What to do When You Get Laid Off

What to do When You Get Laid Off

Layoffs. They happen and they stink.

Once you get over the initial emotional freak out from learning that you are being laid off, it is time to act. Unfortunately, with all of the fallout, fears, and questions that arise when you get laid off, it can be difficult to know what actions you should take. Many people end up in panic mode and make the process of landing a new position a lot tougher than it needs to be.

No worries, this post is a basic roadmap to help you navigate your unexpected job hunt and keeping your career on track.

Embrace the Lay Off

Do what? That’s right, I said embrace the lay off.

Treat getting laid off as an opportunity to make that career move that you have been hesitant to make. Use this as a chance to reinvent or enhance your professional profile and do it like a pro. Mindset is everything when you embark on a transition like this one and no one is excited to hire a sad sack. So get yourself in a hunter mentality and prepare to take the job market by storm!

Who Are You?

Your resume, portfolio, and online presence can be your best friend or your worst enemy at a time like this.

One of the first things you will want to do is get your resume and portfolio in tip-top shape and ready to be sent off to your potential new employer the moment that opportunity knocks. Contrary to what many of the talking heads on the Internet have said, the resume is not dead and it will open doors for you if it is done well. Partner up with someone in your network that is a hiring manager or with a recruiter and get some unbiased and informed professional feedback on how you can most effectively update your resume and make it appealing to a new employer.

Many people only touch their portfolio when they have to. Others do a good job of keeping their portfolio updated with their most recent and exciting projects as they happen. If you fall into the former group you will want to dive in and get your portfolio updated right away. Nothing prevents candidates from landing interviews with great firms like an outdated or badly formatted portfolio.

If you do need to tune up your portfolio, check out these posts that might offer you some tips and tricks to make your portfolio stand out:

One other piece of your professional profile that you need to address when you are looking to land a new position is your social media presence. First and foremost, make sure that your LinkedIn profile has an updated and professional photo and that all of the information on your LinkedIn profile is current, accurate, and compliments your resume. Finally, make sure that you have updated contact information on your LinkedIn profile so hiring managers and recruiters can get in touch with you easily during your job search.

When it comes to your other social media profiles (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc), make sure that your profile photos are employer friendly and that all of your privacy settings are set up the way you would like them.

Where Do You Want To Go?

Do you want to find a position just like the one you were just laid off from? Are you looking to make a move into a new sector of your industry? Do you want to go for a big corporate job or find a mom-and-pop firm that will allow you to wrap your arms around an entire project?

When you get laid off, it is the perfect time to re-evaluate your professional direction and get in tune with what you want for your career as it moves forward. Leverage this unplanned inconvenience into a professional re-invention.

But First, Coffee

The minute you find out that a lay off is eminent, I strongly suggest that you activate your professional network by strategically letting members of your network know that you are facing a lay off and that you are actively looking for new opportunities. If you would really like to kick things into a higher gear, I would suggest an excellent tactic that I learned from Jeff Echols: coffee.

When put in a similar position, Jeff started what he calls the ‘Coffee a Day Initiative.’ Jeff leveraged his network to launch an aggressive and effective job search and to keep himself sane through the process. Read more about Jeff’s ‘Coffee a Day Initiative’ and be sure to follow him on his social channels, you will learn a lot.

I Need A Hero

Sometimes, when the going gets really rough, you need someone that has the resources and the know-how to help you navigate your way through the darkness. If you are facing a lay off, consider connecting with an experienced recruiter that specializes in your particular field.

While a headhunter does not go out and find people jobs, they do find the right people for firms that have asked them to help identify sought after talent. The right recruiter will know the market for your industry, have a robust and active network that they are in touch with consistently, and they may already have a job that is waiting for someone like you. At the very least, a good recruiter will give you honest feedback about your resume and portfolio as well as some insight on how you can improve your prospects during an unexpected job search.

The best part…it doesn’t cost you a dime.

What Now?

If you are facing a lay off and trying to figure out what to do next I have some good news: You just read this post, so you are already actively trying to move in the right direction.

As you start working on updating your resume/portfolio and activating your network, take a few minutes to give me a call. I would like to learn more about you and how I might be able to help you navigate your situation. My direct line is: 206-538-2282.

I would love the opportunity to be of service and maybe grab a cup of coffee with you.