Last week I was laid off.
Yes, like budget-was-cut-and-now-I’m-unemployed-with-a-million-bills-to-pay laid off.
Though I received a generous severance package and a ton of reassurance from my boss that this had nothing to do with my performance and everything to do with budget, it was still a huge blow to my ego. The biggest part of my life was ripped out from under me with very little notice and I felt embarrassed, confused, shocked, and worthless. I had always identified as the ambitious one among my group of friends and suddenly I was left unemployed at 24 and feeling like I had failed.
Being so young, I am the first of my friends to be laid off from a job so I didn’t have a lot of people I could turn to for advice or guidance on getting through the initial shock and picking myself back up. I also live alone in a city that I only stayed in post-break up (if you follow my writing you’ll know what I’m talking about) for the same job that laid me off (yay) so I have basically been going through this transition alone.
It’s only been a week and a half since it happened, but I’m already feeling so much better and have a lot going on in my job hunt. To my surprise, I am actually way busier than I was while I was employed and have managed to keep my spirits fairly high. I would go as far as to say that I am literally killin’ the unemployed hustle and here’s a few ways all you unemployed Millennials (because I know there’s a lot of us) can kill it, too.
How To Be Unemployed
1.Don’t take any time off
The first thing that people said to me the day I got laid off was
stop sobbing I can’t understand you “take a week off” or “take some time off to figure out your next move” or “you don’t need to start your job hunt right away.”
I know this advice comes from a place of love (because trust me, I was in no fucking state to make any life-changing decisions that day), but it doesn’t help. The job market has changed. Gone are the days when positions are posted for weeks or even months at a time with an official “closing date” after which all applicants are assessed equally. Nowadays most jobs are only posted until they find the best candidate as quickly as possible.
That candidate could be you!…But you’ll lose it to someone else if you don’t act fast.
Plus there is absolutely nothing worse than sitting around wallowing in your own self-doubt. If you lose your job, take the day to cry and then wake up the next day ready to slay.
The best way to get over an old job is to get under a new one. Or however the saying goes.
2. Keep your routine
You know that alarm you are probably eager to turn off and that 9-5 schedule you can’t wait to break?
The best way to stay productive during unemployment is to keep your routine as normal as possible as if you were still working.
Still wake up early, still shower and get dressed (this is a big one!), still keep your regular exercise routine, and most importantly, still do work every day Monday-Friday during business hours. This could include applying for jobs, re-writing your resume, meeting connections for coffee, going to interviews, researching companies or industries you may be interested in, etc.
Whatever you were doing before you lost your job, keep doing it. Otherwise you could literally end up in a Netflix and chill coma for weeks with no job prospects, little self-esteem, and tbh probably bed sores.
3. Be social
Despite keeping my routine as normal as possible, job hunting in my shoebox apartment all day isn’t exactly the most fulfilling lifestyle.
When I was working I would look forward to coming home, working out (yes, I am one of those people, I’m sorry), and marathoning Real Housewives for like 5 consecutive hours until I went to bed. I was tired and enjoyed my anti-social downtime.
But when you’re not working, everyday is anti-social downtime! So it’s incredibly important to make social plans in the evenings. This will give you something to look forward to, can be a great distraction from what you’re going through, will give you opportunities to vent about your life, and ultimately keep your stress levels down by lifting your spirits up.
Staying cooped up in your house all day and then all night with no concrete purpose will only make you feel depressed and useless.
And remember, you don’t have time to be depressed because you gotta slay!
4. Lists, lists, lists
I don’t care if you’re a ~free spirit~ who feels bogged down by structure, if you are unemployed and don’t plan on running away to the hippy commune any time soon, make some fucking lists, ok?
There will be a lot that you have to re-organize in your life after losing your job. It can be such a traumatic time that you will easily forget things, but now is the time when you need to have all your ducks in a row more than ever.
Make pros and cons lists about opportunities that present themselves and any options you have now (i.e. Should you be looking for a job that pays more money? Or are you going to look for a job that will challenge you and help grow your career? What are your priorities right now?).
Write a list of all the things you need to do in order for you to tie up any loose ends at your old job and close that chapter (i.e. Do any of your e-bills go to your work email? Do you have any paperwork to fill out and send back? Do you have prescriptions or insurance claims to file before your benefits run out?).
And finally, write a to-do list everyday. DON’T FORGET THIS.
Check it off as you go along and watch yourself slaaaaaay everyday gurl!!!!!
Because revenge is best served
cold on your Linked In profile when you get a new job like 4 seconds being let go and show everyone what a boss ass bitch you are!!!!!
And if all else fails just quit the job hunt hustle and spend all your free time getting really skinny and tanned so you can sell tea on Instagram.