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Citrus Fruits

Navigating the Emotional Turmoil of Layoffs: A Guide to Coping and Moving Forward

Nidhi Pandey
A troubling trend of mass layoffs appears to be defining the global startup ecosystem, with at least 104 tech companies laying off over 26,000 employees in the first few weeks of January, according to layoffs.fyi. This indicates that more than 1,600 tech employees were laid off per day on an average in 2023 so far, globally, including in India.” states a recent article published online in thewire.in.

Layoff, a bitter reality of our times, very much like the Covid virus, can hit just anyone. It gives pain - yes, it gives anxiety and stress - yes, but the good part is that one can diligently steer out of the situation with a smile, just by learning how to handle the rejection and the associated feelings.


Let us take a look at how


1. Take a reality check: Before you start blaming yourself or the organisation, take a while and do a reality check for:

  • What was the real reason for the layoff. You, or it was just a normal part of a company’s business cycle?

  • If you, then what were your key learnings that that can make you better. If possible, ask for feedback on your performance, and use this information to improve for the future.

2. Acknowledge your feelings: Just let the sadness, anger, helplessness and many other emotions, gently come and pass away. Be aware that though they are here, they will go away soon. Allow yourself to feel your emotions and process the rejection.


3. Reframe: Identify a few positive thoughts about yourself, something you value yourself for, and each time there is a thought that bothers you, instead of holding onto it, switch to one of the positive thoughts from the list and focus on what you can control. For example, you can take steps to improve your job search skills, network with others in your field, and explore new career opportunities.


4. Focus on what you have: Remind yourself of your strengths and skills, and try to focus on what you can do well. Take this time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do, but could not because of your work demands.

5. Upgrade your skills: Look for opportunities to grow and improve. Indulge3 in activities that give you a feeling of learning and improving, create a sense of being in control over our lives. They give us hope, which keeps the life going on.

6.Set new goals for yourself: Focus on moving forward and growing in your career. Give a thought to where you want to be in near future or in next 10 years and start working towards attaining that.


7.Talk to a friend or a family member: Someone who can quietly listen and support, gives the comfort of venting and connecting, which proves therapeutic.


8.Seek support: While friends and family maybe of great help, considering professional help holds significance because it gives structure and direction to your venting. So if you cannot get over the feeling of where from here, or are not able to handle your emotions, therapy/coaching is an aspect which should not be ignored.


Remember that taking care of your mental health is an important part of navigating any difficult situation, and that seeking support when you need it is a sign of strength, not weakness.

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