Updated: Nov 7, 2019
Just lost your job? Here's how to turn adversity into opportunity, and how losing your job can open the door to a new and exciting position.
Losing a job is hard. No matter if you were laid off or fired, the loss of a job affects everything from your finances to your career, and for those of us whose personas are strongly tied to our work, it can have a detrimental influence on self-esteem and overall well-being. The best career advice the certified resume writers of SoCalResumes can offer on how to recover from losing your job is to focus on the future.
Having assisted thousands of job seekers, SoCalResumes knows what it takes to make a positive impression on hiring managers and recruiters. Keep reading to learn how to turn adversity into opportunity, and how losing your job can open the door to a new and exciting position.
Know Your Options
One of the most vital steps you can take when being let go from an employer is to know where you stand with them, as this will impact everything from your finances to your job search to how you market yourself to prospective employers. Critical questions that need to be answered include: Are you eligible for unemployment benefits? Will you receive a severance? How long will you be covered under the company’s health insurance? What will happen to your 401(k)? Will your vacation and sick time be paid out? What about references?
If the reason for losing your job is a layoff or corporate restructuring, consider inquiring about part-time or freelance work. I recently worked at a company that brought a handful of laid-off employees back as freelancers—although not ideal, it provided those people with a steady income while pursuing new full-time jobs.
Understand Your Finances
Whether you’re collecting unemployment or finding freelance work to cover your expenses between jobs, it’s important to understand your finances and create a budget that aligns with them. According to the website CareerBuilder, 78% of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck, which accounts for the financial stress so many people feel when out of work and why so many job hunters take the first position that comes their way rather than waiting for a satisfying and rewarding one in a field of interest. Even though it’s difficult, try to create a budget that doesn’t deplete your savings or increase your debt.
Life After Losing a Job
If you can afford to take a short break, do it! Losing your job can be jarring and spending a little time away from work—and searching for it—is healthy and can lead to a more energized job hunt. However, don’t just dive into a Netflix series and a bag of chips; instead, seek out healthy activities like exercise and being outside. Exercise is a great way to help reduce the stress that comes along with losing a job, while “forest bathing” has been shown to increase relaxation and lead to clearer thinking—both will lead to you presenting a happier, more positive image to potential new employers.
Power of Positivity
Instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of losing your job, become an optimist—even perceived adverse aspects can become positives. For example, you didn’t lose your job, you’ve been given the opportunity to find your dream job. Losing your job isn’t about the door that closed, it’s about the doors that are now open.
Evaluate Your Career
Before searching for the same type of jobs or jobs within the same field you just left, consider why you lost your last job. Industry shifts and trends might indicate that even if you find a similar job you could once again end up in the same situation. Conversely, if your last position left you unhappy and unfulfilled, this could be the perfect time for a career change. If you’re considering a career change, don’t miss our article, Changing Careers? 5 Tips to Make Sure Your Resume Sets You Up for Success.
Develop a Search Strategy
Just because you lost your job doesn’t mean there isn’t work to do. Treat your job search as if it were a paid position. Create a schedule that incorporates a variety of activities focused on landing a new job. Although it’s tempting to job search primarily online, the reality is that only a small fraction of positions are filled through online application. Talking with recruiters, attending networking events, and improving your resume with the assistance of a professional resume writer are all simple steps toward landing your next job.
Put Your Network to Work
The website PayScale estimates that between 70% and 85% of jobs are filled via networking, confirming the old adage that your network is your net worth. Don’t keep your employment status a secret, letting friends, family, and past coworkers know that you’re looking for a new job is an obvious pathway to a new position. Need another great reason for reaching out to your network? Some experts believe that between 70% and 80% of jobs are not published.
Sell Yourself on Social Media
According to a survey from CareerBuilder, 70% of employers use social networking sites to research potential employees while another 7% plan to start. In other words, the likelihood of a person responsible for hiring looking at your social media profiles is high. With this in mind, update your profiles to make yourself as appealing as possible to employers. The same CareerBuilder survey showed that 66% of employers use search engines to research candidates—Google yourself and see what shows up. If it’s embarrassing, see about having it removed or develop a professional way to address it.
In addition to updating your online presence, take the time to revise your cover letter and resume. Your cover letter and resume are often a hiring manager’s or recruiter’s initial interaction with you—and you and you want to make a great first impression. Take a class on how to write a resume or consult with a certified professional resume writer to ensure that you present yourself in a clear and concise manner, highlight in-demand skills, and submit a document free of typos and grammatical errors.
Avoid These Actions
Hostility: Losing a job is emotional and it’s common to feel everything from sad to angry. Venting might feel good in the moment but will do more harm than good in the long run.
Criticism: Making disparaging remarks about your former company and colleagues will make you look unprofessional and bitter. Moreover, it may lead to future employers wondering if you’ll say the same things about them.
Internalizing: When someone loses their job, it is most often outside of their control. Instead of worrying about what you didn’t do, think about what you can do in your next job.
Losing your job is a stressful and anxious time and those emotions are only enhanced by the unknowns facing anyone who suddenly finds themselves jobless. The resume help provided by SoCalResumes is an easy way for job hunters to get a leg up on the competition. Our professional resume writers can help you highlight valuable skills, spotlight relevant work experience, and craft a well-written and visually impactful resume that will grab the attention of potential employers, get you interviews, and help you land your dream job.
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