Dealing with the doubts and demons of being laid-off

23 June 2023
Ragini Ravichandran Written by Ragini Ravichandran
Ragini Ravichandran

Ragini Ravichandran

Ragini is a content writer by passion. When not writing, she enjoys reading and having...

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“I just wanted to let you know that we are cutting down on resources and are letting you go.”

The words continued to ring in my ears for many hours after the conversation with the HR of my company.

My heart was pounding, my brain was fogged, and had turned into a cauldron of thoughts and self-doubt – Why? Why is this happening to me right now? Where did it all go wrong? What am I going to do next? Which company will want to hire me? Do I even have a ‘career’? What will people think of me when I tell them I got laid off?

Numerous motivational quotes and stories flashed through my mind. The entire year has been about layoffs – friends or friends of friends getting laid off. I remembered a few LinkedIn posts that spoke about a remarkable career coming to an end while asking readers to share any vacancies that they came across.

Now, what nobody really tells you about a layoff is this – it shakes your confidence. Despite knowing perfectly well that it is not your fault, it makes you feel responsible and vulnerable. It makes you wonder so many things about your career choices and life in general.

Having grown up in an environment that emphasized careers and equated success in life to being financially stable and having a great career, I felt like a failure. Coming to terms with the situation was a process in itself. I had always believed that I had a plan in place for everything. Now, how do I navigate a situation that I had not even contemplated? My self-esteem was at its lowest. I did not know I could feel a zillion strong emotions till then – disappointment, betrayal, worthlessness, and more!

Ragini Ravichandran

It took me quite a few days to talk about it among my circle. It felt really shameful to say that I was asked to leave the company.

Everyone around me kept telling me, “Everything happens for a reason. Maybe all this is for a better purpose.” But, what I couldn’t understand was how do I cope with my feelings? Given how each of us copes in different ways, I tried different things. I journaled, or at least tried to – the words wouldn’t flow onto the page. I tried to be grateful for whatever I had in my life, but it isn’t easy to show gratitude when your heart is filled with resentment and pain.

I tried my best to show up for myself every single day. The initial days had me finding comfort in food and sleep. What did not help or soothe my ego was constantly applying to companies and receiving endless rejection emails!

I managed to reach a certain stage of acceptance only a few weeks after being laid off. I would go to sleep with the question of whether I’ll ever land a job, and I would wake up thinking that existence is such a pain. I guess there is no magic cure to the ‘meh’ that a layoff leaves you with.

Does it get easier? Eventually, I guess. Does it still hurt? Definitely! Allowing yourself to feel all the emotions without holding back is the first step towards the journey. Gaining an acceptance of the situation and gently nudging yourself to keep trying is how you put it all behind you.

It’s been a few days since I reached where I am today, having made peace with reality. Looking back, I just want to hug my vulnerable self and let her know that “this too shall pass.”

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not reflect those of MyndStories. As a first-person account, this is not verified or vetted by our in-house review board.

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