January 13, 2023

5 Steps to Take After Being Laid Off

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While the job market continues to favor employees, due to millions of open jobs and low numbers of unemployed workers, no industry is immune to fluctuating job needs. The start of 2023 has seen major layoffs from the world’s top companies, including Amazon, Salesforce, Meta, and Cisco.

If you’re part of a layoff, don’t panic. It may be comforting to know, according to Zippia research, around 40% of Americans will be fired/laid off from a job during their lifetime.

Being laid off may come as a shock or an unwelcome experience. What seems negative now may turn out to be the best thing to happen to you professionally. Some of the most successful business figures, including Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and Oprah Winfrey, were let go from jobs before finding massive success.

If you’ve been laid off from a job, take a deep breath. Then, take these steps to position yourself for success to find your next great opportunity.

1. Create a Strategy

Now’s the time to evaluate what you want out of work and what kind(s) of jobs can fulfill you. With millions of open jobs available, it’s helpful to narrow down:

  • The top 3 types of jobs you’re open to
  • The compensation range that meets your lifestyle needs
  • Locations you’re open to working in

Knowing these characteristics can help you be more efficient in your job search. If you work with a recruiter, they’ll want to know these details, as well. Take time to reflect on what you want out of your next step.

2. Update Your Credentials

Once you’ve narrowed down what type(s) of positions you’re open to, you’ll want to ensure you have a resume that’s customized for each position. The position will inform what your headline, summary, selected achievements, and key skills will look like when you tailor a resume to a job you’re applying for. It may also influence which former work positions you lead with, as well as which accomplishments you feature first for each position.

Try to make accomplishments as quantifiable as possible. Lead with numbers. When you’re competing against other applicants to get noticed, you’ll want people who are scanning a resume to immediately see the quantifiable impact you’ve made in your prior positions.

Use your resume to update your LinkedIn profile, as well. You can add specific work examples to your positions on LinkedIn so that it works as a digital portfolio that demonstrates your expertise and experience.

3. Reach Out to Your Network

Get in touch with those in your professional and personal networks to let them know you’re looking for a new job. Your professional and personal contacts can:

  • Alert you to relevant job openings
  • Put you in touch with their contacts
  • Recommend you for a position

You can turn your LinkedIn profile to the “Open to Work” setting, which overlays your profile photo with that phrase to alert LinkedIn users you’re available to hire. It may be helpful to post a LinkedIn update about what you’re looking for, as well, so more people in your professional online network know that you’re active in a job search.

If you’ve had professional mentors or trusted colleagues, you may want to send them a personalized note about your situation. Express your appreciation to them for keeping you in mind for relevant positions. Offer to help them however you can, as well.

4. Make Your Job Search a Full-Time Job

Every day, you can take meaningful action that positions you for a fulfilling new job. It can be helpful to create a routine that involves steps that can move you closer to job interviews and securing a new position. A sample daily routine, while you’re on the job search, might look like this:

  • Send a personalized note to 10 new contacts a day to update them on your job status and ask them for assistance
  • Post a meaningful update on LinkedIn, which might look like sharing an industry-related article or asking a thoughtful question, so you stay at top of mind in your network
  • Apply for at least one relevant position a day
  • Ask a former coworker, manager, or employee if they’d be willing to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn, and offer to do the same

Also, you can use part of your time to upskill your expertise. You might enroll in a free course on a site like edX, for example, or watch an industry webinar. Look at the job requirements for positions you’re interested in to inform what you choose to study. If you complete courses or earn credentials, you can add those to your resume and LinkedIn profile.

5. Track Your Progress

Create a spreadsheet or some other form of documentation where you can track your job search progress. This helps you stay organized and up-to-date. Each day, you can track:

  • People you’ve talked to/reached out to and what the communication entailed
  • Jobs you’ve applied for and progress you’ve made
  • Things you need to follow up on, like a conversation about a specific topic

You can also use your job search organizer to list action items and goals. Look at these each day to stay accountable and maintain momentum in your search.

Try to Approach a Layoff from a Positive Point-of-View

When a layoff happens, it can be a jarring, unpleasant experience. You can get through it, though, and potentially find a much better opportunity on the other side. Each action you take helps you make progress in a job search. It’s better to move forward than be stagnant, especially when other people who have been laid off are searching for jobs.

That said, give yourself grace during this time. If you’re mentally exhausted, take advantage of the time off. Let yourself face the experience, and rest if you need to. 

If you have the means, treat yourself to self-care, whether it’s getting a massage or going on a staycation for a change of scenery. Take breaks during your job search days so you can recharge and find positivity in the situation.

Like countless others who have been laid off, you can get through this. One day, you may even be grateful for having been laid off, because it led to something much better.

You can also set yourself up for success by connecting with the recruitment team at AccruePartners. We work with exceptional clients in diverse industries who need talent like yours. Sign up for our free recruiting services.

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