Rising up from a layoff

Someone came to me with news that a coworker and friend, a man in his late 50s with a stellar resume, had just been laid off after nine months at a job that he got While You Were Out Formafter a previous layoff.

What should he do? he asked. His plan was not to wallow but to help his friend see this latest turn of rotten events as pointing toward something better.

Layoff usually strikes without warning. One morning you walk into the office as usual, then walk out in the afternoon without your employee badge. If the employer is generous, you might be allowed to pack up your desk items. If not, they’ll be packed for you to pick up. It’s a humiliating end to an often mutually beneficial tenure, truly a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Yet it can also be the time of your life, the start of something good — maybe even the best.

I learned a lot from being laid off:

  • Accept that, yes, there IS somebody who can do your job besides  you. Maybe not as well as you, but somebody to get the job done, letting your old carousel turn without you.

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June 2015
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