Career Insight

Laid Off? Set Yourself up for Success in Your Next Role

Laid Off? Set Yourself up for Success in Your Next Role

Stella, is that you? Ready to get your groove back? 

Many of us are facing the challenges of a crazy job market…and, doing it all in the middle of a pandemic. If you’ve found yourself in this boat, take a moment to recognize you’re a total badass for navigating all of that. 

Figuring out your next move after being laid off can be incredibly stressful…like can’t-sleep, can’t-eat stressful. But you can (and will) bounce back if you take the necessary steps to set yourself up for success in your next role. So if you’re wondering what to do when you get laid off, use these tips and career development practices to land your next gig after a job loss. 

Know You’re Worthy 

Losing a job can be gut-wrenching and it’s easy to take it personally and get caught up in a negative mindset. After all, bills still have to be paid and you’ve still gotta eat. When you get the urge to spiral, take a few deep breaths and try to calm yourself down. Now is a good time to remind yourself your worth doesn’t come from your job or paycheck. 

Jobs (and money) come and go but fortunately, your inherent worth as a human being is constant. You are (and always will be) worthy. Don’t you forget it, baby! Because the only thing worse than feeling unworthy is job searching while feeling unworthy. When you can shift out of this mindset and into one of confidence, some of the stress you might be experiencing can begin to dissipate. 

Take Some Time to Process 

Still wondering what to do when you get laid off? Getting laid off is a big blow to the ego, so it’s going to be essential to take time to process the news. Give yourself a week to practice radical self-care and work through the emotions that come with losing a job. There will likely be some grief so don’t rush your feelings or tell yourself to just “get over it.” Failing to process it can hurt you in the long run as you’ll have to deal with the emotions eventually. You definitely don’t want this to happen mid-interview via a dramatic monologue about how your last company stabbed you in the back. 

Additionally, if there’s something you’ve been wanting to do but never had the time for, now could be your chance. Whether it’s going on a long weekend camping trip, brushing up on your German, or working on a creative project, you now have the time, so make the most of it by slaying on your personal goals or reconnecting with your hobbies. 

Make a Game Plan 

Going into a job hunt effectively and efficiently requires getting clear on what you want. Don’t know what you want to do next? Making a game plan can help here. In your game plan, give yourself deadlines for when you want to accomplish certain tasks like polishing your resume. This will help keep you motivated and working towards a well-defined goal as opposed to blindly sending your resume to every listing you can find. You can write down statements like: 

“I will edit my resume by July 31.” 

“I will write a cover letter by August 2.” 

“I will go to one networking event per week for the next month.” 

In addition to deadlines, your game plan should include things like professional development hours — time set aside each day to learn a new skill, attend a virtual networking event, or get inspired by a new professional development book or career memoir. 

You’ll also want to do some soul searching. Ask yourself what you liked about your last job and what you didn’t. What do you hope to find in your next position? Do you want to do something similar or do you want to make a career pivot? It can be helpful to write these things down to get a vision of what you should be looking for on paper. Once you’ve given yourself actionable goals with deadlines and gotten a better picture of what you want, you can begin your job hunt. 

You’ll also need to evaluate your finances at this point. Do you have emergency savings? How long can you maintain your lifestyle with your savings? If you’re paying back student loans or an ISA, check with your servicer about pausing your payments. Go over your budget and see if you can make any cuts. If you need to, look into getting a part-time job or freelancing while you search for your next role. 

Don’t Give Up 

Layoffs will likely happen to all of us at least once (or a few times) in our careers. Learning to accept this fact can help remind you it’s a common experience and not the end of the world. Find little ways to keep yourself motivated in your job search. What lights you up? Job searching is work, so after a long day of networking, and sending cold emails, go treat yourself. We’re rooting for you! We hope these tips help you figure out what to do when you get laid off. 


Ready to jumpstart your career as a UX Designer or Coder? Learn more about our 12-month Software Engineering and UX design programs, or check out our free beginner’s coding program Kenzie Free.

Alexa Goins

Alexa Goins

Alexa Goins is the Content Marketer at Kenzie Academy. Before she joined the field of higher education marketing, she worked as a journalist and taught English in the South of France. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading non-fiction works, doing embodiment yoga, or planning her next trip to Paris. You can find more of her work at www.alexagoins.com.

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  • Date
    July 22, 2020
  • Posted In
    Career Insight
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