There couldn’t possibly be any benefits of being laid off, right? As someone in my late 20s, I have witnessed a good amount of people go through job loss due to layoffs.
To say it is defeating watching someone you love get laid off is an understatement, and to go through one yourself is just that much harder. I know you are probably going through a lot of emotions.
If you could use some help navigating your layoff and next steps, check out our post on what to do when you get laid off from work in your 20s.
However… what if I told you that there actually are some benefits of being laid off? That there are some silver-linings if you look for them, and that being laid off isn’t all bad?
Keep reading to see the 10 benefits of being laid off in your 20s. But first, let’s start with what it means to be laid off.
This post is all about the 11 benefits of being laid off in your 20s.
Laid Off Meaning
According to Investopedia, “a layoff is the temporary or permanent termination of employment by an employer for reasons unrelated to the employee’s performance.”
At first, it may be tempting to take your layoff personally, but try to default to the fact that it is not. Usually, layoffs occur because businesses need to restructure or cut costs in order to remain competitive and they have nothing to do with you on a personal level.
I used to think that you could make yourself absolutely indispensable at work, but even if you are a top performer at your company, you can be affected by layoffs. So again, it’s a good idea to try your best not to take it personally.
Now’s the time to focus less on the “why” you were laid off, and start to direct your attention to what you’re going to do now.
And now for the 11 benefits of being laid off:
1. You’ll gain life experience
First things first – while being laid off is never really something you want to happen to you, there’s no doubt that going through this experience will make you a more well-rounded person.
For starters, you’ll have much more empathy in the future whenever someone you care about goes through a lay off, because you’ve experienced it before.
You’ll be able to help them just as others helped you through your layoff, and you’ll be a great listening ear.
Similarly, if a layoff ever happens to you again, you’ll know what to expect. You’ll know a lot more about how to handle it emotionally, and what to do to find new employment because you’ve already been through a layoff before.
While being laid off is never ideal, getting through one will inevitably make you a stronger, more experienced person.
2. Layoffs “free” you from your job
If you are someone who doesn’t like your job for whatever reason, a lay off can be a blessing in disguise.
Maybe you’ve always wondered what it would be like to work for a different manager, or on a different team. Now you have the opportunity to break away from what you’re used to to find something that better suits you in your next job.
It can be hard to walk away from a steady paycheck, even when what we do every day from 9-5 isn’t something that makes us happy. But when you’re laid off, your company essentially quits for you.
Use this layoff to find a new employer or something in general that you genuinely enjoy showing up for 5 days a week. Make this work search the best one yet in terms of finding employment opportunities that really make you happy.
3. Layoffs give you an opportunity to pursue a side hustle
Do you have a side hustle that you’ve always dreamed of taking full-time one day? But maybe you’ve always been a little scared to take the leap?
As crazy as it sounds, your company has already done half the battle for you by laying you off. It’s a heck of a lot harder to decide to take a leap of faith and have to quit your secure job yourself. But now that you’ve been laid off, you’re already halfway there.
Now, all you have to do is decide to commit to your side hustle and believe in yourself enough to pursue it full-time. Are you up for the challenge? You can now make your professional life whatever you want it to be.
Maybe this layoff isn’t so bad after all!
4. You get to update your resume and LinkedIn
HR professionals (and probably even your colleagues and managers) often say it’s best to update your resume and LinkedIn page often just in case something like a layoff happens to you.
Well, if you weren’t prepared for this layoff, that’s totally fine. Luckily, it doesn’t take more than a few hours at most to update your resume and LinkedIn page with your most recent career experience.
While starting a job search is rarely fun, at least you are getting all of your career-related materials updated so that you don’t have to do it again for at least a few more months.
I know this is a very small silver-lining, but we gotta look for the little wins sometimes!
Just keep focusing on the next step – and right now that’s all about looking as good as possible to prospective employers!
5. You’ll have an opportunity to find a new job doing something completely different
This one is similar to #2, but it’s all about what you are actually doing at your job. Now that you’ve been laid off, when you really think about it, did you actually enjoy what you were doing? Maybe you even felt out of place or like you didn’t belong?
Well, the blessing of a layoff is that now you have the opportunity to find a job that you actually enjoy. Really take this time to think about the different career paths you could take at this point.
Have you always been doing data analysis but you’re more interested in social media? Then start reaching out to your network to people who might be able to help you break into that field.
Don’t sell yourself short – put yourself out there and pursue what you really want to do with your life. You never know where you could end up if you just try.
While being laid off is never fun, it gives you an opportunity to take your career in a totally different direction, if you’d like.
6. You’ll have an opportunity to find a new company with better/different benefits
Were there things about your most recent company that you didn’t particularly care for? Maybe the culture was a little toxic, or the benefits weren’t very good?
Take some time to think about, or even write down, the things that you wish were different about your previous company.
Then, when you start applying to new jobs, look for those things that you wish your last company had.
Do you value lots of PTO? A Christmas break? Recharge days? Paid maternity leave?
It is so important that you know what kind of benefits you value, so make sure you think about this when you’re applying to new jobs!
Being laid off is inconvenient, but at least now you have an opportunity to find a new job that better suits your needs.
Check out this list of work benefits if you could use some inspiration.
7. You’ll have more free time
There will be a lack of work for you if you get laid off, of course, so what do you want to spend your time doing when you’re not looking for a new job?
Do you want to spend more time with your dog? Partner? Kids? Do you want to get more exercise, explore your city, or really start grinding on your side hustle?
While being laid off and not knowing your immediate next move can definitely be stressful, times like these in life are often rare, so take advantage of this period of time and do the things you wouldn’t normally be able to do if you were working.
You might be thinking: well, I won’t have any free time! I’ll be searching for jobs the whole time!
If that sounds like you – be careful. You certainly don’t want to burn yourself out on your job hunt. Take some time for yourself to recharge every once in a while and make sure you prioritize your mental health along the way.
8. You will strengthen your network
Now’s the time to really leverage your network. You’ll probably have to get out of your comfort zone, but now’s the time to connect with past coworkers on LinkedIn if you haven’t already and start making a list of everyone you know that could potentially help you get a new job somewhere.
Think about people you went to school with, former colleagues, people you volunteered with, people you played sports with – everyone and anyone!
Now’s not the time to be shy about wanting to find a new job.
There is absolutely no shame in being laid off (it truly happens to soo many people!) so don’t be shy or feel silly about reaching out to others for help.
One day they might be reaching out to you for help, too.
9. You can use your time to learn a new skill or two
In your free time after being laid off, you can also try to learn a new skill that’ll make you even more marketable in your job search as you look for a new position.
Is there a skill you’ve always wanted to learn that you know could help you get the kind of job you really want? Then go for it!
There are so many free resources online between Google and YouTube to learn something new, but you can also try paid resources like LinkedIn Learning.
Take advantage of this time to really up-level your skills to make your job search just a little bit easier.
Plus, you’ll get some extra points in your interview when you tell them that you’ve been learning your new skill in your free time. It’ll show your interviewer that you are determined!
10. You may get a severance package
Laid-off employees typically get more than just a final paycheck – they oftentimes get severance pay. Your (now) former employer should provide you with all of these details, but you may just receive a lump sum of money from them now that you’ve been laid off.
While you may rather have a job (or a job offer) than a sum of money, the severance pay will hopefully be enough money to help you get through a few weeks’ or months’ time while you look at future employers.
You may also get extended health insurance for a few weeks or months after your official layoff date (or last day of work). Be sure to ask HR (human resources) or your manager about whether or not there will be a severance agreement and extended health benefits for you and what that will look like if so.
11. Watch your colleagues support you
Perhaps one of the most heart-warming things that can occur when you get laid off is watching your network come together to support you in ways you never thought possible.
You’d be surprised at just how many people have been through a layoff or know someone who has, so the amount of empathy you will experience will likely be through the roof.
For starters, if you’ve been laid off, there are likely more people at your company who have been laid off, too, right? If many people have been laid off, you can all reach out to each other to see how you can help each other find new jobs.
It is really amazing to see how people come together to support one another in times like this. You will probably also find that people who were not laid off at your company will offer a helping hand.
I’ve heard of previous coworkers helping with resume review, interview prep, LinkedIn review and so on. If a coworker offers up any of these skills and you could use their help, take them up on it!
And then return the favor one day when you’re the one on the other side of things 🙂
Good luck finding your new job or your next move! You got this! One day you may just say that being laid off was the best thing that ever happened to you.
This post is all about the 11 benefits of being laid off in your 20s.
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- What To Do When You Get Laid Off From Work In Your 20s
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