Write it all down while it’s fresh: The timeline, Everything that happened, Who knew what and when they knew it. Get it out of your system. Rewrite it. Whittle it down so it’s coherent. Then use that as your starter document for your attorney consults. DO NOT SEND IT TO YOUR EMPLOYER. DO NOT SEND IT TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS. DO NOT POST IT ON FACEBOOK. Be Smart and go to the next step.
Even though California is an At Will state, that doesn’t mean Corporate America can throw you away. Reach out to an attorney to evaluate the situation surrounding your job loss. Were you singled out for an unlawful reason? If you were terminated in violation of public policy (“Wrongful Terminaton in Violation of Public Policy”), you have a case. Did they make up an excuse to fire you after you were a good employee all those years? That’s called “Pretext” and it’s not ok. People aren’t disposable. An attorney can help you identify a number of causes of action you would have.
Check out a few attorneys to consult about your situation. The attorneys listed on CELA.org only represent employees. If you ask 30 attorneys a question, you will get 30 different answers. Find someone who resonates with you. If you do pursue litigation, you want to be aligned with someone you like and respect
Release the shame and misery as much as you can. Everyone loses a seat at the Musical Chairs game eventually. When the new manager arrives or reorg occurs, they bring their clique to the party and get rid of legacy folks. Or maybe you changed or were going through a health issue that changed things, and they didn't want to accommodate you.
If you are truly depressed, seek the aid of a psychologist or medical professional to get you through this situational circumstance. Keep a journal of your feelings and distress, doctors visits, and medications, mileage and expenses. It will be therapeutic to write it down, and invaluable if you do litigate.
Get your unemployment benefits going while you gear up to find your New Opportunity.
Get someone to help you write an appealing resume. That one you used 10 or 20 years ago, needs to be overhauled. Styles of resumes change every few years.
Go out on interviews on jobs you don’t even want. You need to practice your interviewing skills. So exercise that muscle on the crappy jobs. Then you will have some game when you find a job that really suits you. Keep track of all jobs you apply for because if you do have a lawsuit, you must prove mitigation. Mitigation is where you attempt to find comparable work. You don’t sit home on the couch eating bonbons, waiting for Lotto or your trial outcome as your retirement solution. It’s tough to get a job, so you are going to have to get a lot of applications out there to hit gold.
Living Well is the Best Revenge --- Really! Give yourself a little time to grieve, but then Get On With It. If you have a case, get an attorney to run with it. Let them handle the pressure of that. You need to start visualizing what’s next for you. Maybe you will start your own company down the road? Volunteer. It gives you perspective and makes you feel good inside. You have so much to offer.
Remember --- This is Actually Your Opportunity. You have a blank slate in front of you. Intentionally pick what you want next by checking in with yourself. Don’t just wander into something like may have happened when you found this last job. Think of what lights you up. Follow your curiosity. What stirs your soul? Life is short. Don’t spend it in a box that makes you miserable. Your skill sets and life experience are transferable. Jobs exist that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Be open. Focus on the exciting part of the unknown, not the fear. Paint that blank canvas in a way that makes you smile!