So many people often ask me How did I start Eating with Erica? Well if I am being honest, let me let you in on a little secret. Eating with Erica started all because one day I was… laid off. There, I said it. Being laid off is a bit of a non-talked about topic, and while it is never easy, and more times not preventable at all – for me it was a blessing in disguise. Keep reading to see my top 6 tips to help you survive a layoff should it happen to you at an unexpected time.
Since 2020, life has been very unpredictable. People seem unhinged at times, the economy seems to be up and down, and inflation is at an all time high. We are all feeling it, which means employers are also feeling it- and sometimes businesses start to suffer which means cutting back. Of course cutting back, often includes the big L word- LAYOFFS! When I was laid off, it became a pivotal moment that lead to the birth of my brand “Eating with Erica”. Going through it I was shocked and hurt and it was a very unexpected, devastating blow. In the moment I thought it was the WORST thing that could have happened to me, however; a decade later- I view it as the best thing to ever have happened.
Why? Well, mainly because that layoff compelled me to grow and create something truly special. With the support of an incredible severance package and my now-husband, I had the chance to stay home and let my creativity flourish. While I know for everyone that might not be the same experience, and can definitely impact everyone totally differently- I am sharing 6 tips that helped me survive a layoff.
// Faith and Perspective // The moment I was laid off, I retreated to my car and prayed. My faith reassured me that God has always guided me through challenges. I understood that this was just a chapter in my life, not the whole story. I knew I needed to maintain faith, devise a plan, and start hustling. Sometimes all it takes is a little faith and perspective to get a bit of clarity and figure out the best plan of action to get through this time.
// Networking // The very next day, fortified with a splash of Jack in my coffee, I drafted an email to trusted friends and colleagues, informing them of my situation and seeking job leads. Social media can be deceptive; people often assume you’re thriving based on a few cheerful snapshots. Reaching out was hard because I’m not naturally inclined to ask for help. But as my dad always said, “Swallow your ego; it’s fat-free.” Networking is vital. So get ready to throw on your favorite outfit, a smile, and network your butt off. For me this Mullet dress is great for networking because it’s a bit business in the front and party in the back. Great for a social event , date night or a brunch with friends.
// Engage in a Hobby // Being unemployed can be mentally taxing. Engage in activities to divert your attention. Join a book club, find a walking group, volunteer in your community, or even write that book you’ve been postponing. Delve into crocheting or any hobby- basically anything to keep your mind active and sometimes when you find a new hobby you are stimulated to come up with new ideas, make new connections, and more.
// Budgeting // Financial uncertainty is inevitable post-layoff. Until you secure another job, it’s crucial to be prudent with your finances. Examine your expenses and make necessary adjustments. If that means holding off on the Starbucks for a while and making your own fancy coffee at home- it is what it is. If I am being honest- I have learned I like my morning at home coffee ritual a bit better (and I think I make it better) but also have learned it is my time to reflect, journal, brainstorm ideas for my brand and more. Budgeting doesn’t have to be boring- sometimes you can find something you appreciate from it.
// Insurance Check // One big thing I can say to do ASAP before your insurance possibly lapses, consult with your provider. Schedule any pending doctor’s appointments or health checks. Better to be on top of it since you aren’t sure when you will be making it back in. This way you can get any prescription refills you might need, last minute things you have been too busy to do completed – and of course, a clean bill of health.
// Be Prepared At All Times // Ensure your resume is polished and your interview skills are sharp.Having an updated resume ready at all times, can be HUGE when it comes to finding a new job especially if someone you have networked with is trying to fit you in really fast- it is always best to be prepared. A polished resume can go a long way in a tough job market AND it can help save you potentially weeks or months of being unemployed. SO always be prepared!
Being laid off is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. It happens to the best of us. It’s not about how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you rise again. By sharing this, I hope to offer solace and strategies to anyone navigating the tumultuous waters of job loss. Have you been laid off recently or ever before? If so, what are a few of your tips to surviving a layoff? Share them in the comments below!