Saturday, January 21, 2017

Five Strategies to Overcome an Unexpected Job Loss

Five Strategies to Overcome an Unexpected Job Loss

Losing your job is never easy and this is particularly the case if it’s unexpected. It can result in feelings of anxiety or depression, but it can also be a positive time to reflect upon your future professional journey. Here are some practical strategies to assist with overcoming an unexpected job loss.

Keep the ball rolling
If you’ve been faced with the reality of losing your job, it’s important not to stagnate. Keep the traction of your regular work day by maintaining a similar schedule. Rise for work at the same time each day and execute your job hunt as if you were still working, as if your office was your home. By following a similar schedule such as eating lunch at your regular lunchtime, you’ll find it easier to stay motivated and you’ll be less inclined to drop your game.

The more motivated you feel, the more enthusiastic you’ll sound both on the phone and in written communication. Despite the fact your job loss may have come as a shock and yesterday you may not have expected to be searching for work today, commence your job search as soon as possible to maintain continuous momentum.

Commence your job search immediately
The earlier you begin examining your options, the sooner you’ll be in a position to gain clarity around your next steps. You’ll need to consider such things as whether you want to search for the exact same job in a similar company, whether it’s time to change careers or in some rare occasions even returning to the same employer in a different position. Don’t rush into making a decision but at the same time don’t delay because you need to get on top of things as soon as possible.

Once you’ve decided the direction you’d like to take, reach out to your network. Consider if anyone you know can connect you to the type of job or company you’d like to work for. These days networking is often key to job search success, so use your existing network creatively and focus on expanding your network, particularly during this job search phase.

Use online professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn to identify prominent recruiters in your line of work. Make connections with each of them and introduce yourself and your intentions. Also, search local and national job boards to identify suitable vacancies for which you might like to apply.

Make use of your employers outplacement service
According to a Reed Global survey 81% of employers surveyed utilize some help from external outplacement providers. You may not know that the company that laid you off may also provide this service, especially to their executives. That's not to say you can't negotiate outplacement services for your own benefit. If you are offered redundancy or severance pay, ask your employer. Some of the benefits of outplacement include helping you transition into a new job through learning how to write a resume, interview coaching and personalized matching of jobs to your skills.

Is your resume up to date?
Prioritize the need to update your resume. Will you simply have to add details of your most recent job or is it time for a complete resume overhaul? If time for a refresh, consider engaging the services of a professional resume writer or even speak with former colleagues on any job responsibilities you may have forgot.

These days, job hunting is a competitive process and every element of your presentation counts including marketing tools such as your resume and cover letter. If updating your resume, consider the duties of your most recent job as well as the accomplishments you achieved. Using your position description can assist you to develop the information for your resume.

Prepare prospective references
If some time has passed since you last spoke to your professional references, it’s time to reconnect. These are important people who are critical to your future career success and who may have changed jobs or contact details since you last spoke. Now is the time to reach out to them and request their participation as your reference again. Being prepared and having references on standby is essential to the success of your job hunt.

With all job losses, even when expected, there is usually a slight shock still involved. Use this to your advantage and build on it as a positive to move you forward in the right direction in your career.


Joe Flanagan is the Senior Consultant at Velvet Jobs, a job search facility that helps candidates and employers find their perfect job and employee. His expertise span over 11 years and include
recruitment, HR and career advice.