You just got let go. Welcome to the club (I’m sorry).
Take a seat, then take a deep breath. You’re probably here because you stumbled upon this link via Googling some combination of “media,” “journalism,” and “layoffs,” likely after experiencing the media industry’s most brutal rite of passage. If that’s true, I am deeply sorry. I have been there more times than I’d like to admit, but I’m no expert. I compiled this list of resources to both empathize and, hopefully, help in any small way a post on Medium written by a person on the internet can.
You might also be here looking for my personal musings on my own recent journalism layoff experience, so I will save you some screentime — you won’t find them below. You’ll find resources, links, GIFs, a playlist (yes, there’s a playlist), and more words about California’s AB-5, but nothing personal. The opinions and views expressed in links and items and songs in the playlist below do not in any way reflect my own personal views on my former employer, my layoff, your layoff, or the journalism industry as a whole. I’m also not profiting off any of the links in any way.
Now that all the personal disclaimers and brass tacks are done, let’s back to the business of being let go and letting go. Like you, I’ve done a lot of Googling and reading and overthinking and more Googling — here’s what I found to be the most helpful.
Good To Know
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1–800–273–8255
- Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration National Helpline: 1–800–662-HELP (4357)
- My Wellbeing (NYC)
- Your former employer’s Employee Assistance Program may be available to you for up to several months after your termination date. More on EAPs here.
Always Something There to Remind Me
Your layoff, unfortunately, is not over on the day you get let go. You will have many reminders of it.
Just a few of them:
- Your W-2 in the following January
- Submitting information for your new job’s background check and reference check
- Doing your taxes during the following year
- The “Most Recent” employment section of any job application
- Every time a recruiter/hiring manager asks, “Why are you interested in this job?” and subsequently, “Why were you laid off?”
- Every time you scroll past media Twitter advertising a new hire or available position at your previous company.
- Every time you scroll past a “~some personal news~” job announcement by someone who was just hired at your previous company.
There’s probably more. It gets better with time.
For The Emotional Aftermath
- Layoff 101: Don’t Blame Yourself (NPR)
- Grieving the Layoff (Laidoffbetteroff.com)
- Coping with the Emotional Impact of a Layoff (Standford University)
- How to Silence Your Inner Critic After a Layoff (Harvard Business Review)
- Tips For Sharing Your Layoff on Social Media (Poynter)
- How to Talk About Being Laid Off to Your Family, Friends, and Network (The Muse)
For The Financial Aftermath
- A Newly Unemployed Person’s Guide To Severance Pay (The Muse)
- Unemployment Insurance and You (Monster.com)
- Health Care Coverage Options For The Unemployed (Healthcare.gov)
- COBRA Coverage and the Marketplace (Healthcare.gov)
For When You’re Overthinking the Past*
*Which you shouldn’t do, but you’re going to anyway.
- Signs of a Layoff: How to Tell If a Reduction in Force is Coming (CareerMinds)
- 10 Signs (+1 bonus sign) that a layoff is coming (Brilliant Forge)
- Signs That a Layoff is Coming (Blind Workplace Insights)
- How to Tell If Jobs Cuts Are Coming (Monster.com)
For Remembering You Have Plenty of Company
- The Layoff Tracker (Columbia Journalism Review)
- Map of Layoffs (Save Journalism Project)
- The Human Toll of the 2019 Media Apocalypse (GEN)
- Media layoffs, cuts, buyouts in 2019: 7,800 jobs lost (Business Insider)
Feel Good Work Stories For When You Miss Your Job
- What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team (New York Times)
- Drowning in Dishes, but Finding a Home (New York Times)
Good To Listen
The Layoff Playlist
It’s been said that “music is how feelings sound.” So here’s a collection of songs that capture that feeling, including some throwbacks from my unemployment stint during the 2009 recession.
For Podcast Fans
- Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations (Spotify)
Good To Watch
For When You Feel Like Watching Fictional Layoffs*
*It can be weirdly cathartic, but I’m not sure how healthy this option is.
- Up In The Air (2009), starring George Clooney & Vera Farmiga (available to stream on Netflix)
- Office Space (1999), starring Ron Livingston & Jennifer Aniston
- The Company Men (2010), starring Ben Affleck & Kevin Costner
- Succession, “Vaulter” (Season 2, Episode 2) (available to stream with an HBO subscription)
For When You Want A Work-Related Laugh
- The Office (201 episodes; available to stream on Netflix)
- Aggretsuko (20 episodes so far + a Christmas special; available to stream on Netflix)
Check out our Job Search resources for when you’re ready to get back out there.
I know everyone is saying this to you right now, so maybe save these last few words for when the job search is getting you down or another time when you need it:
You’re going to be okay.