How to Deal with Layoff Survivor Syndrome
Layoff survivor syndrome is hard to shake off. Whenever you go into the office, the air is thick with gossip and fear. Rumors of who's next on the list or who's leaving in the next few weeks make it much harder to deal with the problem. But how can you deal with the symptoms of layoff survivor syndrome while still heading to the office?
The key is to keep an open mind but also understand the cold hard truth – every employee is a number to the business. It's natural to be angry when the business lays off employees, but you need to understand that it's not personal. Don't take the layoffs as personal attacks on coworkers and friends. Separate the emotional feelings away from your job to try to keep your high stress levels down.
Communicate your feelings. Whether it be to a manager or a close personal friend, communicate how you feel and let the emotions out. Holding onto the emotions will keep your negative feelings lingering and keep you from focusing on other important matters. Some would consider this venting, but at times, venting is a good way of clearing the air.
Another way to communicate your feelings is to go out with friends for your regular hobbies, and bring the layoffs up as a topic. This isn't to try to forget the situation, but to rather communicate it to others, how you feel and the fears you're faced with. You'll be surprised to see how supportive your friends will be when you open up and let out your fears about your current situation.
Updating your resume is also a good, proactive approach to take. It allows you to take a small break and look back on how you helped the company. In addition to helping you look back on your career highlights, it also puts you that much closer to applying to other jobs. Some layoff survivors do not update their resumes and hope that they are not next in line, which is a big mistake. Having an updated resume actually helps you support the reasons for your job, and lessens the stress of thinking you'll be next in line. In addition, it adds a bit of padding, knowing that your resume is ready to go out, if you are unfortunately laid off.
And last but not least, when layoff survivor syndrome hits, it's best to remember that you are working to live, not living to work. A layoff is not the end of the world. It's just another hurdle in life.