It’s been several years. Our nonprofit was in financial trouble and for leadership lay offs were the answer. I was on the list. My boss was kind, honored my time there, and offered me the day to gather my things.
I wasn’t surprised. I had seen the writing on the wall and had begun to prepare.
I had a lot going for me. I am married so there was still an income. I had vacation time and with a little severance pay I left the office that day with enough to get me by for a month or so.
The biggest thing I had, which is really what made the whole process of being laid off and being unemployed so much easier, was my community. An example of this is that on the same day I was laid off I posted on Facebook that I had been laid off, that I now had free time, and that I would love to have coffee, breakfast or lunch with people. The caveat was that whoever invited me would have to pay.
By the end of the day, just hours after I posted, I had 68 invitations. Soon, people began leaving gifts of coffee and coffee house gift cards on our porch (I’m a big coffee guy and the gift cards helped me work from local coffee houses and get out of the house).
By day two the reality had set in. I forgot to mention that the first day I applied for unemployment. By the second day I had my resume ready to go. I had a couple of friends look at it and made edits based on their feedback. I sent an email to close friends in the nonprofit world and began checking employment websites. I updated my LinkedIn account and switched the recruiter option to let recruiters know I was now looking. By the end of day two I had spent ten hours beginning my search. I began day three by being dressed and ready for the day just as if I were going to work.
I had to look at money and see where I could save and what I could cut.
Honest conversations with close friends and those in my professional circle helped. I highly recommend that. Communicating your job search to your entire network is important.
I was laid off on a Thursday and began phone interviews on Monday. I fortunately was offered a job three weeks later and after five weeks of being unemployed began my new position.
It’s not easy. There are a lot of feelings that hit someone when being laid off. The biggest action for me was to reach out for support. I had this amazing community of friends and peers who were right there for me. Reaching out made a big difference, and I highly recommend it. Let everyone know what you’re looking for and for those close to you let them know how they can help.
I hope this is helpful. If I can help let me know. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org I’m happy to be one of those who supports you while you find your next adventure. I can be especially helpful if you’re in the nonprofit world as that’s my world.
You definitely do not have to be on this journey alone.
Thanks for reading.