What I Would Do If I Got Laid Off In 2022
I have experience being laid off.
I got laid off circa 2002, so it's been about 20 years since I got laid off.
Oh, how the world has changed.
There are so many options available to someone who gets laid off now that weren't available to me back then.
I know how scary it can be to get laid off or be in a climate of mass layoffs and worrying about when your number is going to come up.
So in this article, I'm going to share what I hope will be some useful information that will help you through this bit of turbulence in your life.
And it is just a bit of turbulence that you will come out safely on the other side of IF you keep your head on straight and don't spiral into a cycle of panic and worry.
Control What You Can Control
Staying in a positive, productive mindset is the number one thing you have to do.
Maintaining such a mindset means you're going to have to create a regimen of daily, productive activities.
Doomscrolling on social media is not a productive activity, so start with not doing that.
Job Search Resources
This will be a short section because this is not my area of expertise.
What I will do is refer you to Berri Wells who is an expert in this arena. You can click here to check out some of her training videos for job seekers.
Build Your Success Team
Don't make the mistake of trying to tackle your layoff situation alone.
You are not alone.
There are lots of people in the same boat as you and you all can and should be each other's support system.
I recommend finding four or five people to form an accountability / support group with and having daily interaction.
It's so much easier to find the people you need and communicate with them than it was 20 years ago.
There was no social media when I got laid off. There were no smartphones or Zoom or any of the other super convenient ways of collaborating that we take for granted now.
So make it a point to find some people who are in your situation so you have people to talk to candidly about the challenges you're facing.
You may need to downsize your lifestyle for a period of time and having people to go through that with and exchange tips and resources, etc. is going to be important for maintaining your mental health and helping you stay in that positive, productive mindset that is critical for you to weather this bit of turbulence.
The key here is to choose your people wisely. There's an old saying "if you hang with nine broke friends, you're bound to be the tenth one."
In this instance, "broke" means people with an unproductive mindset.
You should not be organizing or joining a pity party because that's not going to get you anywhere.
You need to surround yourself with some people who can maintain a positive mindset and actively work to improve their situation on a daily basis.
Here are some books that you and your success team can start having discussions around:
Some of you reading this are going to have to accept some hard truths about the economy and the world we live in.
Truth Number One
Having a single source of income is just unwise.
You can take your principled stand if you want, about how employers should pay a living wage so that people don't need more than one income.
But your principles are not going to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head.
The facts of the real world are that everyone would be wise to have more than one source of income. In fact, that's the only way wealth is built.
NOBODY gets wealthy and stays wealthy with a single source of income.
Now that you have all of this involuntary free time, in addition to your job search, you would be wise to start developing additional income streams.
Truth Number Two
Age and gender discrimination are real and they happen all day, every day, despite federal laws prohibiting those practices.
And for women, age and gender discrimination kick in quite early (think 40 rather than 50+).
Women don't even have to be old to be considered old in the workplace.
Is it right or fair?
Is that something you can control at this point?
So don't waste time and energy lamenting it.
Apply that time and energy to activities that will put food on the table and keep a roof over your head.
You can't control whether or not someone discriminates against you because of your age, but you can control the daily effort you put forth towards building a business that will help your financial situation while you continue to look for full-time employment.
Truth Number Three
If you're over 50, there's a real possibility that you're not going to find another job.
It's in your best interest to be honest with yourself about that.
Is it possible for someone over 50 to find another job?
Is it likely that every person over 50 who gets laid off is going to find their way back into the workforce doing the same job at the same or higher salary?
No, it is not likely.
That means some people are going to have to find something else to do to earn a living.
Just be honest with yourself with the realities of the world and take daily actions to position yourself to be okay if you end up having to do something other than what you've always done to earn a living.
Darwin's adaptation theory always applies...
[RELATED ARTICLE: You're Never Too Old To Start A Business]
Lots Of Opportunity In The Knowledge Economy
Here are just a few examples of what you might do to generate income while you're looking for your next job.
Every small business owner needs help with something because running a small business means you have two or three dozen jobs to do.
There are small business owners within two or three degrees of separation from you who will pay you for a few hours of work.
It might be a one-time project or it might be a few hours per week, indefinitely.
Fractional [insert your specialty]
This is a step up from being a virtual assistant because you're providing a specialized skill.
Fractional Bookkeeper, Fractional HR Officer, Fractional Marketing Officer, etc.
Whatever it is you did as a full-time employee, you can make available on a part-time basis to companies that could never afford to hire you full-time.
Maybe a company can only afford to pay you for 5 or 10 hours of work per week.
Is it ideal?
Does it include benefits?
But it does put food on the table and keep a roof over your head.
And if you can find multiple companies who can afford you for 5 or 10 hours per week, you can bring yourself significant financial and mental relief.
And one of these side gigs might turn into a full-time position when the economy turns around. But the only way you'll be in position for an opportunity like that is if you put yourself in position.
Bad things happen all by themselves, but good things are something that you have to make happen for yourself.
What do you know now that you wish you'd known 10 (or 20) years ago?
Someone will pay you for that wisdom and expertise so they don't have to spend years or decades learning the hard way.
A coaching business is something that you can run as a side hustle and continue to run on the side after you find another job.
You are most powerfully positioned to help the person who you used to be. So think about that person and how you can use your knowledge to help them...and get paid to do it.
- Grant writer for non-profits.
- Content writer / copywriter. This is a high-paying skill that you can learn if you already have good writing skills.
- Capture manager. There are small businesses that need your skills, but can't hire you full-time.
These are all jobs that you can do from your home for clients anywhere in the country.
And you can get connected to the people who will pay you to do this work simply by reaching out to your network and letting them know what your situation is and what problems you know how to solve in case they know someone who needs that expertise.
Your network will support you if you give them a way to do so. It's on you to provide people with what they need to help you.
And it's on you to surround yourself with the kind of people who want to help, which is why building your Success Team is so important.
Start Your Own Full-Time Business
Maybe this layoff was the kick you needed to do what you'd already wanted to do.
Don't waste the opportunity.
Here are some resources for you to review if you think you want to leave W-2 employment behind once and for all:
- How To Quit Your Job and Start Your Business The Smart Way
- How To Work From Home
- 5 Keys To Success For Women Business Owners
- You're Never Too Old To Start A Business
- Video Marketing Ideas For Your Business
I know being laid off is scary and really messes with your mind. Been there, done that.
What I'm encouraging you to do is focus on controlling what you can control.
You control your mindset.
You control your daily actions.
Build daily habits that will help you strategically and systematically apply for job opportunities AND strategically and systematically develop one or more non-W-2 income streams.
And surround yourself with three or four people who are doing the same. You and your Success Circle might have complementary skills that you can use to help each other generate income.
What you do on a daily basis and who you surround yourself with are the two greatest determinants of how long it will take to restore your income.
There's lots of opportunity out here, but you have to focus on controlling what you can control and doing the things that are necessary to put you in front of those opportunities.
The universe rewards action.