Maybe you’re reading this because you’re going through a lay off. If so, your life is about to change dramatically and that can be pretty exciting (and scary). You have been presented with an experience. What are you going to do with it? I vote for rockin’ it.

And if you haven’t been laid off, would you like to feel lit up and fulfilled? Keep reading because these tips and lessons are for you too.

I’ve personally gone through two lay offs. My life has changed for the better both times. But this last time, I really rocked it.

Woman journaling. Title: How to rock your lay off: 3 tips & lessons

My lesson: Give yourself space and time.

Don’t start updating your resume or LinkedIn profile, or calling people in your network. There is plenty of time for that later. Give yourself some space and time. That could be days, weeks or months. It’s up to you.

How do you take full advantage of this gift?


Tip #1 Write a list of all the things you have been putting off.

Get a nice big piece of white paper and brain dump.

  • What have you been meaning to do in the last year? Two years? Three years? Think about it personally and professionally.
  • Have you been putting off cleaning the basement, garage, storage room etc.?

You’ll feel great getting rid of the clutter and accomplishing something that’s been haunting you.

The goal is to get rid of the things hanging over you; literally and figuratively. And once you have gotten rid of them, let them go. Really. The more you can get rid of and the deeper you can release it, the more room you are creating. And why are you creating room? For all the new amazing stuff you are going to create and build!

But what do you tell people during this time?


My lesson: I’m on sabbatical.

At first I told people I was daydreaming and brainstorming. Then it occurred to me, I’m on a sabbatical. I am learning new skills, researching and completing some goals. Sounds like a sabbatical to me.

Decide how long you are on sabbatical and then once it’s over you will be unemployed and searching. Are you creating? Building? Learning? Who knows! Isn’t that the point of a sabbatical? In the meantime, you are on sabbatical.

Did you know there’s a whole sabbatical movement? Check it out here. My favourite quote from their site:

A break is career defining, not career defeating.

So you’re on sabbatical, now what?


Tip #2 Write a wish list of all the things you’ve wanted to do.

Now is the time to wish and dream. So go ahead give yourself some space and get a huge piece of paper. Think about all those great ideas that you squashed with:

  • No, I can’t do that right now because I don’t have time.
  • I’m too busy because of work.
  • I’m too tired after being at work.

The goal is to start dreaming your what’s next and to feel lit up. You will feel re-energized and purposeful. Feeling these things will help you move through the emotions of being laid off. You’ll have something positive and exciting to talk about when you start reaching out to people and you’ll be lit up when you start searching for employment. All very important things.

I prioritized my wish list and started doing some of them. I even kept office hours so that I could get more done. I was learning and creating. I was lit up.

One day I took a step back and reviewed how I had been filling my time. I was surprised. I was writing and doing more yoga sure, but I also picked up a book on mobile learning. I read about micro learning. I learned WordPress and Storyline. I enjoyed it!


My lesson: Feeling lit up feels amazing!

I hadn’t felt lit up like that since … I couldn’t clearly remember. Oh man, that’s not good. But it explained a lot. And then I found Danielle Laporte and her two books: The Desire Map and The Fire Starter Sessions. I wanted to continue feeling this way but I wasn’t sure how that would be possible.


Tip #3 Get crystal clear.

At the same time, I started creating a timeline of my career. I was listing major projects and milestones to update my resume. Woah, I did all that?! I had completely lost track of most of these projects and milestones. How had I lost track of this? How much of this list had left me feeling lit up? Was that why I lost track of it all? So I asked myself:

  • What did I like about my last job? My career?
  • When did I feel lit up?
  • What did I dislike, specifically?
  • What came easily? What was a struggle?
  • What did I do well? And where did I fail?

I wrote about tasks, projects, people, culture, and work environment. I knew what lit me up.

I wanted more. So I started to think about how else I wanted to feel. Especially in other areas of my life. I worked through The Desire Map and got so clear on my core desired feelings. They became my goal, my desired state. Once that was done I was able to figure out how to get there. It wasn’t a default choice, but a true decision. Every day.


The bottom line

Life is too short for default. Today I feel lit up most of the time, and that’s how I know I rocked my lay off.

This post contains affiliate links for Danielle LaPorte’s books: The Desire Map and The Fire Starter Sessions. These books made such an impact on me that I became a Licensed Desire Map Facilitator. I’m so proud to be part of this revolution of the heart. I’d love for you to check it out with my affiliate link right here


The Desire Map book cover

The Fire Starter Sessions book cover