#1 if you work in a dynamic environment you will see more than one. Life/tech is a roller coaster. If this is your first it’s brutal but you will survive it.
#2 We all need to realize we are more than our work. Yes pay is important and getting laid off sucks but remember the people who love you and think you are valuable and awesome and kind despite your job. Check in with the people who think you are the shit. Turn to your parents, friends and community to remind yourself you are more than what you do for money.
#3 Your company may have been awesome but they are still a business and anything can happen. I have been laid off a few times due to acquisitions, recessions, hostile takeovers, you name it and rarely was it any fault of mine. Remember it’s often not any fault of yours.
#4 Save for this! You may have made more money year over year and been promoted but times change and it doesn’t always last. I know not everyone can save but often that day comes and the unexpected should be expected.
#5 You are allowed to enjoy your life if you aren’t working. Sure we may need to tighten the belt and money is often a huge issue but you are still allowed to live. Take walks, see friends, grab a sandwich and meet friends in a park. The money you spend for that will be worth the mental health benefits of seeing people and getting out.
#6 Job hunting is not a full time job. It is a designated part of your day where you do what you can to move chess pieces forward, networking, meeting with people and the occasional application depending on how your roles are filled. I suggest you do it early in the day and get it done so you can grant yourself permission to do other things that feed you and keep you sane the rest of the day.
#7 Do something you love every day. Take a walk, cook something new, get a beer or whatever makes you tick and be among people to remember that life is more than a job.
#8 If you take care of yourself you will be ready for that next new gig that will come. You won’t be good at interviewing if you haven’t fed yourself and feel empty and alone. Do whatever you can to fill your cup.
#9 Have a routine! When work doesn’t call you, make your own schedule. Enjoy some reading, shower early and get dressed. Always feed yourself. Walk, clean out a drawer, unsubscribe from all those pesky emails. Just get up and do something to feel productive, whatever that is for you.
#10 This is not my first time and likely not my last. I have done it horribly and done it well and when done well I refreshed and when done not so well I stressed myself so much I was no good for anyone, not my partner, my friends, or an interviewer. I hope this helps a little and I know there are more stresses people face that I didn’t address, kids, H1B etc but having been through it a number of times, I wanted to add what I could.
It’s hard. It sucks. It won’t last forever. Nothing does.