The Lessons of Layoffs

The past few weeks have been interesting for me.  As a person who is always working to keep my finger on the pulse of what is happening in the job-market, I’m sure you can see why the recent news in regards to joblessness has put me squarely on a pretty wild ride. The jobless claims and people filing for unemployment in the U.S. are at an all time high.  Because of this, there are some VERY talented people that are currently seeking new employment opportunities.  

In an effort to do our part and to assist those individuals recently displaced professionally, we launched our EOS Gives Back Campaign.  I have been hard at work advising, coaching, and giving feedback to those taking part in that program.   In addition to the EOS Gives Back Campaign, we are also participating in The Mom Project’s Unity Match Campaign, which pairs career coaches like myself with talented professionals (that also happen to be  moms) who are also looking for new opportunities.  To say it has been insane around here is an understatement.  I have spoken thus far to twenty different folks who recently experienced a job-loss in the past week alone.  With that being said, I have noticed some common threads on many of these calls, and it has not been lost on me that perhaps other individuals could benefit from some of the takeaways I’m gathering during this process.  I thought I would share some of what I have been learning with you so that you may gain a bit of insight from these experiences as well.

1.  Hope is still alive an well!  

If you listen the news, you will hear a fair amount of doom and gloom in regards to the job market and jobless claims.  In fact, today the new jobs report was released which published the new unemployment claims, and the numbers are  not pretty.  However, what I have found is that overall, people are optimistic and are trying to uncover the silver-lining amidst the unpleasantness of their experience.  Many individuals are using this time to readjust their goals, polish up their resumes, and find a new opportunity more suited towards their long term aspirations. 

2. Companies ARE STILL HIRING!

Now, this is not something I have been learning on my calls, but rather something I have been sharing with others.  Yes, a lot of companies are laying off employees, but there are many other companies which are currently expanding and bringing on new employees.  I posted a blog a few weeks back with a list of companies currently hiring, and I keep discovering more.  If you are serious about looking for a job, get aggressive and get creative!  If you are a strong candidate someone will snag you up.

3.  Top talent is on every corner!

Some amazingly talented people were let go from their companies in the past few weeks.  I have had the pleasure of speaking with and getting to know some of these amazing folks, and I have been quite impressed with who is on the job market right now.  The talent pool is stacked high with individuals ready and willing to get back to work, and they are chomping at the bit to get started as soon as possible.  If you are hiring right now, you should be able to fill your ranks quickly with top talent easier than you ever have in the past.  This is a great thing!

4.  REMOTE WORK is where it’s at!  And… it’s here to stay.

This may sound obvious, but people are DYING to have the opportunity to work from home PERMANENTLY. 

If you are an employer that is successfully operating your company during Covid-19 with work from home employees, you should consider implementing this arrangement moving forward.  People are even willing to accept less money and fewer benefits for the HUGE perk of working from home on a full-time basis.  I’d call that a WIN-WIN!

5.  Asking someone that has been laid-off, “How are you doing with this setback emotionally?” goes a LONG WAY.

To me, this seems like a no-brainier, but many people out there are scared to ask REAL questions that get REAL answers.  With that being said, we need to keep it REAL right now. People are hurting and people are scared.  

Even the most positive and talented people have days (and moments within those days), that cause negative emotions to bubble up to the surface.  It’s normal and natural to feel a sense of loss when a person experiences a layoff.  For those of you that have never had the pleasure of experiencing a job-loss, you should know it stinks. 

Many times losing a job is a devastating emotional blow.  Experiencing a job loss hurts one’s sense of pride and self-worth, causes a great deal of worry, and gives people anxiety of varying degrees.  Ask someone HOW they are doing, and ask because you care.  It will help them.  Sometimes a person just needs someone to talk to.

In closing, I want to state the obvious and add that the effects of this quarantine are going to be far reaching for quite some time.  I think we can all point to many potential negative scenarios that could possibly play out, or could even last for years to come.  However, I don’t think that it’s helpful to do this, and I believe it’s far more valuable and important to focus on the positive aspects of our daily lives which are benefiting from this unique experience. 

The constructive lessons we are learning from our 30+ days and counting of isolation are invaluable.  I’d also like to point out that we most likely will never have this opportunity again.  For us all, this is our chance to grow and to become better versions of ourselves while we’re hunkered down at home.  After all, doesn’t it all start and end at home anyway?  Now, go and love on your family you practice a little self care, and focus on a brighter day tomorrow.  Make it count!



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