Dealing with Stress During a Layoff

For many of us our job is one of the most important and valued things we have in our lives. It tells those around us who we are and what we have accomplished. Let’s face it. We spend more time at work than we do with our immediate family members. Our co-workers become our second family and often bonds are formed for lifetimes. Our daily contributions and accomplishments at work give us the motivation we need to feel successful. But then……

But then one day out of the blue you are informed that a possible layoff is looming. The first question you ask yourself is why? What happened? I’ve been doing a great job at work! This can’t be possible. But then reality starts to set in and all of the different emotions start to flow.

For some, this is a reality they have never had to face before. For others, it may be part of a work culture to which they have become accustomed, dependent on the type of occupation they have chosen.

The first thing you must understand is that most layoffs are due to budget cuts, regional economic changes, or mismanagement at a higher level within your organization. It is not a reflection of your performance.

After the grieving process which might include the stages of shock and denial, anger, resistance, and sadness, there is finally acceptance. You must move on! It’s not your fault. Here are some recommendations that will help you through this difficult time.

• Give yourself some time to adjust. Know that this is just a temporary setback and that your future work life will continue.

• Don’t be ashamed. It is not a matter of personal failure to lose your job due to cutbacks or other reasons mentioned above.

• Tell your friends and family as soon as possible. They are your best possible support and also great resources to have to help you get back on your feet.

• Think of this as just a temporary setback. This is a challenge, not a failure or the “end of the world.”

• Be positive. Avoid negative people and their ways of thinking. Talk to those who have constructive ideas and advice. I love this quote and find it very useful. “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I can assure you things will be OK. Life will go on and with your hard work and diligence in your new job search you just may be surprised at what you find on the other side.

Tim Lopas is the Office Manager at Workforce Solutions – Pasadena. He has been in Workforce Development for seven years. His career began in the hospitality industry where he was manager of guest services. Tim is a native Houstonian whose passions include mentoring youth and going fishing.



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