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I’m sure you’ve done harder drugs than me, but getting an entry-level job in my field soon after graduating was pretty intoxicating. I felt superhuman. I was one of the few to land a job soon after graduation or in general in the crappy economy. All those hours spent juicing up my resume like it was A-Rod paid off. Getting what you want and keeping what you want are two very different things though. I wasn’t immune to the economy by scoring a job. I was laid off due to budget cuts. The invisible hand fisted me.

Process

If you’ve recently been let go for whatever reason, it’s important that you process what just happened. I went from being a student to an employee to nothing very quickly. I lost my identifier. In some major cities, the appropriate question to ask after hearing your name isn’t “How are you?” it’s “What do you do?” The truth is that’s an incredibly rude question and you’re not your job. You’re you – a friend, a sibling, a volunteer, a musician, a Pokemon master. It’s important to remember you’re not in the same place you were before starting the job. You’re better now. You have experience. You’re even more competitive. Go thrive.

Really Think about Your Old Job

Yes, you miss the paycheck and some people in the office. Don’t over glamorize it like Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 500 Days of Summer. Really think about your old job. What did you like about it? What did you hate? What office politics drove you nuts? What office environment do you enjoy? Your first job is just a stepping-stone to a better fit later on. Learn from this experience and find something better.

Decide What’s Next for You

Maybe you hated the job or the field you always thought you wanted. The beautiful thing about being young is you can flip it off and piss on the ashes. You have office experience now and your major isn’t the only path you have to take. If there was another department in the office you worked with that you really enjoyed, try your hand in that.

For all of you living on your own, please budget as if you won’t be working for the next several months. Your adventure is on pause, but don’t take steps backwards unless you have to.

Reach Out to Friends

Your friends will be there for you with either drinks or potential connections. Call in every favor you have around town to find some leads. Drop names in your cover letter like rappers do in the beginning of their songs.

Have you ever been laid off?