• Priya Venkatesan

Bouncing back from lay-offs

Updated: Nov 18







The world of business entered the season of scaled lay-offs few weeks ago.

Some of my clients have also got impacted.


However long they saw it coming, there is disappointment of an un-lived future that was dear to them.


There is a little fear around financial security. There is ambiguity coupled with uncertainty.


There is some guilt - of bets not taken, of pivots not made, of people not served etc.


There is some unsolicited pity to deal with from others.


There is a flood of emotions - from anger to resentment to disillusionment.


There is nervousness around the unseen future.





I would like to sincerely acknowledge the gravity of emotion that people in the arena will be going through.

It is never easy. As a coach with an intention of supporting in a way that I can, I am penning this piece.


The below are some thoughts that will help find your own resilience if you or your loved one is going through this.



  1. Normalising emotions

Emotions are messengers. It's absolutely normal to have a surge of emotions in the face of unsolicited change.


"Why me?" is more often the question that lingers.

While we may not always be able to find an answer for that question - we can sure find the kind of person we can become to be ready for our future.


Life has mysterious ways to re-route us to get us to the place we need to be by becoming the person we ought to be.

Experiencing our emotions without judgement leads us to acceptance with low resistance.


As your emotions arise, let them be.

If Journalling helps you, write your thoughts down.

If taking a break helps you to process emotions, go for it.

Whatever helps you be with the emotions, singing, dancing, hiking, gaming - use any tool to experience your emotions fully and when they reduce in intensity - process them.


Seek support from family and friends to help you in the process. Seek professional help if you find that the emotions are overwhelming and crippling.





2. Extracting learnings with gratitude in your own timeline


Every experience lived has a great amount of learning bundled with it.


Your experience in your ex-organisation would have had its own highs & lows that would contribute into your growth.


Reflect & extract the learnings before you let it go.


Seeing our timeline at 32000 feet can give us broader perspective than getting stuck at the blips.


Gratitude is a healing emotion.

Once you feel gratitude for what you have experienced, you are ready to let the experience go.

The journey can last as long as you deem as a reasonable timeline.


Getting out of it faster is not the goal. Getting out of it as a whole person is.


3. Becoming open to transition zones


Once you let go with gratitude you enter the transition zone.

It's called the liminal space for a reason.

It's when the past is not fully over and future not fully in - the space between what was to what next?


The transition zone sometimes is the waiting lounge where things are cooking but the dish is not fully made.


You start applying for various positions and you are waiting for interviews or results. However frustrated it makes it feel - you will see the light very soon. Its like waiting in the airport for your flight.


You can deeply enhance your quality of waiting by utilising the time well in a way that nourishes you - investing in self growth, family etc.

More on transitions here.



4. Preserving the sense of Optimism

Optimism is to live life as if you are playing a game where there is even chance of getting your outcomes.

Its more of a state of mind to play than ignoring the reality of the situation.

Martin Seligman in his book Learned Optimism

talks about negativity bias & helpless that can be overcome by learned Optimism. That is because an Optimist views bad situations as temporary, specific and by external cause and has a sense of agency in getting past it.


Be the Optimist in your life.

5. Have a Plan & Stay the course


Sometimes the search for your next vocation can become a marathon instead of a sprint. That depends on a lot of factors outside your control like business climate, supply & demand, geography etc.


Remember to do just the next action you have control on.




Small actions taken consistently over a period of time can greatly enhance your chances of bagging future opportunities than languishing over the time delay.



This is where your network can play a huge role in supporting you. Pls have the courage to reach out to people who can help you find what you are looking for:- colleagues, mentors, advisors etc.


What can you do to bounce back from adverse news on your job?

What can you do to support your community going through bad news?


#executivecoaching #leadershipcoaching #layoff #resilience

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