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Since one never knows when the next layoff will occur, build your skill set, particularly process safety, and network so that you have continually increasing skills and an extensive network to help find the next job.
In two instances, my PE was helpful in finding my next job.
Keep a positive attitude. I know one associate who had the following experience:
One never knows!
Your personal finances should always be in order with a reserve fund of 6+ months of living expenses.
Your job does not define who you are.
I never had to cope with a layoff, but I was a cost-synergy that "elected to retire" in May 2018 at age 58. No, I was not ready to retire. I wanted to continue working. I was lucky that I did have much advance notice of my Last Day of Work so I could plan what I wanted to do and deal with some other issues. I know that others were not as fortunate as I was in that regard.
Dave Ferguson made some excellent points in his post. What he said about the "stages of grief" was very true for me. I like how he said to get help, get support, and that finding a job IS a job.
I chose to become an independent consultant, something that I often considered doing if I should be let go. I knew that there was a customer base for my skill set. With over 35 years of experience, I felt that there was much that I could deliver to clients in the areas of process development, process troubleshooting, and fluid mixing technology.
Later I'll mention some tips on how to see if consulting is for you, but first let me mention some general advice.
To summarize that general advice, use your resources and don't try to do it all alone.
Here are some things that I found helpful in considering independent consulting.
I am enjoying working as an independent consultant. Being independent means that I need to take care of everything, including marketing and sales. I had to learn how to do that, and I took full advantage of a free month of LinkedIn Premium to take a bunch of free courses on relevant topics. In my work, I am finding it very satisfying to work with clients to understand their needs, work out a proposal, and then collaborate on some excellent technical work. (I think the technical work ends up being more fun than before because of all the other stuff I need to do for my business.) It is hard work, but my business has steadily grown over the last year and a half and financially it is working out well. But if you are considering consulting, look at the resources that I mentioned and consider carefully if consulting is really right for you and for your financial situation.
Finally, remember that your job does not define who you are. Sometimes we get working so intensely that we lose sight of what is important. This may sound cliché, but this "transition" can be an opportunity to find the job that fits who you really are, instead of contorting yourself to fit the job.