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3 Things to Do When You Get Laid Off

"Layoff" is arguably the scariest word in the English language for most workers, and never more so than during the past few years, when cuts abounded and new jobs were hard to find. But getting laid off can also be one of the best things that ever happened to you. It all depends on how you react in the days and weeks following your pink slip.

In a recent LearnVest article, Shannon Smith offers nine dos and don'ts of getting laid off. Here are a few positive things you can do, the very day you get laid off, to start reframing your situation:

1. Let yourself feel bad.

We're not advocating wallowing in misery, but the first step toward accepting what's happened to you is letting yourself grieve.

2. Talk to others.

Unemployment coach Katie DeVito found her calling by getting laid off. After tweeting to ask how many other New Jerseyans were currently unemployed, DeVito started an online support group for folks looking for work in her state.

"The best thing that ever happened to me was getting laid off," she told LearnVest.

Even if you don't find a second career by commiserating with your peers, you'll feel better if you stay connected to your personal and professional community. Just remember not to badmouth your former company, especially online where future employers might see it.

3. Adopt a "mindful" perspective.

What does that mean, exactly? It means taking a balanced view of your situation, not beating yourself up, and focusing on the positive as well as the negative.

"It's not healthy to beat yourself up because you got laid off in the middle of hard economic times. With an unemployment rate around 7.6 percent (and as high as 10 percent in recent memory), getting laid off is dishearteningly common," Smith writes.

Even if you feel that you might have contributed to your unemployment in some way, taking a more even-handed approach will enable you to make whatever changes you need, without tanking the confidence that will attract future employers.

Tell Us What You Think

Was getting laid off the best thing that ever happened to you? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

More from PayScale

How to Explain Gaps in Your Resume

#HireMe - Using Hashtags to Land Your Dream Job

How the "Layoff Test" Can Help You Build Your Professional Network

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(Photo Credit: smallbox/Flickr)

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