Doing These 4 Things Can Help You Bounce Back From a Layoff: ‘Go Into Preparation and Planning Mode'

Big Tech layoffs have rattled the workforce, with companies like Meta, Twitter, Lyft, Coinbase and Netflix all letting go a chunk of their staff. And unfortunately, they’re not alone. Many giants in industries like banking, real estate, food services, advertising, and retail have, or are planning to, cut their companies’ headcounts amid inflation and a potential impending economic downturn, leaving workers to pick up the pieces.

According to Fana Yohannes, communications lead at Instagram and founder of Here2Help, a job search and mentorship community, reentering the workforce after a layoff can be tough at first, but entering “preparation and planning mode” is a key step to bouncing back.

“Not only are there so many talented people who are considered free agents in this tech industry right now. There are so many hiring freezes that people are up against,” Yohannes tells CNBC Make It. “Companies are canceling job postings [on top of]  going through layoffs. So it’s like, almost everywhere you look, it feels like nowhere is safe.”

CNBC Make It spoke with Yohannes to find her best tips for recovering after being laid off:

Find an online community

Losing your job can feel extremely isolating, but there are thousands of people who have gone through ― or are currently experiencing ― the same thing. Yohannes says connecting with these individuals can help you get on the right track.

“During the [2008] recession, the social media tools we have now didn’t really exist,” Yohannes explains.”What I love about Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and Facebook is that there are so many community-filled spaces on those platforms right now dedicated to professional spaces and professional development. You just need to know where to look for them.”

By searching keywords on these platforms, such as “layoffs,” “job search help,” or “networking opportunities,” people can find posts and groups that’ll meet their needs.

Yohannes points out communities like Here2Help, CCNYC and Sister Circle as great resources that provide access to professional development opportunities, mentors and even job postings.

“With social media groups, you have the ability to build connections, check in with people and share all kinds of information around things like pay transparency, open roles, or even how to prepare for an interview.”

‘Don’t sleep on virtual events’

Though many companies and professional networking events have returned to in-person operations, hybrid and remote events are still available, and Yohannes recommends you leverage them.

“What I love about virtual events is if you really connect with someone, like a speaker, chances are you can shoot them a LinkedIn message or an Instagram DM or follow them and have a closer connection with them,” she says.

“As we’re approaching the holidays right now, when people’s travel schedules might be a little bit tight, I think a virtual event is a really great way to get inspired and learn about different job leads and opportunities without even having to leave your home.”

Be open and honest about your job status

Not only is being laid off a huge blow professionally, but it can also ruin someone’s self-esteem. And given that most people opt to share their career highs with their network, Yohannes suggests that people get just as candid about their career lows.

“LinkedIn is kind of like our first go-to platform when it comes to professional networking,” Yohannes explains. “But if you’re really dedicated to being open and transparent about where you are currently on your job search, I think it’s so important to let people know that you’re available for hire across all of your platforms.”

“Don’t be afraid to do things like update your social media stories daily. Whether it’s different memes that you’re seeing about being available for hire, different resources that you’ve come across or even just an update on your unemployment … those spark the best conversations.”

Take care of yourself

Reentering the job market means opening yourself to critiques, judgments and tough conversations. And if you haven’t taken the time to nurture your mental health, those situations can be even more triggering.

Yohannes says it’s okay to take some time off before searching for a new role.

“Whatever happens happens, but taking care of yourself is still going to be the number one most important thing during this time,” she says. “Take a week or two to mourn or just be frustrated by the outcome of what just happened to you.”

Yohannes also wants individuals recovering from a layoff to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“In any given situation, but especially with a layoff, although it hurts and it really does not feel good, receiving this as a redirection versus a setback is what’s probably going to be most helpful for people,” Yohannes says. “This moment in time doesn’t define who you are, but it will define who you are becoming.”

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