Feeling betrayed after a lay off ? 4 steps to let it go and move forward

Picture showing a sad stickman after its layoff.

You have been working hard the past years. Also, you did overtime, sacrificing your week-end and evening spent with your family and friends for work. You put all your energy in completing your project in a particularly stressful environment. And in the end, you were let go. It feels unfair, you might feel angry, sad, disappointed. Betrayed is the first word that comes to mind.

Here are 4 steps to let it go and move forward.

Step 1. Recognize your efforts

Acknowledge that you have been committed, that you have been a team player, a leader,… Recognize what you have accomplished. This can be testified by people who have been working with you : ask them testimonials. Stay connected to your network, to people who have appreciated working with you.

Step 2. Refocus your priorities

A professional transition can be stressful as well and draining. You are in a state of crisis. Don’t waste it. Make the most of it by learning lessons from this terminated experience. This will help you get ready for your next move and answer the following important questions : how do you want your work/life balance be like in the future ? How do you want to commit to a company next time ? What are your priorities, your limits, your personal and professional goals ?

Step 3. Accept and let it go

Most people need between six months to a year to rebound after a lay off, whatever the reason were. It is the time to accept what is, to learn from this past experience, to recharge the battery and move forward. The sooner you accept what is, the sooner you will be able to move forward. Read on this topic the parable of the fisherman to get to know more on this topic.

Step 4. Be your own leader

Focus on what is in your control : your career path. Decide what you want for yourself as a professional. The rest will follow. I invite you to refer to my past article and follow the 4 steps to become intentional in your career. You can do it !

If you need an extra push, book a free 30-minute call.

4 steps to design your dream career path

Drawing representing a stickman dreaming of a new career.

When working in the Corporate, in the Oil&Gas industry more particularly, you tend to jump from a job to another, from a project to another. You take opportunity as they arise.

Are you drifting through your professional career?

Everything is going well until the moment there is no new mission for you within the organization. Here you are in transition…

Transition. This word might scare you, particularly if you have never experienced it before. Well, it is actually an opportunity to step back and think of what you really want as a professional.

Do you want to rely on circumstances and hierarchy to make the next move ? Are you willing to climb the Corporate ladder with no other intention that climbing the higher you can ? if the answer is no, here are some advices.

Let’s design your dream career path.

Step 1. Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve as a professional

Visualize yourself at the end of your career. What does it look like ? How does it feel ? Are you the expert in your field ? Are you the CEO ? Do not limit yourself at this point by looking at what is feasible. Say what you want to achieve out loud, write it down and check our 6 tips to finally move towards your goal. Set your mind for success, like an athlete visualize yourself winning the race.

Step 2.  Define actionable steps to reach your goal

What needs to happen for you to reach your professional goal(s) ? Which new skill do you need to learn ? What experiences are required ? Who do you need to connect with ? Find out what positions will serve your goal along your career path. Each position will be a step. You might look for a mentor to guide you, inspire you moving forward in the direction you choose. You also need to know who your supports are, in the workplace and among your relationships. They will hold you accountable for your progress and encourage you.

Step 3. Enjoy a meaningful job, work with purpose

Isn’t it exciting to wake each morning, going to work knowing that you will grow towards your desired goal ? Each day will get you closer to what you really want as a professional. There will be ups and downs along the way. Keeping in mind your vision will help you go through the challenges.

Step 4. Sense of accomplishment

If you let the current decide of your destination, you might be satisfied with the outcome or not. Whereas if you are intentional, you know that you have hit targets after targets. It gives you a sense of accomplishment. Celebrate after each step you took. Share your successes with your supports.

If you need further guidance to design your dream career path, get in touch with Anne.

Is it time for a change of career in the energy market ?

Drawing showing a stickman reflecting on a career change.

Many of my clients have been working in the Corporate world, in the Energy industry in particular for many years like myself. This sector is fascinating : employees are often passionate, dedicated and well paid. However, the past years have been challenging. More competition has led to downsizing, merging, also increasing work load and stress for individuals, like it is the norm in other sectors… It is hard to decide if you still want to be part of this game : how tenacious are you ? Are you wondering who is next to be let go ?

Here are the top 3 questions to ask yourself before considering a career transition.

1. What makes you unique ?

You have a unique experience as a person and a professional. Recognize it. What makes you different from the competition ? Are your skills and strengths transferable of other types of jobs, to other industries ? Be open. It can free your mind from anxiety and increase your confidence level in the future. There will always be opportunities for you, in your industry or elsewhere. Even if you are laid off, you know what you bring to the table and you will rebound! Check out our 8 tips on how to rebound after a layoff to get insights on this matter

2. Where is your own energy level ?

I like to make the parallel between the Energy industry where most of clients are coming from and their own energy level. Where are you spending your own energy professionally ? How energized are you on a Monday morning, starting another week at work ?

For instance, a little bit of stress will boost me to achieve a goal, finish a project. After a certain level, this is getting overwhelming and I am not at my best. And I cannot afford not to be at my best when my mission is to empower professionals to be at their best.

Know when a situation is boosting your energy level or, on the contrary, draining it. Know your limits and act accordingly. See our three advices to professionals confronted to a high intensity working place.

3. What do you gain/loose in remaining in your current job or industry ?

Writing down in a 2 x 2 table the pros and cons of staying where you are versus initiating a transition to another role or organization will help you gain clarity. There is no rush : take the time to think and to reflect before taking the decision. You deserve to be the professional you want to be, at a pace that you decide.

To explore your career path options, get in touch with Anne.

Fight, Flight or Freeze : what is your response to career change ?

Drawing showing a stickman facing a career change.

Fight or flight response to a stress has been identified and named as such many years back. Recently, a third word has been added to those : “freeze”.

A career change is stressful

It is stressful when you are forced to move from your comfort zone and it is also stressful when it is your own choice to initiate a change. It can be compared to a threat : humans, like animals have different ways to response to a threat.

What is your natural way to respond to a professional transition ?


This is the idea of fighting against the movement which pushes you in a different direction or another. Some people cannot help fighting to remain in the same position, even there is actually little chance to do so. The energy is at that moment spent on fighting. It is a way to survive to the event which is considered as a threat. The one fighting believes oneself can win and get what he/she wants.

Is the fight a desperate way to respond ? Is the fight worse it ? There are some cases where been laid off has been beneficial to some of my clients. It has opened new doors, giving them new perspectives of growth.


This type of response is when you are willing to escape from the situation as fast as possible. Some people will find a way to move away at any cost from a situation. Leave the company, leave the corporate world, change to a completely different job description…The one fleeing hopes to find a safer place elsewhere.

There are toxic situations where it is better to leave, resign to keep one’s sanity. However, I would recommend to take the time to think of “What’s next ? ” instead of jumping on anything else with no real plan or goal. You deserve a fulfilling career !


The “freeze” response is when you are paralyzed by the event. You might not have seen the change coming and you are panicking: no more job, no more income, no more colleagues… The person can be so overwhelmed by the transition that he/she does not see any way out.

The energy level can get so low that it would require the help from the beloved ones and eventually professionals to restore and rebound.

Knowing how you tend to behave in a particularly stressful situation will help you adapt your response to a professional transition and thrive into it.

For a deeper dive into your own change of career, contact Anne for a discovery session.

Career management, feeling like engaged in a pinball machine game ?

Drawing of a pinball machine game to illustrate employee’s feeling about its career.

In the pinball machine, there is a ball.

And at the command of the machine, there is a player.

What does it look like for you ? Do you visualize it ?

Are you the ball or the player?

The question is for you to know where you see yourself most when making decision for your career : the player or the ball.

There is no right or wrong answer. Each role has its advantages and drawbacks. The purpose is for you to reflect and gain awareness on how you handle your career choices, and what you want to do next.

The ball

It goes where the player tries to send it. If you are identifying yourself with the ball for most of your career choices, you have little control over your direction. Your main resource is your gravity ! You eventually rely on others to decide where, when you shall go and do. You tend to take opportunities as it arises, with no longer term planning.

Taking advantage of an opportunity is a good idea, and this way you keep doors open. You get to explore jobs that you would have never thought off. It sounds like you are having several lives in one.

The risk is that it might send you far away from your dreams, from what you really want to achieve in your life in general and in your career in particular.

The player

He/she has a certain control over the game. If you are identifying yourself with the player for most of your career choices, you are focus, you anticipate and you need endurance !

Are you enjoying as a single player ? Do you get the score you want ?

At one point, you might want to increase your score or get a more consistent result. You will need to change the way you play in order to get a different result. You might need the feedback in the process from someone who listens to you without judging. It takes courage to be the lead of your own career. Having your shorter and longer term goals in mind will help you make the right move.

To gain clarity on where you are in your career patch and what is your new action step, start a free executive coaching discovery session.

Top 8 tips on how to rebound after a layoff

Picture showing a sad unemployed stickman and one who’s bouncing around after a lay off.

#1 Recognize that it is a number game

You are not targeted personally and there is no conspiracy : this is a head count optimization by your ex organization. It is not related to your performance nor to your person.

In my last position as an engineer, HR met each department of the organization I was working for. They gave the same speech to each department : many of us would be laid off in the coming weeks. Some employees would not be able to log on to their computer one morning : they would get a letter from HR and would be asked to leave the office by the end of the day. The selection was based on a head count per department…

#2 You are not alone

There are people out there who can help you and there are many people in your situation. Do not get isolated and depressed in front of a computer at home.

Why not join networking groups of job seekers to get support, share your experiences and help each other rebound ?

The one I know and that I recommend in Houston is Job Search 101. They provide free workshops conducted by professional career coaches, and they facilitate networking meetings. http://www.jobsearch101.org

#3 Financial concerns : get help from professionals

You might be worried about your income for the coming months and your financial situation. This shall not drive you crazy when you are in transition. Get help from professionals (financial advisers, mortgage professionals…). The preliminary discussion and diagnosis shall be free of charge and you have the right to ask for a second advice.

#4 Keep connected / Reconnect with people

Take advantage of your redundancy to get in touch with professionals who liked working with you. Ask them to write a testimonial for you or ask them to be a reference of yours. This will be good for your positivity and will help you go through your professional transition.

Similarly, if you have been in transition for a couple of months, then consider to reconnect with people who could help you. Have a coffee, invite them to join you at a networking event. Do not be shy to reconnect on LinkedIn for instance and ask them to endorse you for your skills or write a testimonial for you.

#5 Take the time

There might be things that you have delayed for months: meeting with family / friends, spending more time with your kids, fixing your home / car, do photo albums, work out, etc.

It is rare in a career to have a couple of months off. Was there a moment when you thought : “I wish I had the time to…”

Then, do it now ! It will keep you busy, get a sense of accomplishment and reduce your stress level when it comes to the future.

#6 Set your end career goal

Have a clear vision of what you would like to have accomplished as a professional.

You might have been working for many years, jumping from a position to another one, as the opportunity emerged, with no real plan.  On this topic, check out the following post : Career choices, feeling like engaged in a pinball machine game ?

You have the time to think and prepare for your future. Have a direction, a dream in mind : think big !
The more people will roll their eyes when you share with them your dream, the closer you are to the right track !

I like to ask the following to my clients : What accomplishment would you be proud of telling your kids about your professional career ?

#7 Competency assessment and personality assessment

Have you ever done a competency assessment yet or a personality assessment (MBTI, DISC, ICS…) ? If not, that might be a good investment of your time and money.

Step back, analyze your strengths, your area for improvement, gain clarity on what energizes you a work before taking the next step.

#8 Hire an executive coach

Executive coaching offers multiple benefits. Indeed, a coach will empower you to reach your desired goal. You will be encouraged, energized, challenged, supported and you will move forward faster and more efficiently.

This time and money investment in you, will avoid you to go out there desperate to find a job. You will be focus, motivated and proactive. Your coach will also hold you accountable for moving forward.

Contact me for a free exploratory session.

Professional transition : victim or victor ?

Transition is part of a professional life : new position, different company, different location, new business…

How to deal effectively with a professional transition?

We sometimes initiate a career change and we are other times forced to make a change.

It is not necessarily easier to make a change happen by oneself. It takes courage and strong will to leave one’s comfort zone and take the full accountability of a professional transition. Even though we are not the initiator of the situation, this might in the end be a great opportunity to move forwards

My very first feeling when I was laid off two years ago, was anger. I was so angry at my company which “took away my project from me”. Moreover, I was overlooking the fact that I had prepared for a change in 2013 by initiating a coaching certification. Finally, I was then putting myself in the position of a victim.

How did I get from being a victim to being a victor?

The moment I got my termination letter, I opened up to my colleagues and friends about my feelings. By listening to me with empathy, without judgment, they helped me switch my perspective. Through those discussions, I gained clarity on my present situation. Then I foresaw how I could make the most of the free time in front of me.

It is only after I fully accepted the situation and took action that I got into the position of a victor.

My immediate action plan was to spend time with my daughter and to prepare our move to USA. My following action was to complete my transition from engineering to coaching.

What is your mindset about the transition that you are facing now ? Do you have a plan ? Do you have the support that you need ?

I help professionals restore and rebound after they were laid off.  Also I support those who are willing to transition. Indeed they gain self-confidence, self-awareness to move forward in a direction that they choose.

Contact me for a complementary 30-minute exploratory session and start to set your professional transition strategies

The Rational Middle Energy Series

On Wednesday 28th of March, I attended a WEN event (Women Energy Network).

As usual, this event is a great opportunity to network and learn.

Jan Sherman as a speaker

The speaker was Jan Sherman, the Vice President of Commercial & Land of the

Unconventional business in Upstream America at Shell.

She shared with us a video which is part of a series called : The Rational Middle Energy Series.

Those videos are informative and facts based. Indeed, they do not necessarily answer all the questions you might have about energy. But they aim at gaining a better understanding of the Energy, the current challenges faced and what is possible in the future.

If you want to gain clarity on what is your goal in the Energy Industry, contact Anne for a free 30-minute exploratory session.