Let me precursor why I chose to write this post. I work for a big organization that is in the due diligence part of a merger. While this may be scary for some, being prepared is the best way to protect yourself.
In today’s society it happens all too often we hear about a manufacturing plant closing or a company downsizing. Layoffs are becoming the norm rather than the exception. Do you know anyone who has been laidoff? Regardless the reason, you need to make sure that you are in the best shape possible to weather a layoff. First ensure that you have an emergency fund, this will alleviate some of the stress of not having a steady income while you are out of work.
First you want to make sure that you know what the states guidelines are for unemployment compensation, most have some policy which grants temporary reduced compensation to “hold you over” until you find a more permanent solution.
That’s the reason it would be best to start taking action NOW to help you find a new job and put yourself in the best position, the earlier the better. Knowing the steps now can alleviate frustration in the future.
Step 1: The Resume
The easiest time to update your resume is when you are actually working in the job. I keep my resume up to date at all times and as I do more in my job I update it! Sometimes when you leave a job, it is difficult to remember all the tasks that you performed, this system alleviates that!
Step 2: The Hunt
Resume in hand, it is best to begin with Google and search for job boards in your area. In my area, there are sites like: Monster, Careerbuilder, Indeed, SimplyHired and Craigslist. While many focus just on the internet, make sure you do not forget about your local paper to make sure that you have all your bases covered. This is where you strategize, it will take a good amount of work to get a new job so be prepared to put in the time. There are head hunter firms out there as well that will help you.
Step 3: The Meet N Greet
Put your best foot forward; make sure you know the attire that you should be wearing to the interview. If you are applying for an executive level job you better make sure that you have the necessary skills and look the part. There will be a degree of nervousness, but practice with friends and family to fine tune your interview skills.
Step 4: The Offer
Do not sell yourself short, just because you were laid off does not mean that you have to take a low ball offer. You know your skill set and what you were making in your previous job. Make sure you do not just jump at the first offer that you get because you may be doing yourself a disservice and undermining future opportunities. So the offer was not perfect or was not what you were looking for, no problem go back to the drawing board.
Step 5: The Roundabout
Not every job is a perfect fit for you, so if your new job requires a certain skill or degree. Go out there and get it. Talk to others in the industry “Network” to find out where they got their skills or what you could be doing to make yourself more marketable. The career game is never-ending and once you settle on a job, make sure that you always have an exit strategy and to be prepared. You never know when you might be the next one out the door!
Written by Christopher at This That and the MBA. While I have never been through a layoff but I know people who were very surprised and unprepared when they got the notice. Now working in the finance field, I usually know ahead of time when layoffs are going to happen and preparation is the best key to weathering the storm. Check him out at: This That and the MBA where he talks money management and other ramblings.
Photo by: Michael Paul Escanuelas
What would you do if you were laidoff?