If you had no idea that this was coming then it may come as a real shock to you. You may feel a whole range of emotions ranging from sadness to anger and even a little bit of fear for the future. How you choose to handle yourself of the next few hours, days and weeks can make the difference between this moment being a stepping stone to something greater and a low point in your career.
1. Don’t panic
This is a reaction that many people have initially, questions will enter your mind about financial commitments that you have coming up, household expenses and bills will be a stress factor too. All you have to do is take a deep breath, relax and focus on making sure that you keep a level head at this time. You may need to take a few minutes to gather your thoughts and be get prepared for the next step.
2. Get ready to negotiate
You should maintain a level of professionalism at all times. One thing that many people fail to take advantage of is that they could ask their manager for many things at this moment and they will likely say yes. An example would be a kind reference letter, extended insurance coverage or even moving costs. Agreeing to work for the notice period can even get some extra benefits if you are polite about it.
Bear in mind that everyone’s situation is difficult and that in order to fully understand what you’re entitled to you should speak with an employment lawyer or specialist. They will be able to advise you exactly what you deserve from the company that you were just let go from.
3. Get your priorities in order
There are benefits to leaving your coworkers in a good position to continue where you left off. Leaving on a good note is always the best approach but you should bear in mind that this company just let you go and that you need to start looking out for your own needs.
4. Get your email contacts and your client list together
You should be quick about getting this offline as soon as possible. It is ideal that you have your list of contacts both in the industry and your colleague’s emails so that you can reach out to them in the future if you need to. After all, your former co-workers may be your best way of finding another job. It is possible that your former employers and co-workers can refer you for other positions or, depending on the industry, even freelance work.
5. Don’t beat yourself up
You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. If you did nothing wrong and the company simply had to let someone go then try not to take it so hard. It is very important that you go into your next job interview with your head held high. This means looking after your health and eating and drinking right and getting plenty of sleep.
6. Get your resume and LinkedIn updated
Now is the time to make sure that all of your information is up to date and you haven’t let anything slide. It may be time for a rewrite of your LinkedIn bio if your skills have upgraded since the last time you made any changes.
7. Reach out for support
Talking about how you are getting on with a friend or family member is very important at this time. You can even reach out to former co-workers to see how they are doing and when you find your feet be sure to let anyone you have spoken to know that you’re okay.