How to Cope with Layoffs and Job Loss?

Job losses are never easy. No matter how much you justify your feelings by saying you are not your job, it still feels personal when someone calls you redundant, unnecessary, or whatever other adjectives and wants to get rid of it.

I have been on both ends of receiving and giving unfortunate news of job loss. If you are going through this heartbreaking situation, I have some tips from my past experience to share that will help you cope and survive this stressful time

Don't take it Personally

I know it's easier said than done, but do not ever take layoffs personally. You were good at your job, you were looking for the best interest of your employer, and you were planning to stay with them for as long as you could, but things didn't work out on their end, and now they've taken an unfortunate decision to lay you off.

Always remember that it's not a reflection of your commitment and capabilities. Some external circumstances might have forced companies to take this drastic action. That doesn't mean you are not capable of performing job duties or finding a better opportunity.

You are still You. As long as you have pre-requisite skills, experience, drive, and commitment, you can still find many opportunities that are suitable (Or even better) for you to grow in your career and get handsomely paid.

Take a Break

Although the first instinct after job loss is to find a new job as soon as possible, I would advise you to take some time off to think about the situation and calm your mind before going full throttle on the job search. Take a break to clear your mind, analyze things in retrospect, and think about what kind of team, industry, and employer you would like to work with.

If you don't have immediate financial urgency, you can also utilize this time to do things you always wanted to do but never got time to take action. If you want to be more adventurous, you can also explore consulting opportunities and even start your own business.

Take a Clue Before Layoffs

Nothing is worse than the immediate shock of losing a job when one minute you had a job and the next, you lose it. You can minimize the pain by looking around and getting telltale signs that job cuts are coming and soon start looking for other opportunities. So even when the time comes for a layoff, you can be prepared to recover from it and find the next opportunity quickly.

Telltale signs might include stricter performance reviews, the sudden disappearance of your teammates, companies focusing more on re-org and cost-cutting and anonymous discussions on Blind

Consult a Lawyer

When companies initiate layoffs, all the severance packages and so-called support aren't there for your sake. It is to protect companies from potential lawsuits. As long as companies are legally protected, they don't care about the size of severance packages.

Still, in these situations, employees might get short-changed as long as employment laws and post-employment compensation are concerned. As soon as you receive a notice, don't agree to or sign anything without consulting lawyers.

Lawyers are expensive, but their advice is still worth it. Some countries even require employers to cover the cost of legal representation for employees, so make sure to explore it before coming to a final decision.

Don't let the Past Affect the Future

One of the cons of job loss is, your start blaming yourself and doubting your own skills and ability to perform the job duties. This is totally untrue. You are not your job and given you possess enough skills and experience, you can still start fresh.

While doing a job search, focus on positive things and your impact from the past. Think about people you coached and mentored and helped them grow. Think about those challenging features you helped launch and that critical bug fix that saved the company from losing several thousand dollars and prospective customers.

Dwelling in the negative past won't take you anywhere. Instead, focus on the positives and be hopeful about the future.

Talk to Someone

In unfortunate circumstances like this, you might get overwhelmed with the myriad of thoughts on your mind. Don't feel ashamed about expressing your feeling, thoughts or even venting your frustration.

Talk to your colleagues who may have more context on your situation or talk to your spouse expressing your emotions. If you don't have anyone around to talk to, consider consulting a psychiatrist. Be it anyone, but talk. Don't let your thoughts stay suppressed in your mind.

Control your Emotions

It is natural to feel frustration and anger towards an entity that took your job away from you. Be it your manager, employer, colleague, or even a random person on the metro. But don't let your emotions run amok. You might end up doing something crazy that is impossible to undo or may hurt you permanently.

Don't vent on social media blaming your company or individuals who you might blame for your situation. When I first heard the news of my layoff, my first thought was to go on a shopping spree and spend everything I had in my savings account. But after calming down after a few moments, I realized how crazy that thought was.

If you feel like doing something like that, please refer to my previous point of "Talking to Someone" before taking any radical decision.


Layoffs are hard. It's ok to be vulnerable during that phase to express your emotions and feelings. But also remember that dwelling on past negative things will land you nowhere. Instead, focus on your positive accomplishments, take a break, and surround yourself with people who you can talk to.

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