In this economy, unfortunately layoffs are inevitable. When a layoff happens, of course you want to ensure you have covered yourself regarding benefits, unemployment, severance, etc. (see a great article on this on About.com).
However, beyond this initial reaction, what should you consider when regrouping and working towards obtaining a new position?
- Don’t burn your bridges – you are going to need your network: You may be in shock after being laid off, heck you may even burst into tears. It is hard to lose a job and many people go through the mourning cycle experiencing denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. From my recruiting chair, here are some things to keep in mind as you do go through these typical stages of grief over losing your job:
- Be in a position to ask for references. Being laid off cannot be “undone” so getting angry and blasting the HR person stuck with giving you the bad news is going to do nothing but leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Not only do you not want to put yourself in a situation to regret anything you said, you also want to ask for references.
- Tell your colleagues. There is nothing wrong with telling your team members that you were just laid off as long as you are calm and professional as you do it. These are people in your network and not only will you want to work with them in the future, but they may know of someone who is hiring now. Leverage those relationships! For more information on this topic, check out our article on How to use your Network when Job Hunting
- How to reflect the layoff on your resume: Be honest. Being laid off is not an indication of poor job performance and anyone who judges you for being laid off has not been paying attention to the world around them. We recommend you put it on your resume under the dates of employment: Company, Job Title, Dates of Employment, and Reason for Leaving. For more information on how to tweak your resume, check out our resources here: Resume Tips
- Should you take short term positions or positions you are overqualified to do? In an ideal world, you would be allowed to take some time off and reassess your career goals. If possible, don’t be hasty and take a permanent position not in alignment with your career path if you don’t have to. We would recommend you consider consulting while you are holding out for that long term dream job. Being a consultant gets you back to work quickly without causing a negative impact to your credentials. We do understand, however, that depending on your financial situation and personal responsibilities, you may have to take something that doesn’t align with your career path or future goals. If that is the case, feel free to reach out to us for advice on how to represent this on your resume.
You will find a new job. Align yourself with a good recruiter, write an outstanding resume and cover letter, brand yourself on LinkedIn, and then start preparing for those interviews You will be back to work in no time!
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