How to Handle Layoff Survivor’s Guilt in the Gaming Industry
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In recent months, the gaming industry has experienced a wave of layoffs, leaving many professionals in a state of flux. While the focus often shifts to those who’ve lost their jobs, an often overlooked but equally vital group is the ones who remain – the ‘survivors’. Although they’ve retained their positions, they too grapple with a range of emotions, most notably, layoff survivor’s guilt.
Understanding Survivor’s Guilt in the Workplace
Survivor’s guilt, originally a term used for those who survived life-threatening situations while others did not, has found its way into the corporate lexicon. In the context of layoffs, it refers to the feelings of guilt, sadness, and even unworthiness experienced by employees who retain their jobs while their colleagues are let go.
Why does layoff Survivor’s Guilt occur?
In the gaming industry, team members often forge close bonds. After all, we work side by side, tackling challenges, meeting tight deadlines, and celebrating victories. Seeing a fellow team member, perhaps even a friend, lose their job while you remain can instigate feelings of unfairness and self-doubt.
Red Flags to Watch Out For
If you or someone you know is navigating the aftershocks of industry layoffs, be aware of these signs:
🚩Constantly questioning your worth or why you were spared from the layoffs.
🚩Feeling the need to justify your position by working harder, often at the expense of your well-being.
🚩Steering clear of laid-off colleagues or not wanting to discuss the layoffs.
Anxiety and Sleep Issues:
🚩Worrying about future layoffs or experiencing guilt-induced sleep disruptions.
Reluctance to Celebrate:
🚩Feeling guilty about sharing professional or personal achievements.
Decreased Job Satisfaction:
🚩Despite keeping the job, there’s a diminished passion or enthusiasm towards work.
Coping with Layoff Survivor’s Guilt: Strategies and Tips
Survivor’s guilt can be paralyzing, but with the right approach, you can navigate its challenges. Here’s how:
Acknowledge Your Feelings: Recognizing and validating your emotions is the first step. It’s okay to feel grateful for retaining your job and simultaneously feel sympathy for those who didn’t.
Seek Support: Talk to trusted colleagues, friends, or professional counselors. Sharing can help process emotions and offer new perspectives.
Stay Connected: Reach out to colleagues who were laid off. Offering support or even just listening can be therapeutic for both parties.
Set Boundaries: While it’s admirable to want to pick up the slack, avoid overburdening yourself. Know your limits and communicate with your superiors about realistic expectations.
Reframe Thoughts: Instead of feeling guilty for keeping your job, focus on the value you bring to the company. Understand that layoffs are complex decisions influenced by numerous factors, many of which are beyond an individual’s control.
Focus on the Present: While it’s natural to worry about the future, it’s essential to concentrate on the present. Engage in tasks that align with your current role and seek clarity on your responsibilities.
Engage in Self-care: Activities like meditation, exercise, and hobbies can help alleviate stress and provide a necessary distraction.
Stay Updated: As an industry professional, always be proactive. This means upskilling, networking, and being in the loop about industry trends, ensuring you’re always at the top of your game.
Celebrate Small Wins: It’s okay to be proud of your achievements, both big and small. Celebrating milestones can offer relief and a much-needed morale boost.
Remember Your Worth: Layoffs don’t diminish your value or achievements. Believe in your skills, your experience, and the unique perspective you bring to the table.
Survivor’s guilt is a natural response to industry layoffs. While the gaming realm can be volatile, it’s essential to remember that every professional, whether they’ve faced layoffs or not, brings a unique set of skills and experiences that contribute to the industry’s vibrancy. By recognizing the signs of layoff survivor’s guilt and equipping oneself with coping strategies, one can emerge stronger, more empathetic, and more resilient. And just like in our favorite games, it’s not about the challenges you face, but how you level up from them. Stay in the game and keep leveling up!