Just Got Laid Off? Don’t Panic—But Do Follow These Steps
You got laid off.
It’s okay. It happens.
While it probably doesn’t seem like it now, a transition like this can be a blessing in disguise. Getting laid off is the perfect kick in the pants that some of us need to get out of our dead-end careers and move on to something more lucrative, challenging, and exciting.
And the opportunities are there: A 2017 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics detailed how mid-2017 had some of the highest rates of job availability across numerous sectors since the end of the Great Recession. If you weren’t crazy about your position at your old company, now’s your chance to find a role that suits you better.
First, don’t panic
Losing your job isn’t the end of the world, even if it was a good gig.
In the earliest days of unemployment, it’s important to stay calm and be cautious. The key to weathering any tumultuous situation is consistency.
Don’t make any drastic decisions in the first couple days regarding your living situation, relationships, future career plans, or even your diet. (Although we wouldn’t begrudge you a pint of Ben & Jerry’s for your trouble.) Take some time and let things settle before proceeding.
Begin your new “job”
What’s the best way to deal with unemployment? Treating the job hunt as your new job. Losing your job sucks, but sulking about it won’t change the hand you were dealt.
Wake up on time. Shower. Shine your shoes, comb your hair, and get ready to pound the pavement—you’re going to be busy shaking hands.
It’s crucial to stay busy in tough times like these. Be proactive from the very beginning and try to keep yourself as occupied as you were at your previous job. The quicker you adapt, the quicker you’ll find yourself in an exciting new opportunity.
Identify what you want
Here’s your chance to take stock of your previous job and dig out all the nitty-gritty details. What did you like about it? What did you hate? Did you feel out of place in the culture? Did you let your boss undercut you on benefits you rightfully deserved?
This step is crucial as the answers will determine which jobs you should apply for. Be ruthless, here. One of the positives of being laid off is that you don’t have to justify the negatives of your job any longer. Make a list of your must-haves and must NOT haves, and use it to guide your job hunt.
Get your résumé in order
If you haven’t updated your résumé in a while, now’s the time.
Of course, we generally recommend that everyone keep their résumé up-to-date over time, even when you’re not actively job hunting. It makes this step a little less daunting, though there are plenty of resources online (such as Urgenci’s résumé guide) that can help speed things along.
And remember, you’ll want to adapt the details of your résumé to the specific job you’re applying for, so don’t just update it once and batch-blast it out to a hundred different companies. Get the details on paper and then customize it for each job you apply for.
Your last step – get busy applying
Apply online. Apply in person. Network with whatever professional contacts you have and look for new opportunities. You likely have some idea of where to find jobs in your industry, but if not, working with an outside recruitment firm like Urgenci can be a great way to bridge the gap.
Of course, this last step is the biggest one. It’ll likely take some time before you land a new gig. But as long as you stay positive and focused throughout this transition, you can face forward and take on these new challenges with confidence.