Bouncing Back From a Layoff


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We keep hearing that the economy has bounced back. That unemployment rates are down and companies are thriving once more. And for the most part, this is all true – we are certainly better off today than we were seven years ago. But that doesn’t mean some companies aren’t still struggling, or that layoffs aren’t still happening. Because they are, and if you are reading here now – you have very likely been a recent victim of a round of layoffs at your own company.

Perhaps you’ve worked for the same people for 20 years. Or maybe it was a relatively new job and you hadn’t quite found your niche yet. Either way, getting laid off is a shock to the senses for everyone. And there is typically a bit of a grieving process that accompanies losing a job through no fault of your own.

It can be tempting to ride out that severance package and enjoy a little time off, allowing yourself to work through the grieving, while also taking advantage of days that aren’t dictated by a work schedule. But the longer you remain unemployed – the harder that gap on your resume can be to explain, and the more difficult it becomes to get hiring managers to take you seriously. They say the best time to look for a new job is while you are still employed. But short of that – you should be looking as close to your layoff date as possible. You need to strike while the iron is hot and get proactive about the job search today, if you hope to bounce back and come out ahead.

Reach Out to Your Network

You have been networking all these years for exactly this type of occasion. You’ve made connections in the industry, done favors for others in the past and created an environment where people know you and like working with you. Take advantage of that! Reach out to your network and let them know about the recent layoffs at your company. Then ask them to let you know if they hear about any openings at the companies they work for, or anywhere else for that matter. Make your job search known, and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations and referrals.

Connect with an Industry Recruiter

Depending on the industry you work in, you may find that your best bet is working with a recruiter who is already aligned with some of the top companies. Many organizations today are utilizing recruiters to put them in touch with the best candidates, and these recruiters are paid specifically for connecting you with those organizations – so if you can market yourself to them as a valuable candidate, they can ensure you are at the front of the line for upcoming opportunities.

Get Busy

Don’t just sit around, soaking up all this free time you now have. Yes, the idea of sleeping in and focusing only on the job search is tempting – but it can also create a rut you fall into fairly quickly. Instead, work to get up at the same time every day as you would have for your old job. Then, find things to do with those extra hours. Create a schedule and stick to it, including activities like working out, volunteering and job searching every day. Getting out, active and busy will keep you in the right frame of mind, and it may also create opportunities for you to network with people who could help you get a foot in the door at your dream company.

Consider Career Coaching

Maybe this recent layoff has you reconsidering the path you have been on. Perhaps the job you lost wasn’t ever really your dream job, or maybe you aren’t where you thought you would be at this point. A career coach can help you to reconsider your options, and to figure out which direction to go from here. It could be that this layoff is a blessing in disguise – and that the next step in your career will be one you will find true fulfillment in.

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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