Nobody dreams of being let go from a job. Obviously, a layoff can do some crazy things to you: It can leave you in a state of financial instability, act as a serious roadblock in your career, become a source of embarrassment and totally mess with your self-confidence. But here’s what you need to know if you’re struggling to get back on your feet after losing a job: It’s so not the end of the world.
Being laid off, fired, or displaced after your company shuts down might suck in the short term — but chances are, it’ll be little more than a blip on your radar down the line. In fact, if you’re anything like these seven people, it might just be the best thing ever happens to your career.
1. Sometimes the third time really is the charm.
“In mid 2014, I was recruited for my dream job…The salary and benefits were substantial. The position was meant to be long term. Unfortunately, budget cuts necessitated layoffs. My supervisor was apologetic, but had no recourse but to let the majority of the staff go. Since then, I have taken on other writing and editing jobs — as well as speaking and teaching gigs — that have kept me afloat. When fear rears its head, I remind myself that I have marketable skills that companies and individuals need. I consider myself successful in the face of those doubts.” — Edie
2. Who needs a desk job when you could get famous?
“I was working as an assistant in finance. I loved it but was torn between a career in entertainment. I started skipping work for auditions, ect. I got demoted and was miserable, so they canned me. I’m now living in LA discussing TV Movie deals with Fox and Netflix!” — Kelly
3. Multiple layoffs don’t mean you suck.
“I actually can’t remember how many times I have been laid off… four or five. I eventually stopped trying to find traditional employment and developed my own creative projects. Financially, I still have a lot of room to grow, so I’m not sure how you are defining ‘success,’ as that seems somewhat subjective. While I’m still growing my platform, I’m already a best-selling author and a recording artist, so I consider it a success to have found a way to do work I love after so many lay-offs. ” — Brittany
4. Sometimes a layoff pushes you to go after your dreams.
“Being laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me — it forced me to take the leap and make my side-business, a chalk art supplies brand called VersaChalk, into a full time job.I was laid off unexpectedly in 2014 from my cushy corporate finance job making $75 thousand a year with good benefits and an easy schedule. At the time, I had been operating a small online store that was making $1000 per month or so.. Not a lot, but enough to cover most of the necessities. This year, my business will hit $4 million in revenue and net about $500-700 thousand. I’m sure I wouldn’t have had the guts to take the critical step to push me into full time entrepreneurship unless I was laid off, so it was definitely a blessing in disguise!” — Steve
5. First comes the layoff, next comes the million-dollar business.
“I am co-founder of GreenPal which has been described as Uber for lawn care. After working as a financial analyst for a technology company, I was laid off due to a loss of a $250 million contract. All is well because I was able to start my business exactly one year later. We are in our 4th year of business and have grown over 300% every year.. We started in one market and now service 6 states and will do over $1 million in gross revenue this year.” — Gene
6. A layoff does not mean your career will suck:
“When I was 21 and had just graduated college, I moved to Moscow, where I had spent my junior year of college – since I wondered if I could make a life in a foreign language and country. I worked for an English language magazine, but the publisher of said magazine and I decidedly did not click. After one too many arguments, he forced the editor to fire me…and I was devastated. First job out of college and after less than a month, I’m fired, clearly, I must be a loser. But since I wasn’t ready to return home just yet, the next day I faxed my resume around, and the day after, I was invited to interview by the bureauchief of NBC News’ Moscow Bureau. Long story short: by that weekend, I was working for network news, making bank, it was the beginning of an amazing eight-year career in network news, so for me personally, being fired from a crap jobwas the best thing ever. Never looked back.” — Carlotta
7. Treating yourself to a crazy trip after a layoff is a solid idea.
“I was laid off just over a year ago — July 26th to be exact, and I will NEVER forget that date. I got an email as I was in the elevator heading towards my office, letting me know I was being let go. I was STUNNED! Anxiety filled my body and I felt every human emotion when it happened, right after it happened, and for months afterwards. The good news: after taking a few weeks off to soul search, even went on a crazy trip to Burning Man (that’s a whole other story…my parents thought I had lost my mind at that point), I then made a conscious decision to follow my dreams which has always been to start my own business. Dreamcatcher Creative Marketing will be celebrating its first anniversary on October 14 and I couldn’t feel more proud, happy and fulfilled. I work just as many hours as I did at the job I was laid off from, but its different, very different, and I will never look back.” — Jennifer