Job Search After a Layoff: 7 Ways to Start

Losing a job is stressful; an unexpected layoff can be devastating. Seven tips for making the most of your post-layoff job search.

Job search after a  layoff needs determination.
job hunting (Photo credit: Robert S. Donovan)

In today’s economy, layoffs have become a fact of life. There is no such thing as an indispensable employee. Improved unemployment numbers aside, the possibility of losing your job and beginning a new job search is always present.

If you have a plan, it can make living with an unexpected job loss a whole less stressful. Few people genuinely prepare for unemployment, and they end up working double time to pick up the pieces of their lives.

After a layoff, the first thing to do is take control of the situation. It is the only real way to get back on track for your career.

A layoff shouldn’t keep you down. Seven ways to jumpstart your job search after a layoff:

  • Take a moment to reflect.

The first thing people usually do after a layoff is to jump in feet first to a new job search. A better strategy is to take time to consider, refocus and restart. Take the time to get organized and prepared for a remarkably focused job search.

  • When a door closes, a window opens.

You can either look at this as a tragedy, or an opportunity. It’s crucial to remember this episode as something positive. This might be your chance to redraw the narrative of your career, back to school or change direction

  • Polish your résumé to a full shine!

Sudden layoffs are just that—unexpected. Take time to get your résumé in order, and all of your professional social media profiles “résumé ready.” Do not start a job search until all your ducks are in a row. Then—and only then—are will be prepared to put your best foot forward.

  • Network.

It may be difficult to tell professional contacts about your unemployment, but is it relevant. Rank your contacts by those who could help you the most, as well as looking towards new approaches to further network during your job search. Try to get referrals, since the word of mouth is the most effective method to get a new job.

  • Get a strategy.

Unemployment can be unnerving. Instead of haphazardly embarking on a job search, develop a plan of action, to attain the next chapter in your career. Set a goal, use your strengths, network, and go beyond the obvious like job boards. Treat the job search like a business by managing both time and opportunities.

  • Get professional help.

When you are unemployed, you will receive advice from everywhere—especially friends and family. You may be feeling lost and confused, and the best thing is to talk with a career expert, to give you the best tips and information about your job search.

  • Attitude is everything.

Layoffs, unemployment and the resulting job search can be a massive source of stress. It is extremely valuable to stay positive in the face of hardship. One thing to keep in mind, your success will come from a combination of perspective and attitude.

To press on after a layoff takes commitment and more than a little bit of willpower. You want to be organized and thoughtful in your job search; it will be the fastest way to get back to business.

Do you have any tips for dealing with a layoff or starting a new job search?  Join the conversation in the comments below!


Published by @philammann

Put. That coffee. Down. Writer/editor/whatever it takes. @margaretj13 is my (much) better half. Website: Email: Twitter: @PhilAmmann

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