Everybody Gets Fired

It's that unscheduled meeting with your manager and ends in a few moments of pained silence. After that, you're out of there. Maybe you knew it was coming all along, maybe you thought it was weird that you hadn't had a project in weeks. Or maybe not. Most people (and for very good reasons) identify with their employment and losing it often feels like losing part of who they are. It's not uncommon to feel weird and alone, with reservations about how you spent the past months, or even years, of your life. Kate Wendleton, president of a national career coaching organization, warns: "The first challenge following a layoff is to conquer your emotions."

Don't think about it

It probably makes, really, very little sense. I was once fired for being too chatty on the job. The next week, they fired my now-former coworker who had never talked once. You can think yourself to death about why it was you, instead of the guy one desk over who got the talk, but that's because "People lose their minds," says Liz Ryan, author of Reinvention Roadmap: Break the Rules to Get the Job You Want and Career You Deserve. You've got to keep yours.

Stay Classy

Over at Forbes, Susan Adams, talks about how impressed she was by an email that a former employee mass-sent that was "striking in its tone of grace and confidence" and "offered heartfelt praise for the whole staff." So do that. For anyone not directly involved with your termination (which is probably one or two people at most), you can control the narrative of your departure and keep the doors open between you and any of your coworkers.

It's also tempting—especially if you know exactly why you were fired and who's really to blame—to let loose on social media, now that you can tell the truth. But alerting your vast group of friends and not-quite friends that something is wrong about the whole way a business is run doesn't translate very well either. In fact, Wendleton, recommends not to "talk to anyone outside your inner circle," until you've let your emotions settle. But don't let that stop you from:

Getting (back) on that Linkedin

Krista Canfield, a former Linkedin PR manager, recommends updating the current tab and professional headline tabs of your profile immediately in order to tell prospective employers what kind of position you see yourself in. Maybe you want to give a stab at PR after years of editorial.

Haven't been on the job market in the past two years? Then your Linkedin presence might be a tad underdeveloped or you might think your profession or goals aren't something that needs a linkedin. Well, they do: check out the good Deborah Jacobs for some excellent tips on how to craft one, fresh on the marketplace and contemplating a new direction. "Label yourself as what you would like to be," she advises, don't feel "limited by what your last job title was."

Also? Aim for punchy language. "Use active verbs, amply convey your responsibilities, and show results."

But Get On It!

One big temptation, if you can afford it, is to use the occasion to take the small (and undoubtedly well-deserved) break from the grind. Sandy Johnson, a former vice president at NEXCareer Inc. who now runs her own career and outplacement firm, is adamant: "Putting your toes in the sand could feel pretty good, but may be equivalent to sticking your head into it."

If you had worked at your old job for a while, make sure that you made every push you can for best severance package available to you. Make sure that you get everything that's due. And, more importantly, make sure you don't lose focus on the job market. Set a goal of applying for a certain number of jobs everyday and stick to it. Your better job will thank you.

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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Did you hear about the Great Resignation? It isn’t over. Just over two years of pandemic living, many offices are finally returning to full-time or hybrid experiences. This is causing employees to totally reconsider their positions.

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