Yesterday, I asked the Gems in my Facebook group to share what challenge they were facing this week that needed prayer and positivity. One gem shared that she’s being laid off. I briefly gave her some encouragement but felt compelled to dedicate a post with some practical tips that will benefit her and other gems.
First, it sucks. I get it. I’ve been laid off too (anyone remember that little economic meltdown circa 2008…yeah I was a casualty of that). You’re going to feel like shit and it’s normal. Let the wave of that feeling come and go. But don’t let it stay. Your energy must stay positive because potential employers can sense desperation and just like with dating, no one want the desperate person.
1. Rebuild Your Confidence
The first thing you need to do is rebuild your confidence and soothe your ego. Whether it’s a hobby or sport, make the time to do the things you’re already great at. Every small win will boost your self confidence and energy.
You will need good energy that’s eager yet somewhat detached from the results. Again, much like dating.
2. Talk to Your Current HR
Before you leave, talk to your current company about whether they provide job search services. It may sound weird but depending on your industry and company, they may help you with transitioning to another job. HR people tend to talk to each other and have a sense of what opportunities are out there. Same goes for the company recruiter.
Also, ask if they’ll give you a “grace period” where you can keep them listed as a current employer, while you look for another job. I know someone who was able to keep their employee profile on the company website for 3 months after being laid off. The benefit is that potential employers will view you as being currently employed. Why does this matter? Because it’s ironically easier to get a job when you already have a job.
3. Network. Network. Network.
Know what’s better than having a great resume? Having a referral.
People value familiarity. A resume is cold and unfamiliar. Sure, a cold application can get you a job, but if you “warm” up your resume first, you’ll get better results.
You warm up your resume by having someone at the company either forward your resume to HR, or send an email asking if they got your resume. Now, you may not know someone at the company but guess what? Everyone has a friend. You can easily figure out if one of your contacts, knows someone at the company.
LinkedIn has made finding shared connections so easy. Can you imagine trying to figure this out pre-LinkedIn? Trust me, it was time consuming. So use that feature on LinkedIn.
Another great way to network is to invite people to coffee/lunch and tell them you want career advice. People love feeling that their opinion, ideas, and advice matter. If they can’t meet in person, then ask for a brief 15 minutes phone call.
The goal here is not to ask for a job, that’s too much pressure on them. The goal is making a connection and having them feel invested in your success (after all, you went to them for their sage advice, so clearly you recognize their potential ability to add value to your life). At the end of the meeting, ask them to refer you to one person they think might be helpful. Then follow up with the person and rinse and repeat the process.
Networking is by far the most powerful method when job hunting (I’ll do another post on other networking strategies). Many jobs get filled before they’re even posted publicly because of word of mouth. Shocking right? Even with the digital takeover, people still value interpersonal connections.
Don’t let this setback bring you down. There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind. That goes for relationships and careers. Remember who you are: You are a gem. You are rare. You are beautiful. Now go shine.