Position Yourself For a New Job Immediately After Being Laid Off

by Hank Coleman

The recession has come and gone and many people are continuing to be laid off. The federal government just released the new unemployment numbers in America, and 10.2% of Americans are unemployed.  And, that does not even include the amount of people who were able to find part time jobs despite really wanting full time employment.  That number might be closer to 18% of the population.  We have not seen employment numbers this bad since the early 1980’s. 

Just because you have been laid off does not mean that your chances of having a good job or even a job in the first place have totally fizzled out. There are a few things that you can do right after getting laid off that will help position yourself to find a new job.

Stay On A Routine.  Do not start sleeping in late or watching television on your couch.  Keep your nine to five work routine.  Use that time to look for a job.  You should be actively looking for employment during that time keeping your normal working routine.  It will be much harder for you if you don’t when you finally do go back to work. 

File For Unemployment Benefits.  One of the first things that you should do after losing your job is to file for unemployment benefits. Some states offer this service online where you can skip the long lines and embarrassment.  No matter how you do it, file! You have to prove that the cause of unemployment was not due to misconduct of your own or not because you quit the job.

Reassess Your Finances.  Now it is time to assess your financial situation.  You should look at your budget and spending patterns after every major life change and once a year as well.  And, losing your job definitely qualifies as a major life change.  If you do not already have a budget, make one.  If you have one already, look at adjusting it.  You probably need to cut back on your discretionary spending for a little while until you get back on your feet.  Avoid overspending during this time by having unnecessary services removed and buying less expensive items.

Update Your Resume.  At this time, you should work on updating your resume.  Most of us do not keep one up-to-date until we needed.  You might want to even consider spending a few hundred dollars on getting it professionally written.  There have been several new style changes that HR departments are looking for in resumes.  You need to make sure that yours has the key words, job descriptions, and responsibilities that an employer is looking for in today’s market. 

Go Back To School.  Also, see if you need a career change.  It is never too late to change your line of work.  A lot of people can also take this time to go back to school.  Maybe this is a wake up call for you to start doing what you love to do.  Like Gary Vaynerchuk says in his book, “Crush It: Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion“, life is too short not to live your passion.  Do you work to live or live to work?

Tap Into Your Network.  When you lose your job or see the writing on the wall right before you lose it, you should start getting in touch with with the people in your network of contacts.  Now is not the time to realize that you do not have a network in place when you are jobless.  Start building your network of business contacts right now before you need them.  If you currently have a secure career, continue to cultivate them and save them for a rainy day.

Social Media.  Announce your availability on Twitter.  If you are not on Twitter under your own personal name or company name, you might want to go get an account now.  It goes back to starting to build up your contacts.  Get a following.  Follow everyone in your industry.   A lot of them will follow you because you are following them.  It may sound a little cheesy now, but it won’t when you announce that you are looking for a job and you now thousands of followers who you can reach out to straight from your cell phone to get your foot in the door.

All in all, getting laid off is not something to panic about and with good planning, you can find a new job soon.  There are steps you can take before and after being laid off that can surely help your new job search speed along.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ashley November 23, 2009 at 4:35 pm

More than social networking people need to start branding themselves online all together. A custom URL is only $10. Buy your name and get to working on building up a profile you would be proud for people ot see if they searched your name online. That is one of the best ROI’s out there as many employers and recruiters will search someone’s name first on Google before even considering them for a job.

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