Getting laid off isn’t so bad if you’re a masochist. But for the rest of us, well, let’s just say it’s not quite as fun.
When I found myself without a job at noon on a Thursday, it felt bad. Really bad. Seven cocktails bad. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in my jobless journey so far, it’s that misery is an endless well. And if you let yourself fall into that well, you’ll spiral into a sad, self-loathing version of yourself faster than your severance check can run out.
So if you’ve recently lost your job, get off the couch (maybe put on some real clothes while you’re at it?), and join me in trying to focus on the positives here.
Go Ping Yourself, Karen
Yeah, you’ve lost a steady paycheck and healthcare benefits, but what have you gained? How about the realization that you’ll never have to hear another buzzword again. (At least until your next job.)
“To be truly free, one must be free from buzzwords.” — Buddha
Think about it… if you don’t have the “bandwidth” to get out of bed today, well, no one is going to ask you to “ping” them when you’re up. It’s perfectly acceptable to have nothing in your “wheelhouse” but leftover pizza and Netflix. You can “deep dive” into a bottle of wine every night and then “circle back” with a new bottle the next. And you’ll be “moving the needle” toward free nachos every time you get a question right at Trivia Tuesday.
See? You might’ve lost your job, but you’re the real winner here.
Extreme Couponing: Your Newest Linkedin Skill
Your inbox is empty (despite the 50 jobs you applied for) and your bank account has seen better days. Time to freak out? Nope. It’s time to acquire the greatest skill of them all… resourcefulness!
Yes, Amazon might be so concerned at your sudden lack of Priming that they send someone to your house for a welfare check, but you can tell them you’re not that person anymore.
You’ve gone through a metamorphosis and have emerged a beautiful, budget-friendly butterfly who can shut down supermarkets with nothing more than your extreme-couponing skills.
You’re a culinary wizard who can turn forgotten (and probably stale) pantry items into Michelin-star delights that would make Gordon Ramsay weep tears of joy.
Digital coupons will be downloaded. Odd jobs will be taken. (Who knew your ability to juggle four Coors Lights would one day land you the gig of children’s birthday clown?)
But through it all, you’ll become one thrifty-ass mofo who has more resourcefulness in your little pinky than most do in their whole bodies — and that’s a skill you should not list on your Linkedin profile — but that will, undoubtedly, benefit you for a lifetime.
That Could’ve (and Should’ve) Been an Email
There’s not much worse than sitting through an hour-long meeting only to realize it could’ve been summed up in a two-sentence email. (OK, your co-worker asking pointless questions that extend that meeting to an hour and a half is worse than that.)
Wait, lunch meetings are pretty crappy too.
Oh, and meetings that get rescheduled, which in turn make you have to reschedule your own day, to only get rescheduled again, are yet another disadvantage of the employed.
But now that you’re without a job, you’re also without meetings.
How’s that for a bright side?
In fact, you can use your newfound time to take up a worthwhile hobby, like creating a spreadsheet of happy hours in your area. (Ranked by cheapness of food and drink, of course.)
Down But Not Out
The truth is, being laid off sucks. And searching for a new job is, ironically, a job all in itself. (The ticking time bomb of your severance check doesn’t help stress levels at all either.)
But this also means it’s okay — and normal — if some days the only thing you want to do is feel sorry for yourself. Or binge a whole Netflix series in under 48 hours. Or maybe even dabble in rage-tweeting like Trump. The possibilities are endless!
But if you can’t laugh about all the challenges that come along with being laid off, you’re probably going to feel even worse. (Yes, it can get worse.)
So put on a happy face, know that this is not a permanent situation, and let’s try to make the best of it together.
At the very least, leave me a comment so we can commiserate. After all, misery loves company and it’s not like you have anything better to do right now anyway. (Too soon?)
This post was previously published on Medium.