Five Empowering Actions to Take After You Get Laid Off

This is a guest post by Marcia McIntyre. Please welcome Marcia to the HBW Community!

Since 1989, I have always worked and never been laid off until now. Last week, my boss called me into his office to gravely inform me that he had to let me go – effective immediately – due to the company not having money to pay me anymore. It’s not like I was breaking the bank. Or maybe I was… Instead of feeling despondent and forlorn, I felt a great peace that God was going to help me through this. As I was packing up my desk, my co-worker looked on with the Bambi eyes. She said, “I feel like I was the one laid off.” I said, “You LOOK like you’re the one laid off! It’s OK. I will be fine.” As we hugged and parted ways, I really believed it and I still believe it.

But the next morning I woke up like, Crap! What am I going to do?

The first thing I did was read my Bible and write in my journal (my daily devotion). No reason to stop that now. After that, I looked at my vision board. The first thing that caught my eye that day was something I clipped out of a magazine that said:

Vision boards cue your subconscious to steer you toward stimuli and choices in sync with your goals.

I nodded in agreement and started my day. For some reason, I expected that to trigger something in my mind of the next great plan for my life. Instead, I got nada. So, I had to start listening to my gut, my instincts and my spirit. This is what I’ve done thus far.

Get a Separation Letter and File for Unemployment

Once you’re laid off, you are supposed to get severance pay. This wasn’t the case for me. So I asked for a separation letter and went to the Department of Labor to file for unemployment. Make sure your separation letter states the day you were laid off and why (it should be favorable if it wasn’t your fault). In the state I live in (Georgia), it takes approximately twenty-one to twenty-eight days before you start receiving it (if your former boss does not contest) and it will be retroactive. You will have to sit through orientation. You will have to check in weekly and certify. You will have to do it so just do it.

Continue Your Stress Relievers

If you go to the gym, continue. If you practice yoga or pilates, continue. If you run three miles a day, CONTINUE. Continue to do any of those things that help release endorphins to clear your mind and to give you some happiness. A happy and focused body is a productive body. Plus, it’s not fair to throw shade at those closest to you just because you’re miserable right now. I love my gym so much and now I can try all those different classes that they have during working hours like hot yoga, kickboxing or Aqua Fit.

Take a Breather and Write Down Your Goals

In other words: relax, relate, release (shout out to Debbie Allen on A Different World). While you’re in a temporary standstill, take this time to write down your goals, dreams, and wishes. Be specific and proactive in what you write, putting down the necessary steps it would take to accomplish those goals. If you spell it out, it will look more feasible to obtain and execute. I want to write, so guess what? I’m writing. Everyday. About whatever I feel like and it feels good. I’m gaining confidence to put myself out there more. I’m also networking with different writers to see which path is the best path for me.

Spruce Up Your Surroundings

Take note of your surroundings and environment. This is the perfect time to clean house and maybe try that Feng Shui to boost more creativity and peace in your sanctuary. I finally cleaned my room and found some interesting things to pique my love and interest in writing even more. I also realized how spacious my apartment is after I cleaned out a few boxes and threw them away. It definitely made me feel more attached to my home instead of feeling like a resident who only sleeps there at night. All of a sudden, Tamia’s song “Stranger In My House” came to mind.

Call the Bill Collectors Before They Call You

I didn’t realize how many bills I had until I no longer had income. Call all the people you normally send payments to and tell them of your situation. You may have to negotiate lower rates, change the date of your pay periods, or just straight pause/cancel that extra expense activity that you love to do cold turkey. This is already a tense time for you (and me) and we are trying to find a new job and the last thing you need is your phone blowing up because they didn’t get their moolah. You want your phone blowing up with awesome job interviews, not grizzly sounding men who sound like they will throw you in their trunk and drive you out to the harbor.

Well, that’s where I am right now. Good luck to you. Good luck to me. I’ll keep you posted on my next adventure!

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Marcia McIntyre is a budding author who lives, eats, writes and breathes zany scenarios on her beloved Mac. A born and raised New Yorker (Yawkah), Marcia now resides in Atlanta, Georgia writing about writing until it gets her on the New York Times Bestseller List.

You can follow Marcia’s journey on her blog at Marcia Scribbles.

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Comments & Feedback:

  1. This is EXACTLY my story! As I was reading this, I kept going…me too, me too! And, I live in Georgia as well…how ironic! Anywho, I can attest to all of these tips. It’s so important to keep doing the things that keep us healthy and encouraged. Another tip I’m keeping up is remaining faithful in God and trusting the journey. I was actually in the process of starting my coaching practice before I got laid off, so I took it as a sign for me to move forward with the calling in my heart. I’m glad that I did because I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Congrats on your lay off! Many blessings on your journey moving forward! :)

    • Thanks for sharing your experience here. It’s so great when we’re able to see the signs that are put in front of us. Good luck in your coaching practice!