next step when some weeks all I wanted to do was curl up and wallow in my feelings. If you do nothing else on this list, please apply to receive unemployment benefits.
- Zone in on your hobbies or other projects
- What’s Hot is something I try to focus on all the time, but if I’m being honest when I’m working full-time I tend to slack. Being laid-off twice has motivated me to create my own source of income and security. Use this time to tap into your other talents and develop those ideas you may have put to the side for your 9 to 5. You may discover some new ways to bring in money.
- Take advantage of any extra time to rest!
- I love the feeling of not having to set an alarm every night! I think it subconsciously relaxes me. With that being said I allow my self to sleep in or catch a nap a few times each week. I take breaks in between completing my to-do list items and I binge-watch various shows probably way more than I should.With that being said, I believe that if you don’t take some time to relax you’ll never really gain clarity on what happened and what you want to do next. Besides all of this COVID-19 mess can be stressful. Any healthy opportunity to escape may prove beneficial to your mood overall.
- Attack any negative feelings with positivity
- For example, sharing this post is an example of me actively eradicating my own shame. I’m opening up and owning where I’m at in my life. I also try to list three things I’m grateful for every morning in my gratitude journal and read the verse of the day from my bible app. This practice helps me keep my blessings at the forefront of my mind and heart. Try it out if you need a little boost at the start of your day.
- It also helps to remind myself that none of this was of my own doing and feeling guilt for something I can’t control makes no sense. However, if you did something that resulted in your unemployment, embrace it as a learning experience. Repeat a few positive affirmations daily and figure out how you can improve. Most importantly, let it go.
Read that last sentence again. And to reiterate it to myself, I’m going to write it again: Let it go! Turn your attention to the great things to come. We often celebrate embarking on new endeavors, but we don’t celebrate when those endeavors come to an end. So I pose the question: How can you start a new chapter if you keep rereading the last?
For fear I’m becoming an expert at this laid-off lifestyle, I’m going to end this post now. But before I go I invite you to say this positive affirmation out loud: I shall overcome!
With Sizzling Love,