Losing your job is hard! Whether it stems from your performance or something completely out of your control, it can feel like a major blow to your self esteem. Compounding the stress is the financial burden that follows. Now what?!
It's easy to slip into a pit of despair and worry about what comes next. That response is human. It's what you do next that will be your defining moment.
It's time for some self reflection. Sure, a job loss is scary and overwhelming. But, it can also be exactly what you need to feel revitalized and give you a fresh start. This is your chance to own the next chapter in your career story.
What do you want to be when you grow up? It sounds funny to ask, but do it! You are never too old to make a change or find your perfect next step.
Your Roadmap to Success After a Job Loss
Adjust Your Head Space
Any job loss can feel like a failure. Try not to take it personally. The success of your job search depends on your ability to shake it off and rally. How you respond to a bad situation can be a differentiator.
Employers are drawn to people with persistence, resilience, and a positive attitude. Choose to use this as a learning experience that will make you better in the long run. Evaluate. Grow. Move forward.
If you want to minimize your time on the sidelines it's time to get busy. Identify the type of role (or roles) you plan to go after next. Picture that next step in your head. It's time to make it happen.
You need to start actively looking for jobs every day! Use multiple job boards. Set up alerts. Carve time out of your calendar. Things can change quickly and you want to be able to react right away. The early bird gets the worm.
Define & Align Your Brand
Once you know what you want, it's time to get your brand in line. You will likely have heavy competition! Does your resume clearly communicate your value and help you stand out? Is your LinkedIn profile working for you? They must!
If the idea of tackling a resume or LinkedIn overhaul makes you want to run screaming for the hills, get help! You would be amazed at what a fresh set of eyes can do. That investment can be exactly what you need to put your job search on the right track from the start. Don't get sloppy and miss an opportunity.
Activate Your Network
Once your resume and LinkedIn profile are ready to be seen, it's time to tell the world you are looking. More eyes and ears open can help you identify opportunities you wouldn't otherwise know about.
One of the easiest ways to get a job is through a referral. Not only does your resume bypass the stack of online applications and get handed directly to a recruiter or hiring manager, but it also comes with a stamp of approval.
Get Interview Ready
Once you've got the interview, the only thing standing between you and that offer is a strong performance. And yes, your interview is like a performance. Can you tell compelling stories that demonstrate your fit for the role?
Start prepping now! Identify the right stories you want to tell. Practice telling them. Create strong interview responses to the questions you expect them to ask. When you get a phone call, even if the role isn't exactly what you want... accept the interview!
It may seem like a waste of time, but think of it as practice. The more you you interview, the better you will be.
Know Your Worth
Just because you lost your job, doesn't mean your overall value has reduced. Being unemployed may put you at a slight disadvantage at the offer stage, but if you know your worth and sell yourself well, you can still be in a good position to secure a strong offer... maybe even a salary bump.
Do some market research. What is the going rate for the types of roles you will be seeking? Assess your financial situation and determine a realistic salary range. Don't over inflate your worth, but be prepared to negotiate and make sure you are getting what you deserve.
Now, get back out there and implement these tips to jump start your job search.