What to Do When You’ve Been Laid Off

So you’ve been laid off. This can cause a cascade of emotions and stress for anyone.  However, it’s important to keep a level head and stay focused on your goals, taking conscientious and regular action to get hired.  Here’s some ideas to maximize your ability to succeed.

Go Public With Your Job Search

Tell everyone. Reach out through social networks, connect with old friends, and make new ones. It’s very tempting to give into shame about something like getting laid off, but now is not the time. Being laid off is a normal part of modern life and it doesn’t say anything about who you are or your marketable skills. Reach out to people on Facebook, LinkedIn and in real life. Networking is a great way to find new leads, and maybe someday you will be able to return the favor.

Related: Have you Updated your Facebook Profile for a Job Search?

Prepare for the Long Haul and Big Changes

You should consider relocation as an option immediately. Broaden your search to other cities and states. This could be a great opportunity to get to experience a new and wonderful place.  Allow your imagination to run wild. Think big. At the same time, you need to plan for reality.  Job changes mean money flow issues. Take the time to look at your budget and cut all discretionary spending. If you don’t have a budget, maybe now is the time to create one, and include line items like moving costs, interview clothes, and other essentials for landing your new job.

Make Sure to Focus on Self-Care When You’re Laid Off

Multitasking and stress are integral to the job search, especially when you’re laid off. You need to treat yourself like a job-searching pro-athlete. Eat healthy food, exercise, and pull out all the stops to make sure you’re doing what you need to do to stay physically and mentally healthy.  It’s worth it to take some time for self-reflection.  Do you want to change career paths? Are you happy with your career goals? Take some time to journal, make some lists, and consider reading some books on the topics you’re interested in.

Related: The Best Career Books to Read During Quarantine

Create Your Own Structure

Now that you’re laid off, you no longer have the benefit of a manager, company project management software, specific times to get to work and leave work or all the other ways that company life organizes us. Take some time to decide how to organize yourself. It’s all too easy to procrastinate and put off for another day that which you could do today. Make the job search your new job. Give yourself hours to clock in and clock out.  If you don’t already have a system to organize your personal tasks, get one. It can be as simple as post-it notes on your fridge or as complicated as your own personal project management software.

There are countless online apps to help with this process. Google Keep is free and integrated into google products, and there are many project management and organization tools available such as ClickUp, Trello, Evernote, and Asana. Organizing your time will help you avoid wasting time staring at job boards or Facebook hoping for leads. Having tasks to complete can give you a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

Stay Positive and Keep Taking Action

One of the most common mistakes in the job search is to stop searching as soon as you’ve gotten one lead or one interview. This is an ongoing process. Even if you’ve got an interview with the perfect company and you know that your knowledge base will make you an exceptional employee, you must still keep looking. Until you’re hired you’re not done. Focus on being the best job searcher you can be.  Nail every interview. Find what is exciting in every opportunity.  Think outside the box and cast a wide net for jobs. Analyze your skillset and envision how you could use your skills in new and creative ways.

Volunteering is a great way to build your resume, network with new people, and stay in the game. Look for non-profits who could use your skills and reach out. Websites like VolunteerMatch.org and Idealist.org can help you find opportunities.

The most important thing is to keep at it.  Keep searching, keep positive, and keep improving your skills, resume, and plans.

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