Navigating Your Layoff

Recently, we hosted our first event of our newly-launched Career Accelerator: Navigating your Layoff with executive leadership coaches Valerie McIntyre-Baird and Abhay Sisodiya.

Val and Abhay provided guidance for thinking and talking about your layoff and wrapped up the conversation with some action items that individuals experiencing a layoff can do.

Below, they share their insights.

Thinking about your layoff


First and foremost, both Val and Abhay stressed the importance of acknowledging the pain, fear, loss– or whatever emotion you have surrounding your layoff. The last thing you need when you are already feeling down is to feel shame for feeling that way.


Once you are able to acknowledge your emotions around your layoff, the reframing process can begin. Abhay and Valerie suggested trying to think of your lay off as an opportunity to experiment in designing your life and shift your focus away from what you lost and toward what you want to find.


We asked Abhay and Val what questions someone should ask themselves before starting their job-seeking journey:

  1. What are the things you have always wanted to do but never had the time to do?
  2. Reflect back on your last position (look at an old calendar if you have one)- what tasks made you feel energized?
  3. What tasks made you feel depleted?
  4. Be careful about what you are good at. Do you enjoy it? Do you get lost in it?
  5. What did people thank you for in your previous roles? This may be where your value is.
  6. What are roles, careers, or industries that you’re really curious about?

Talking about your layoff

It can be hard to talk about your layoff even with the people closest to you. Val recommends crafting a short ‘past-present-future’ statement. Here is what it includes:

Past: “This is what I was doing” for example: “I was made redundant.”

Present: “This is where I am at right now”, for example: “Right now, I have an opportunity to rethink what it is I want to do.”

Future: “This is where I am hoping to go” for example, “What I’m really interested in is pursuing a career in X or to learn more about Y.”

Val suggests a simple statement like this helps you not only talk about your layoff, it also helps shift focus away from the past, and toward next steps.

Moving forward


You don’t have to go through this alone, but remember– you also are not obligated to tell everyone your story. Find the people in your life that you trust to share your situation with, people who have your best interest at heart, and people who will tell you the truth.


Navigating a layoff is emotionally draining. Make sure you continuously check in with yourself and make sure you are keeping your mental and physical wellness as your top priority. Take breaks. Make time to do the things that you love. Rest. It is impossible to move forward if you do not take care of yourself first.


Once you have taken time to reflect– identify the gap between where you are and where you want to go. For some, it will be adding new skills to complement their previous experience. For others – it will be taking the leap to make a full career change by reskilling. This is up to you to decide!

We were so thrilled to have Abhay and Val join us for our first event of the Career Accelerator. To see the full discussion follow the instructions below and we will send you an instant replay of the webinar.

Subscribe to the Career Accelerator to receive the webinar replay

indicates required
Navigate Your Layoff