Laid Off: How it works when you’re gone doesn’t matter

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Jan 07

One of the questions I was asked when I got laid off was, with all the additional people being laid off, how all of the work would continue to get done with them gone.

And, being the one laid off, the answer was: how things will work really doesn’t matter.

It matters, of course, to the people that were not laid off. But, to me, it really doesn’t matter at all.

Yet, many people who are laid off spend a great deal of time talking to people about how things will work (or, worse, not work) after they are gone. They fixate on each process at work and how that will change now that they don’t have people in place to work the process.

Wondering how things will work when you are gone is a waste of time.

But, somewhat understandable. People who are committed to their work take things personally. Taking things personally raises their commitment and their game for getting things done. To be laid off, taken personally, means in some way that you are not worthy of being employed with your company. So they vent on how things will work when they are gone.

If you find that you are engaged in how things will work when you are gone, you are in a trap and need to get out of it. You need to determine what it is that is focusing you on something you no longer have any control over nor any ability to influence.

Instead, look hard at what you are feeling about being laid off. Examine what the work meant to your sense of well-being that is no longer in place. Only by understanding what the work meant will you be able to move on from how it will work in the old job to what you want to work in the new position.

  • Wendy says:

    Hi Scot — what a good observation. Most people are very invested in their jobs and it can be a big blow to the ego to get laid off or fired. Of course it will be tough on those left to pick up the loose ends at the office, however, for the laid off jobseeker, best strategy is to stay focused on moving forward and not on looking back. Great post.

  • Scot Herrick says:

    Thanks, Wendy. It is a hard thing to move forward, even when expecting to be laid off. Hopefully, this series of articles will help others who experience a layoff — both those who stay and those who go.

    Thanks for the comment.

  • […] Laid Off — How it works when you’re gone doesn’t matter […]

  • >