WEST Wisdom Blog

Learning to Turn Being Laid Off Into an Opportunity

Posted by Courtney Cyron on May 24, 2023 11:43:52 AM

You know your company is downsizing, your boss calls you into their office. You go in, sit down, Laid Off Series lump in your throat, you know what’s next. The conversation is pretty straightforward. Your boss says something like: “I’m really sorry, but as we downsize we’re cutting a lot of positions, and yours is one of them.” At that point, you’re not quite sure what to say or do, whether you expected it or not. The reality of being laid off leaves so much more uncertainty than you could possibly have prepared for. 

Being laid off is a difficult situation, and can leave you feeling a range of emotions and uncertain of what to do next. WEST leadership has been through its fair share of downsizing and company closures and is hoping to be able to support those currently dealing with being laid off. The “Laid Off Series: Navigating the Storm and Moving Forward with Your Career,” is here to help individuals going through being laid off and looking for a new position figure out how to accept the situation, make the mental shift into looking at it as an opportunity, and ace the interview process to move into the next stage of their career. 

The first event in this series, “Mental Balance: Navigating Layoffs and Job Changes,” focused on the emotional rollercoaster we find ourselves on when we first find out that we’ve been laid off. Pallavi Srivastava shared, “(recognize) that it’s important to go through what you’re going through. Don’t try to skip to the end.” Understanding this is just the first step in overcoming the emotional roller coaster. She shared the entire acceptance process beginning with recognizing what you’re going through, accepting the situation, and making the mental shift into looking for opportunities with excitement. As Pallavi shared with attendees, there are five stages to work through before truly getting to the point of acceptance and being able to embrace new opportunities. This process can go quickly for some, and take more time for others, but it’s important to really go through each stage. 

After discussing the process of accepting the layoff itself, Karin von Hodenberg started the discussion about navigating moving forward with your career. She introduced the application process and things to know about applying and interviewing for new positions. Karin shares, “Now that you have, presumably, processed much of this information…now the next step is, now what do I do with this information? What do I do from here?” Her answer: look at your mindset. Karin introduced the conversation about a fixed mindset vs. a growth mindset and the major difference this shift can make in your job search. She shares that once you have a more growth-oriented mentality, you can approach your job search as an opportunity with positivity and really start to hone in on the details of the job search process. You can begin asking questions like “What do I need out of my next position?” and “What type of position am I looking for?” Then you can really start to get into tailoring your job search, resume, and interview answers. 

The series will continue on May 24th with “Landing a Job Through Recruiters Eyes.” This event will feature recruiters Beth Goldberg, Senior Director, Human Resources Business Partner at Mersana Therapeutics and Carolyn Shea-Morrone, US Region Head of Talent Acquisition R&D and Vaccines at Takeda. They have decades of experience between them and will be sharing their insight into the recruiting process, what recruiters are looking for in candidates, how to ask great questions, what kinds of things to avoid, and so much more. This live panel will also give participants the opportunity to ask questions to help to really understand how to approach the job search process and ace the interview. For anyone considering applying for a new job, this event could become career-changing. A little insight into how to make the best first impression can go a long way in landing your next position. 

The final event in this series will be on June 7th. This event, “From Being Laid Off to Career Changes: Different Stories of the Job Search Journey,” will feature a panel that will represent different stages of the job search process, from currently searching to having found a new position. This panel has seen it all and will share their insight, tips, and support as you go through the job-seeking process. This panel will be an excellent way to close out this series and provide insight and excitement to those seeking a new position. 

The “Laid Off Series: Navigating the Storm and Moving Forward with Your Career,” is one to mark on your calendars. Each free event will provide support, insight, and encouragement to take a difficult, uncertain situation, and make it feel like something you can navigate and come out of stronger. If you missed the first event in this series, you can still register for the event on the WEST website and receive a link to watch the recording through the end of May. This week will see the series progress to “Landing a Job Through Recruiters Eyes,” which you won’t want to miss. Join us Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at 12 PM for the next event and learn how to not let being laid off stop you from growing into a new, amazing career opportunity!

Topics: STEM, Career, Interview, Panel, Job, Professional, Change, Solutions, Career Path, Developing Your Skills, Career Development, New Opportunities, Hiring, STEM Women, Hiring Women in STEM, Experience

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