Laid Off !?

How? Why? When? … What am I going to do? 

These are all questions asked when you get the news. 

Emotions of fear, panic, anger, a shot to the ego, a sense of failure and a hit to confidence. Forget about the saying... "it’s not personal, just business”… YES IT IS! It is perfectly okay to go through the emotions associated with losing a job ... or choosing to change one. Loss of one's professional identity often follows the same patterns as loss of a loved one (denial, anger, bargaining,  depression and acceptance.)  

Change is an OPPORTUNITY to transform loss into gain.

Certainly acknowledge your hurt, but also challenge your eyes to see the opportunities suddenly available to you. 

Leverage your benefits (i.e. severance, outplacement services, unemployment) to reevaluate who you are, what it is you want to do and how can you better nurture the sense of fulfillment that may have been missing. Use your holidays to network with family, friends and colleagues. Take the rare opportunity to Remember, Reflect, and Reconnect to your true Identity! Whether pushing forward with the path you were taking or forging a new one, this is a time for growth. 

Every story is personal and unique. When you take time-out to reevaluate and reconnect with your authentic self, you might discover that you have multiple versions of you. 

For the laid-off baby-boomer, maybe you are a tenured businessperson, grandparent, volunteer, writer and golfer. 

For a GenX’er, maybe you're a mid to senior level executive hungry to add a degree, take that long overdue vacation or entirely redesign your career. 

For Millennials, maybe this is an opportunity to reconnect work with personal aspirations, free an unexpressed aspect of yourself, consider where you really want to live to buy that home or become a parent. 

For those new to the work force, maybe this that perfect time to explore who you are and what you really aspire to. 

Regardless of your story, you are more than your job. 

Being laid off offers an opportunity to reflect on what matters most to you. There are no rules that state you have to be a single-page resume with one version of yourself. Honor your fear and the emotions associated with transition, but consider too the positive opportunity that can come from them. Be passionate about what matters most to you ... and chase what fulfills you. Look within yourself, break-out the different versions of who you are and map out a plan to achieve your goal. 

Do what you love and love what do.