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Layoff in the time of Corona...

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

2 weeks into our lockdown, I received the bad news.

I along with my colleagues are being let go.

It was surreal to hear my name as part of the list... short breaths, clogged nose, tearful eyes… it's REAL.

So many questions and scenarios played in my head. I felt so lost, so unsure, so out of control.

You cannot help to play the victim and ask why me?

It’s been a few weeks since I received the bad news and I found a few things that helped me deal with what happened.

1) Feel your emotions

We spend 40+ hours a week at work.

It’s a huge part of our everyday life and as obvious as it might be, it hurts to lose your job. It’s painful that you don’t have any say or control on how or when you leave.

It’s okay to feel lost especially during this unusual time.

It’s alright to cry and release your frustration. It’s normal to be more sensitive during this period.

You may feel sad for a day, a week, a month or even longer. We all process our emotions differently and we just need to go through it.

2) Create a support group

Especially with a massive layoff and a pandemic, you’re not the only one who got dismissed.

Create a chat group with your other colleagues/friends who are going through the same thing. It’ll be a great way to share what you’re feeling and thinking, to the people who understand and are going through the same experience.

Share different ideas, articles, resources, and connections that can help each other through this time.

3) Take it easy

With so many emotions, you can get drained.

You can feel tired just thinking and feeling. So take it easy on yourself, you might not have the same energy level you usually do.

Instead of doing an intense workout that you’re not up to, maybe just do a quick yoga session.

Gauge your energy level and adjust as needed.

4) Keep up your daily routines

The morning after I got the “bad news”, I didn’t want to get up my bed.

I just stared at the wall for 10 minutes…

I knew staying in bed wouldn’t make me feel any better.

So.. I got up.

I put on my workout clothes (hesitantly)and proceeded with my morning routine. I went for a quick walk, wrote a short entry in my journal and proceeded with my day.

I wasn’t as productive as usual. I took it easy BUT I still went through my routine like any other day.

The quicker you get back to your daily routine the better you will feel.

You’ll feel in control of your day and slowly feel in control of your life again.

5) Write down your fears

List down your worries and fears.

Then write down an action or solution that would minimize that fear.


FEAR: Not enough money

ACTION/SOLUTION: I have an emergency fund I can use.

I will cut down on the non-essentials to make my fund last longer.

I will look for some side projects on Upwork to earn some money during this time

This will help you visually see all your fears and create solutions to solve them. This way you know what actions to take and get in control.

6) Deal with it

Talk to your HR about the termination agreement and severance pay.

Go over the details (severance pay, benefits, taxes and etc) with them and make sure everything is clear before you sign anything.

Ask for help if they can help you file for unemployment.

Request for a recommendation letter from your colleagues and/or boss.

This is a crucial part of moving forward and securing your future.

7) Assess your finances

Go over your finances.

It’s all about securing your future. Making sure you have enough to cover your essential needs for the months ahead.

List your expenses per month: rent, food, utilities, phone service and etc.

If you have an emergency fund/savings for moments like this, that is superb!

Compare your savings/income vs expenses.

How many months will it last?

With the uncertainty of the pandemic, it might be best to stretch out your savings for at least 6 months.

You may need to cut down on some luxuries and essentials to make your funds last longer.

8) Hustle and Earn

After assessing your finances, you may realize you need a few more $$$ to survive the next few months.

You don’t need to look for a new job immediately, especially not with the pandemic. But there are ways you can earn some cash online/offline.

You can be a freelancer.

There are so many openings for writers, digital marketers, translators, assistants and more.

Check out websites like Upwork or Fiverr for projects.

Become a teacher.

You can film yourself teaching a skill or process and upload it on Skillshare and/or YouTube.

It can be any special skill you know from watercolor painting to building your own brand to brewing your own beer.

You can also go offline and provide essential goods or services.

If you cook or bake, you can sell food online and have them delivered to your customers.

Or if you can sew, produce face masks and sell them online.

If you’re willing, you can also go on delivery apps to help deliver food and essential goods.

These will not only help your customers but also help you earn a living.

9. Update and upgrade

Update your CV.

Check if the format and details are still relevant.

Make sure to update your job description and accomplishments in your resume.

Send and upload your updated CV to headhunters, job websites and companies.

Upgrade your skills.

Is there something you’ve been wanting to learn?

What skill sets can help you move forward on your career?

There are so many organizations offering free online courses. Just Google them and you’ll find them.

It’s a good time to asses your CV and fill in what's missing.

10) Ask for help

I have to be honest.

I feel ashamed that I was laid off. Even if I know it’s not my fault.

Even after doing everything on this list. Even if it’s not in my control.

But at the end of the day…

We all need help.

To have your brother listen to your story while you sob uncontrollably.

To have your parents buy you dessert and tell you everything’s gonna be okay.

To have your friends call you and make you laugh.

To help yourself by being kind and loving to yourself.

There’s no need to rush.

We just need to keep on moving forward.

Written by Renee Ngo on Medium To see the full article click here.
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