Laid off 1 month into new job. What now?
October 7, 2017 5:46 AM   Subscribe

Started a new job in a new field, was laid off six weeks after my job started. Have no idea what to do next.

I started a new job recently as a creative at an advertising agency. I switched industries to work in advertising, and my last job was spent working for the same company for five years in a related creative field. Six weeks into the new job starting, I was laid off.

I'm in my late thirties, live with a partner who has a well-paying, stable job, live in a rented apartment, no kids.

My only consolation is that the layoff wasn't performance based - I was part of a wave of rolling layoffs in the office. I worked in a branch office that substantially reduced their headcount and was caught in the crossfire, basically.

The agency gave me a small amount of severance pay, and sent me on my way.

But I feel like a complete wreck because I just started the job. I quit a job of five years to take this new job in a new field, and have no idea what the hell to do now.

I applied for unemployment and did my COBRA paperwork, but dont know what to do now. The job market for advertising/marketing work in my region stinks, and my background is in working with B2B tech companies who just don't exist here.

Have picked up some freelance work (awesome!) by calling old coworkers and contacts, but I'm not seeing many jobs fitting my skillset. I have a few thousands in savings, which is great, but wake up every morning freaking out about money. I grew up in a lower middle class family that was on government assistance at times and the idea of not having a job terrifies me.

My mental health is suffering, I've had regular panic attacks since I lost my job, and I feel like I can't see a psychiatrist or therapist because I have to make every penny stretch right now.

I guess the question is... what the hell do you do after you've been laid off from a job you just started?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I feel like I can't see a psychiatrist or therapist because I have to make every penny stretch right now doesn't entirely tally with I live with a partner who has a well-paying, stable job or the fact that you've got savings - not pursuing therapy when this is already hurting your mental health is like kicking yourself harder when you're already down. The bit of your brain that is freaking out about not having enough money (when it sounds like you probably do, realistically, at least for a bit?) is also the bit that needs treatment the most - don't put it in the driving seat right now.

Given that the market for what you do in your region isn't great, have you considered remote work (either contract or permanent)? The B2B company I work for has become increasingly open to remote workers in marketing roles in recent years, and I believe a lot of other companies are starting to think the same way.
posted by terretu at 6:37 AM on October 7 [3 favorites]

what the hell do you do after you've been laid off from a job you just started?

You find another job. Been there, done that. Your job now is to find a new job. You've got a partner that presumably can cover the rent / mortgage and food, so it's not like you are on the verge of homelessness or missing meals due to lack of funds. The fact you have savings puts you ahead of 80% of rest of the country.

Your situation is not nearly as bleak as you are making it out to be. You have a lot advantages that aren't going away because you lost your job. So start networking for a new gig and continue to scrape up freelance work. You may find yourself with a freelance career before you find a W2 job. Have you called your previous employer? 6 weeks is not much time - they may still be looking to replace you.
posted by COD at 6:47 AM on October 7 [8 favorites]

I was in a somewhat similar situation a year ago (laid off, new job, switching fields after years.) Unemployment is not much but it's psychologically much easier than just being without an income, which I've also done. Take some comfort in the fact that you have an income and can contribute to household stuff, and let this give you breathing room while you look for the next thing.

Maybe look for sliding scale clinics where you can talk to someone about your anxiety.

I can tell you for me it worked out ok. It wasn't the best time but I gave myself permission to enjoy things like getting up whenever I felt like it and I got a job two months later. "This, too, shall pass" is not the worst attitude, if you can muster it. You're going to get another job.
posted by Smearcase at 9:11 AM on October 7

Everyone in the advertising industry knows that agencies hire and lay off based on accounts gained and lost. They know it wasn't you. Just go looking for the next job.
posted by SemiSalt at 11:52 AM on October 7

What do you do? You do exactly what you did when you decided to leave your old job. You go out, you network, you interview, and you find another job in the same way you found this one. It's not the only job out there, you will find another.

The fact that you were laid off, when compared to quitting your old job, only means you have the added benefit of being able to interview whenever you want, not worrying about making the current job suspicious that you're leaving, and you're available to start anytime instead of having to put in notice. All of which work in your favor.

You got this!
posted by SquidLips at 5:48 PM on October 7

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