How to Survive Being Let Go From Your Job

Being let go from a job isn’t easy. Matter of fact, it’s the worst. It can come out of nowhere and even if you were expecting it, it still can leave you disappointed and feeling lost about where you went wrong. I would know: I was just fired.

I think the worst part had to be showing up to my once overflowing desk to nothing more than a wiped clean workspace and no one in sight, but the office receptionist waiting to tell me “HR wants to see you.” Three months into my new position, I was let go for being “unreliable” after calling out sick. Truthfully, I think there were many other factors (i.e the company likely being sold) that influenced this abrupt dismissal, but nonetheless, it was a hard blow. I felt kicked in the stomach and found myself standing outside what was once my office building on the bustling New York street, sobbing uncontrollably and questioning/cursing ‘why things happen how they do.’

It’s been over a week since then and while I know this is just the beginning, but here are a few things that have gotten me through my anxiety during this experience:

1. Cry it out
I’m a huge crier. There’s just something about physically releasing your emotions - it’s super cathartic. Sometimes, like in this kind of situation, I just need to sit in my room and let it all go, snot, loud gasping, the whole she-bang. Afterwards, I look at myself in the mirror and say, “Ok Cheyenne, now that you’ve got that all out...what are you going to do now?”

2. Lean on your support system.
Don’t be afraid to call upon those people that love you. We’ve been taught that being let go is a bad reflection on US and that WE should feel embarrassed so the first thing I felt was ‘how am i going to explain this?’ or ‘what is everyone going to think?’ - Those feelings lasted probably 30 seconds because my mom called and the first thing she said was, “I’m so sorry. This is bullshit!” After you know you’ve got someone on your side, things don’t seem so bad.

3. Find a healthy way to vent.
This is a must do. Find someone that you can vent to because you’re going to have some words for the responsible party. Now I don’t recommend a public Twitter rant blasting the company or anything that can be labeled slander - we don’t need a lawsuit AND no job. Call up someone in your support group and chat out all the reasons you’re better off without the job. You can also write a letter saying everything you need to say, and then just don’t send it.

4. Treat yourself.
You’re probably going to feel a little in the dumps so do yourself a favor and treat yourself to something special like a massage, or a mani and pedi or heck, take yourself to your favorite restaurant. Showing yourself some love is just what you need in this moment and don’t feel guilty about it. You deserve a little something nice after taking a hit to your confidence.

5. Take time to think about what you want next.
The first thought that crossed my mind after I left what used to be my office was, “What the HELL was I going to do next?” I had no plan, no back up savings to fall back on and a lot of free time to think and let my anxiety get the best of me. But if I stop and honest for myself, it was probably my anxiety and fear that rushed me into taking my last job in the first place. This time around I really want to take time and think about what I want my career path to look like and how I can get there. Ive realized that not every job is going to be glamorous and not all work places are the same, but there are things that are important to me that I’m not willing to compromise: a safe and accepting workplace, a manager that believes in me and a company with values that I believe in. Being someone with anxiety that’s constantly tied to my personal value, I take my performance seriously. I know after being in specific situations that not every work place if set up to see it’s employees succeed. This newfound time off is truly a blessing in disguise and the more time I take away from my old role, the more I see that it wasn’t right for me and there’s something better out there. This time around, I know I cant force something because I’m desperate or I’ll just end up unhappy. My goal this time around is to take the time I need and do my due diligence to find a career path that satisfies me creatively and mentally, for now, I’m funemployed.

Cheyenne Adler