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You’re Losing Your Job Due to COVID-19: What’s Next?

Since March, life has thrown a lot of people curveballs – so much that even big retailers and franchisors, such as Gold’s Gym and JC Penny have been hit hard, really hard, by the pandemic. Some of the curveballs we saw coming, such as the recession, but some of them we haven’t.

One of the biggest curveballs for our clients has been learning their job is being eliminated through layoffs, downsizing, and company closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Regardless of why you’re being terminated, getting the bad news can be extremely difficult, especially when you’re not sure if you’ll find another job in the same industry. The uncertainty right now can lead to more stress, ambiguity, emotional and financial insecurity, and ineffective communication. Here are some tips on managing it all.

Coping With Your Job Loss

Maybe you have been dreading this for weeks, if not more than a month. You saw the writing on the wall and you recently had a “talk” with your boss in their office where they told you what’s about to happen. With one foot already out the door, you may even want to quit right now but alas, you need the money and you don’t have a lot of options.

The first step is to come to terms with what’s happening and realize that your job is out of your control and the termination likely has nothing to do with you. The next step is to take care of yourself. Since learning this news, what has been your emotional and behavioral reactions? If you’re feeling sad, angry, depressed, hopeless, anxiety, fear, happiness, or hope, they’re all normal emotions given the circumstances.

As you process your emotions internally, you still need to leave your job with grace and on good terms. You don’t know how things will turn out, or what direction your career will go, so you want to leave with a good impression. Take this advice to heart:

  • Discuss your emotions and financial concerns with your support system
  • Take special time for yourself if it will help you relieve stress
  • Communicate your thoughts and feelings with friends and family
  • Identify which professional contacts and relationships you should maintain and inform those people of your job situation and that you’re seeking out new opportunities
  • Do a budget and if it’s in jeopardy, start looking for work
  • Refresh your LinkedIn profile
  • If you foresee you not being able to pay child support, contact our firm immediately so we can petition the court for a downward modification

On your final days, be careful of your language about your employer and co-workers. You do not want to put your employer or team members down in any way. The goal is to avoid destroying relationships and burning bridges, even if you have a good reason. Abstain from negative dialogue as this will prevent creating a negative perception of you.