This is a comment I made on Reddit as a response to a post by someone who just got laid off amid the whole COVID-19 lockdown and accompanying recession. I think this can be helpful to a lot more people, unfortunately, so sharing it here as well.
I am sorry you were laid off. It sucks. No amount of encouraging words or reassurances can change that or how you are feeling. So just allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling so that you can get past this once and for all. Let your emotions run their path so that you can start the process to get back on track.
This should be your starting point - It was not your fault. Usually, when you had been fired, it would have been because of something you did but when you are laid off it’s because of something that the company did. But these times are different. The whole world is going through this shitty phase right now. Businesses across the world are faced with a situation where they either have to shut down or cut costs somehow. You are unfortunate enough to have been stuck in such a scenario. You were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.
But there is hope. This is something that affects everyone. No specific domain. No specific business. So this means once things are back to normal, the companies that got lean will be hiring back again. Most businesses are also doing the same thing. Just waiting it out and focus only on surviving.
You too just have to wait it out. I know it is easier said than done but that’s the only advice I have. Just keep calm and prepare.
- Prepare yourself for the financial uncertainty for the next few months. You will have to live off your savings. Reduce your lifestyle to bare essentials.
- Reskill and Upskill - Use this downtime to better yourself. Learn thigs that make you better at your job. And then some more. Sure the jobs will come back but the competition will also be much more fierce.
- Keep looking - Tap all your personal and professional contacts and let them know that you are in the market for a new job. You were laid off, not fired. So don’t feel the need to hide this. You have nothing to be ashamed of.
- Keep your patience - This is probably the most important as well as a hard thing to do during these times. It is easier for me to say this because I am not in our shoes. But you, to be honest, don’t really have any better options.
Now the most important piece of advice. Do not accept any offer out of desperation. Joblessness, for most of us, is unchartered and extremely scary territory. Your first instinct would be to jump at the first opportunity that comes your way just to move out of the state of joblessness. Though it would be natural, do not do that. For as long as possible, consider this job hunt as a normal job progression. Do not take up a job where your pay or the role or the scope of growth is lower than what you are coming from. Again, it is easier said than done but listen to me. You will regret this hasty decision and the setback this will have on your career forever. Wait for the right opportunity for as long as your conditions allow you.
Things will get better.
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I have helped many startups in building their products and I would be happy to have a chat with you about your idea. Catch me on twitter at @akhilrex