Thread regarding 7-Eleven, Inc. layoffs

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4 ways to overcome the stigma of layoffs and find a new job in today's economy

| 969 views | | 1 reply (July 28, 2022)
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Layoffs can be devastating — Americans' livelihoods and healthcare often depend on full-time employment. What's more, losing a job can feel like a personal failure.
This year, layoffs, hiring freezes, and rescinded job offers in tech and finance have economists worried about an economic downturn. This news has also spooked employees: In a recent survey of US workers from the IT-management company Insight Global, 78% of respondents said they were worried about their job security if the country entered another recession.
Meanwhile, Gillian Williams, a partner and cofounder at Monday Talent, a recruitment agency in marketing and communications, said it's becoming increasingly common for workers to have gaps in their résumés because of layoffs caused by the pandemic. In March 2020, a record 11.4 million people were laid off as a result of state lockdowns and restrictions.
Now, people are speaking openly on social media about their layoffs to break the stigma associated with losing a job.
"More than ever, there's a sense of global camaraderie, like we've all been through this trauma of the pandemic," Williams said. "People are more inclined to help than ever before."
Despite the layoffs in some industries, workers are reentering a strong labor market — unemployment is low, and job openings remain at record highs. But Michelle Matthews, a career strategist at her professional-services company, Boss Up & Hustle Consulting, said workers must grapple with the disappointment, betrayal, and shame of losing their jobs so they can have the right mindset when they apply for new roles.
Williams and Matthews shared their advice for overcoming the stigma of layoffs and how to reenter the hiring market with confidence.
Look to your network for opportunities
Matthews is a proponent of using LinkedIn to find opportunities. As people have used the professional platform to share news of their layoffs, it's starting to break down the stigma of being let go, she said.
If you're thinking about posting on social media, Williams said, it's important to avoid bad-mouthing your former employer. She suggested using a hopeful, honest tone and outlining which types of positions you're looking for as a call to action.
"I've heard from a lot of people that their layoff was a blessing in disguise," Williams said. "There are so many amazing opportunities out there, right? So in a lot of ways, it can be a fresh start."
Get your confidence back
Matthews focuses on helping her clients go into job interviews with the right mindset. After you're laid off, it's important to take the time to work through your emotions and regain confidence in your skills.
More often than not, layoffs are about the bottom line, not your personal performance, Matthews said. Know that in situations where the economy starts to go south, a layoff isn't your fault and it's not a reflection of who you are as a person, she added.
She encourages job seekers to talk about what happened with friends, family, and professional peers to hear from people who care about them.
"The better you feel, the better opportunities you can find," Matthews said.
Know how to talk about what happened
When you're starting to apply for new jobs, Williams said it's important to practice talking about your layoff. But she suggested keeping your explanation brief: It shouldn't be a rant, and you shouldn't bash your former employer.
Instead, take the opportunity to talk about what you learned from the experience of working there and what you are looking for in your next position.
Focus on your skills
As you work through the frustration of being laid off, Williams said, you should also think about your projects and career growth at your last job, even if the ending was unexpected.
When you're talking about your experience in a cover letter or job interview, you should still highlight ways you produced returns on investment in your last job and skills that you will bring to the next company, she added. Then you don't have to linger on being let go.
"The layoff is the end part, not the biggest piece of the overall discussion of your work," Williams said. "Dive into it as if you were still in the role in terms of what you've done and the legacy you left behind."

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