Laid off

Laid Off! Now What?


Many individuals do not have the benefit of living in an area where career groups and free services abound to help you deal with the monumental issues of a job search. If you don’t have this type of help, here are a few ideas that might be beneficial.

1.  Sign-up for Support

Sign-up with your state unemployment office not only for financial services, but for connections to employers and jobs in the community. The state-run service centers usually have a long list of jobs from entry-level to mid-level roles. For higher-level jobs, you will need to depend primarily on networking.

2.  Move On Quickly

Get prepared for the journey as soon as possible. If you have been laid off or suffered a termination you are in a state of shock or emotional turmoil for a few days or weeks. The feelings you have are normal, but you need to quickly get past this phase if you hope to interview well. If you need help, seek out a local counselor, job coach or at least a friend to talk through the pain.  The longer your dwell on the negative the longer it is going to take to move forward.

3.  Make Time to Contemplate

Now that you have an opportunity to do something different than you were doing (if you did not like what you were doing) take the opportunity to change your career focus. To help in this process you can take the usual Wonderlic or other tests suggested by a coach, but I find the answers are already inside waiting to be discovered. May I suggest you begin this by writing down how you wish your life to look in five years. Just write down words, phrases or descriptions. You don’t have to do long sentences or paragraphs of descriptions. Then you want to meditate or think on the topic of “What do I want to do for a career”. Upon completing your meditation time do a data dump on paper again writing down words, phrases or ideas. After 24 hours or so revisit and organize the info into categories that make sense. Compare the data dump info to the five-year list. See if there are any trends or connections that you can draw from the information. If so, this is your path to the future. 

4.  Your Resume

On your resume use “Key Accomplishments”, key words and show metrics where possible. Recruiters today are pressed for time so a resume may only get about 8 seconds of review in the first pass. Make a friend by designing an easy to read document and point to the most important facts using bullet point lists instead of long paragraphs. You will find the recruiters like this style and will tend to read the whole resume more quickly.   

5.  Apply everywhere

Apply on every board, to all services and tell everyone you meet that you are in a job search. Networking is where 80% of the jobs are being found today, but keep working the job boards too. Depending on the level of job you may find the job boards are better, but for the higher-level positions networking is best. If you can connect with others who are in search, use this group as your accountability partners and help each other in the journey.

6.  Stay positive

Your attitude makes a difference and shows in the interviewing process. No one will offer a job to someone who is down, negative or speaks badly about others. So, keep to the high road and paint a smile on your face always believing you will land your next great opportunity. 

Happy Hunting out there!

Kathy Goodin-Mitchell, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Career Advisor & Founder, Career Leverage Advisors