After Layoff: 3 Keys for Speeding Up Re-Employment
Meg Montford, Business & Career Coach
happened? One day you were working and the next day you were ushered
out with a pink slip. What do you do now? Does looking for another
position in today's economy overwhelm you? What can you do to ensure
future job security?
For a company undergoing restructuring, a layoff is like pruning
a tree to stimulate its growth. For you, the downsized employee,
a layoff is an involuntary life-altering event. How you cope with
it will impact your future employment experiences. Even if you are
lucky to get outplacement
services, mastery of certain core competencies is a must. To
boost layoff recovery, become an expert
in the key actions of Connect, Clarify and Commit. To get ahead
of the curve, hire an expert like a Career
Coach to personally guide you.
consists of: 1) connecting with yourself, 2) connecting with a career
support team, and, of course, 3) connecting with hiring authorities.
Let's briefly explore these action steps.
layoff can be a traumatic experience - in many ways similar to a
loved one's death or perhaps a divorce. It is critical to get in
touch with your feelings. Let yourself experience the stages of
grief (including the pain) as so aptly explained by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
in her book, "On Death and Dying." These stages include shock, denial,
anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Although you may feel
emotions sparked by these stages at any time during the layoff healing
process, most individuals will need to go through all six stages
to achieve a healthy perspective about re-entering
from layoff shock can be a lonely process, so assemble a career
support team to act as your personal advisory board. This team should
include your Career Coach, a trusted and qualified professional
who will support your efforts to discover where you can improve,
what you want to change, and how to optimize your job
search for re-employment success. Who else belongs on this
team? Family, friends and colleagues…some, perhaps, experiencing
a layoff, too. A note of caution: the purpose of a support team
is one of positive energy and forward movement, not an ongoing "pity
party" - so choose your support team members wisely!
you move forward, hiring authorities will become your connection
focus. Interviews, and how to get them, will become your main goal.
This is where preparation becomes critical. Know your work history
inside out. Develop an articulate way to verbalize your accomplishments
and how they added value to your past employer's bottom line. Practice
your personal "unique selling proposition" or 30-second commercial
to use in networking situations, telephone
interviews and face-to-face meetings. Role-play interview
situations with your Career Coach to acquire a comfort-level in
telling your "stories" to potential employers.
must be clarified as part of your reemployment process? A layoff
offers you time to examine your career history, career path and
career goals. Are your values in alignment
with your career? Values may be personal, spiritual or professional
in nature. If they are out of sync, career satisfaction will elude
you. A lot has been said recently about values, or lack of, in the
workplace. Only when your values mesh with your company's culture
will you be happy. Only when you find a way to work your passion
will you jump out of bed in the morning with an "I can't wait to
get to work" attitude.
only review your values, but also evaluate your skills and interests.
With assistance from a Career Coach, access assessments to explore
possible shifts in your career direction. Don't assume that just
because you have worked in the same industry for the past 10 or
15 years you are stuck there. (Career Coach note: I left a 12-year
career to begin another in the career management
field where I have been working my passion for the past 17 years.)
your educational background…what would
you have to do to brush up on stale skills or retrain for a new
field? What interests do you have that could be transformed into
a rewarding career? Let curiosity, not fear, motivate your exploration.
We live in an ever-changing world where companies struggle to maintain
profitability. They seek employees who embrace change and drive
innovation. We're never too old to learn new things. In fact, learning
is a lifelong process. What knowledge areas do you want to expand?
How can you lead the cutting-edge of innovation? (Career Coach note:
Is now the right time to explore starting your own business?)
where your career values, interests and skills merge, then filter
them through business reality…the final clarification prior to launching
a career change. Now, and only now,
are you ready to write your resume. Your resume must be PERFECT!
It will be your primary marketing tool used to get interviews. It
will be your brochure, your calling card; it will make your first
impression for you. Even if you are a good writer, you may be too
close to your own situation to do justice to your resume. Hire a
resume writer who knows how to position you on paper.
create your action plan and commit to working it. Research companies
and job leads, network in professional circles (85% of all positions
are secured through networking), develop a system for posting to
the job boards and track your results, and use your Career Coach
to keep you on course. Now is NOT the time to take a vacation!
a positive attitude by accepting the
past as past; learn from it and let it go! Realize that the job
search process in a numbers game…you will have to collect your set
of "no's" to get a "yes." Above all else, be true to yourself. Don't
accept just any job offer or you will be searching again soon, a
victim of the "rebound" syndrome. Remember, job security comes from
within you. No one owes you a job…you've learned that lesson, right?
Develop a "brand me" approach to your career with you as your own
most important product. Then, success will become yours!
in 6FigureJobs.com newsletter, February 2003, Volume 2.)
note: Now in 2008, we are once again facing the challenges of a
slow-down economy. The same advice in the above article still is
relevant - follow it to find your job satisfaction.