Losing your job is hard—hard on your bank account and self-esteem. It is probably one of the most professionally traumatic experiences you'll ever have. However, as hard as losing a job can seem at the time, it can lead to something positive as it gives you a fresh start.
Here are a few ways you can successfully deal with getting laid off:
1. Take A Break
You don't need to go on an exotic vacation. Even taking a break for just a few days will help you process what's happened. Don't make any big decisions in those first few days and don't rush into the job market the day after you've received the news. You need time to process what happened.
2. Do A Financial Assessment
To keep your anxiety and stress in check, figure out how long you have to look for a job—and give yourself as much time as possible to do so. Look at what you spend money on and how you can cut back.
3. Talk It Out
It is easy to feel resentful after you've lost a job—especially if you'd been really loyal to the company. Talk it out with the people you trust and definitely get it out of your system before you meet any recruiters or hiring managers. They will sense your bitterness, and it won't reflect well on you. Surround yourself with positive people and be kind to yourself. Don't beat yourself up about what's happened, and make sure you're eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
4. Prepare Your Story
If you've been part of a big layoff which is all over the newspapers, it is easier to explain why you got laid off. But otherwise, you will have to explain to prospective employers what happened. A short, upbeat, and concise story is best. Perhaps your department was restructured or your job was moved to a different location. Make sure your story will be backed up by your manager or any other references your future employer might want to contact.
5. Explore Opportunities
Before you contact your network or send out any applications, make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are updated. This brief checklist will help you kick-start your job search efforts. Reach out to former colleagues or friends who work for organizations that interest you. Create your interview bucket list of companies that you'd love to work for. Conduct some informational interviews if you're looking to work in a different industry. It might be worth becoming a member of a professional association to learn more about the industry you want to work in. Depending on what you do and your location, you might want to start looking at contract/temp/interim work in the meantime.
6. Keep The Momentum Going
Looking for a job requires a lot of time and effort. You need to have a lot of activity going, so don't get discouraged if you only get one interview for every ten applications sent. Make sure you tailor your resume to specific jobs to maximize your chances of getting hired, but also remember most employers are looking for candidates who are a very close match to the job requirements. Don't lose focus—it can take a few months to find the right opportunity. Don't stop your job search activities, even if you're in advanced interviewing stages with one company. You can have a great interview and still not get the job for whatever reason, and then you're back to square one, which can crush your confidence.
7. Stay Positive
It is easy to feel sorry for yourself when you've lost a job. You might have regrets about not saving more money or not looking for a job earlier. However, this negative self-talk won't help and it will only worsen your anxiety. Make a conscious effort to stay positive. Surround yourself with positive people and think of the obstacles you've dealt with in the past and what you've achieved—to focus on things that will give you confidence. If you're looking for help with your resume, LinkedIn profile or engineering technique, check out my special discounted November coaching offer here.
Getting laid off is a challenge many professionals experience at least once in their careers. If you've been laid off recently, follow these seven tips so you can regain confidence and find your next job opportunity sooner rather than later!
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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