Creating a Positive Mindset Following Being Laid Off
An individual’s career path is rarely a straight one. Though many young people assume they will remain with one company for a lengthy period of time, the fortunes of individual companies can change quickly and often without warning.
Though it can take many years to build a company into profitability, it can often take only a few months time of poor management to drive it into the ground. Even a well-managed company may find itself the victim of new technology. Being laid off is a reality that can hit anyone.
How is it Possible to Remain Positive After Being Laid Off?
The reasons for being laid off are many, and often they have nothing to do with the work performance of the individual involved. The first thing to remember is that even if an individual works to the best of his or her ability, such effort does not guarantee that he or she will not be laid off.
The necessary staffing levels of a company are affected by any number of factors that are beyond the individual’s control. Even the best due diligence does not guarantee that a company will not suffer due to unforeseeable circumstances.
Economies are by nature of the boom and bust variety. Circumstances are never as good as they seem during up times and they are never as bad as they seem during down times. Often a company has to ramp up staffing during up ticks and must then ramp it down during lean times.
Even the best estimates of staffing levels are often wrong. The first step in maintaining a positive outlook after being laid off is not to assume that one’s individual job performance was primarily responsible for the lay off.
A clear distinction must be made in the employee’s mind between being fired and being laid off. While the result for the individual is that he or she is no longer working at the company, the reasons involved and the relationship with the company are very different. A person who is fired is done so for cause.
Firing indicates that an employee has either violated a significant company policy or is unable to do the job for which he or she has been hired. Cause indicates a lack of competence or character on the part of the employee.
In contrast, a laid off employee is one who has shown the ability to do a job and has displayed proper character in the workplace, but for any of a variety of reasons that job position is no longer necessary.
An employer who has laid off an employee indicates that the company desires to maintain a relationship with the individual and leaves open the possibility of future employment opportunities. The individual should draw from this that he or she is a valued employee who has demonstrated skills that are useful to any number of future employers.
Once an individual has recognized that being laid off is not necessarily a negative mark on his or her job performance or character, he or she can then focus on the future. A key ingredient of a positive attitude is a result of not dwelling on the past, but in looking forward into the future.
Recognizing that time spent in a job or jobs in the past was not necessarily wasted time, but time spent learning new skills and demonstrating them in a real world environment will help an individual to look ahead for future opportunities. Being laid off is not a sign of the end of a person’s career, but merely the end of one segment of that career.
Each job situation should be seen as a step on the rung of advancement. While an individual should be committed completely to the company for which he or she works, that individual must also be aware that his or her job position is not guaranteed for life.
The continual gathering of job skills and the continued gathering of a network of like-minded individuals in related job professions is necessary for a person to keep his or her options open for the future.
Laid off individuals do find employment in other jobs in government or private sector. While not all laid off people will find employment in the same or similar positions as that from which they were laid off, the majority will find gainful employment. Part of maintaining a positive attitude is to draw on the experience of others.
Having an extensive network of fellow-workers helps to open up a variety of opportunities for future employment. Being connected to employees at a number of companies gives an individual a potential foot in the door. One of the most difficult things for an employer to assess is a person’s character.
While a resume can indicate a person’s work history and educational attainment, it does not reflect the nature of a person’s character. Having people who know the individual personally creates opportunities for at least an interview and then it is up to the person involved to make a good impression.
Maintaining a positive attitude is key to making a good impression with potential employers. There is nothing more damaging to a person’s reputation than to be known as someone who speaks negatively about those for whom one has worked for in the past and those whom he or she has worked with. Focusing on the positive is the only way to become a potential employee who is intriguing to a potential employer.
A positive attitude often results from seeing what can be possible. Often a laid off employee would never have looked anywhere else if not for being laid off.
The process of being laid off from a job position can be seen as an opportunity to take a risk, to try a new field of work, or even to begin one’s own business. Rather than clinging to what is no longer, but seeing the opportunity to pursue a new desire will produce the kind of positive energy that can lead an individual to great success.
The business world is full of possibilities for those who work hard and are willing to take appropriate risks. The pain of having lost a job due to circumstances beyond one’s control can be the impetus for taking more responsibility for one’s own career path. Remaining positive after being laid off is not only possible, but it can be the start of a path to a new career that is both more fulfilling and more rewarding in the future.
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