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Laid Off? 6 Ways To Get Back On Track Immediately

In this uncertain economy, many businesses have been forced to dramatically reduce budgets. This move has led to millions of workers losing their jobs. Layoffs have become commonplace in companies around the world, no matter how big or successful the business. This much we all know. So, what should one do to recover from being one of the many people laid off? First of all, take a deep breath and don’t panic. Then, follow the next few steps to help get back into the saddle once again:

1. Get References

Get good references and contact information from colleagues and superiors from within the company. Ideally, you should do this before you leave the company, or shortly after you’ve left, so that your job performance is still fresh in their minds. Make sure you find each other on LinkedIn or are connected through some other professional network, if they’ve agreed to be a reference for you. While being laid off no longer has the same stigma it once did, having former employers and colleagues vouching for your performance can help mitigate the fact that you were let go. If you’re asking for a written reference, you can help out a beleaguered boss by drafting a reference letter for them, highlighting your key attributes and accomplishments. This way, your supervisor doesn’t have to dig through old reviews or refer to your resume to write this letter.

2. Step Up Your Professional And Social Networking

While it behooves you to constantly keep abreast and up-to-date in your professional and social networks, being newly laid off is even more reason to step up your social media and professional presence. However, don’t spam your network with constant pleas or queries for a job; instead, contribute in a meaningful way to conversations and keep an eye out for someone in your network posting a job.

3. Update Your Resume

It would also benefit you to keep your resume updated, even if not unemployed; but being laid off is an excellent time to take a thorough review of your resume. Industry keywords may change over time, so if it’s been a while since you’ve updated, you should refer to current postings that interest you, and borrow their keywords and phrases. You may want to hire a resume counselor, or at least have a good friend critique it. Consider eye-catching and modern formats, dropping off old, obsolete jobs, and adding new skills that are pertinent to the next position in your career. Take time to review what your abilities and skills are, so that you can create a short professional summary—an elevator pitch—on the resume, and in case you run into someone who is hiring for a position you want.

4. Freelance, Take A Temporary Job Or A Contract Position

Even if you have enough savings to keep you afloat for a while, consider taking on a temporary or contract position. Why? Taking a position that is in your field, even if short-term, puts you in more contact with people who may be looking for full-time employees eventually. Or you could parlay a temporary job into something more permanent. Freelancing is also a great way to keep you involved in the professional sphere—and can be a great way to start your own business. Even if you had not previously considered going into business for yourself, you may find that you can gain enough clients and work to make freelancing a viable long-term career.

5. Volunteer

If even part-time or contract work is hard to find, consider volunteering for local and national organizations. It’s another great opportunity to network. Volunteering also gives you a chance to explore a field you don’t have experience in, or to gain new skill sets that improve your marketability. Additionally, sixty percent of hiring managers look favorably upon people who volunteer.

6. Treat Finding A Job As A Job

The market is extremely competitive, with so many people laid off, and so many new graduates also scrambling for work. Finding a new full-time position needs to be treated as seriously as a full-time position itself. If you have savings, yes, you can afford to take a week or two off. But it’s much more challenging to get back into a semi-regular schedule and focus that’s needed to dedicate to a job hunt. Set up goals—like applying to at least five jobs a day—and a schedule so that you stay productive and on task. Staying actively engaged in your community and line of business will assist you in finding your next place of employment. Don’t get derailed by layoffs; bounce back from this set back starting with the tips above. Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles: Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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