The consistent layoff notifications and following gut-wrenching social posts have been overwhelming. I have engaged with countless friends, peers, former colleagues, and strangers on the significant detriment these decisions are having on those impacted and everyone around them.
Having been affected by two layoffs in my career, I have empathy and compassion for the people facing this reality. I see new parents trying to make sense of the emotions they have as they bring a new life into the world while also losing their job. I see individuals reeling from losing family members while also processing losing their job. I see families struggling to pay their mortgage, pay tuition, and afford skyrocketing costs for basic necessities having lost critical income. So many lives and livelihoods have been turned upside down.
I want to wrap my arms around everyone and say, “It’s going to be ok.” I want to take the pain and emotional turmoil away because I’ve lived it and have the deep scars to show for it. I survived and learned a lot in the aftermath. The truth is that it is hard. It takes will, focus, time, grit, and work to go through all the stages and intentionally rebuild. It takes courage to be ready and able to accept where you are and engage with what’s next. If we don’t create the space and time required for this healing and transition, the anger, sadness, disappointment, frustration, and loss will fester and show up to bite us later on.
Life happens. We are not in control of the universe, the economy, or the decisions businesses and leaders make that impact us. The quicker we can redirect our focus and energy to what we can control, our responses and actions, the quicker we can do what we need to heal and step forward. This doesn’t mean that we erase what happened. We continue to acknowledge these life-changing events. We continue to focus our attention on the truth of these events and steer away from those stories we’ve made up in our heads. The impact on those directly affected and those one, two, and three degrees separated is real. This impact will serve all as an ongoing growth opportunity for many years and situations to come.
Finding clarity in the discomfort creates space to move forward. Ask and offer support. Share your journey. Empower yourself to evolve by letting go of what’s weighing you down. Step into your authentic self and rise to embrace what’s next.