It’s never easy to lose a job. When you’ve been laid off, bouncing back can feel impossible. While you may want to summon up all your confidence, almost anyone in this situation feels self-doubt and worry. It’s perfectly normal to stress about what happens next.
The good news is that what happens next is largely in your hands. You can do more than survive a layoff — you can thrive. All you have to do to rally is take advantage of today’s tech.
The first thing to do is review and update your resume. After all, it’s the first thing a potential employer will want to see. It may have been years or decades since you last had to dust off your list of accomplishments. You’ll need a fresh resume to send out with all of your recent achievements, including any new certifications, degrees, promotions, and titles you’ve earned. You should also list any classes you have taken or languages you have learned.
Fortunately, you don’t have to update your resume alone. You can create customized resumes from scratch with an AI resume builder designed to make you look your best for each application. Where you once had to hope you’d crafted perfectly worded objectives or descriptions of your work experience, now you have help.
Better still, you don’t have to come up with hundreds of dollars for a professional resume writer. You can sign up to access free templates online and even get help writing cover letters.
Once you’ve burnished your resume, it’s time to put yourself out there. Even if you don’t want to start applying for jobs right away, you should be networking. Stay active on LinkedIn to join the conversations in your industry. Post regularly on your topics of expertise. Make yourself visible in the circles and communities you’ve been in over the years.
Jobvite research found that 40% of new hires get their jobs after being referred by one of the company’s own employees. That’s right. Who you know often matters more than what you know. So reach out to former colleagues, fellow alumni, and industry contacts, and forge connections in online groups and forums.
The more you show up in the right places and get seen by the right people, the more likely you will get hired. You can spend an hour a day on LinkedIn reading, checking in, and posting. Attend online networking events in your field. And of course, refer others for jobs and opportunities when you can. In the business world, networking can make all the difference.
While you have downtime, use some of it to conduct research. Check out the top companies in your field. Read their blogs and newsletters. Subscribe as a customer or client to get their emails and updates.
Look into the top executives and those who hold positions you aspire to. When you familiarize yourself with what those companies need, you can aim to meet those needs. Further, when you see who holds your preferred position, you can compare your achievements and credentials. You may see a skills gap you can use your free time to fill.
Conversely, your research might reveal that there are reasons you don’t want to work for a particular company — even if they’re hiring. Being laid off is a very real opportunity to potentially change your career trajectory. You’ve likely heard the statistics that people change careers once or twice in their lifetimes. This may be one of those times for you. Rather than looking for a job like the one you had — whoever’s offering — perhaps you should research how to pivot into a new career.
To that end, you could use some of your downtime to learn new skills. Even if you want to remain in your industry and chosen career, online classes are almost always a plus. It shows a dedication to lifelong learning that will appeal to almost any employer.
If you hold a higher-level position in your industry, it may take months to find a new job. When you utilize that time to enhance your professional skill set, you can put that on your resume. Future employers will appreciate that you filled your unemployment period with education.
The internet is filled with ways to learn and resources to choose from. You can engage in a journey of self-education via e-books and apps. Alternatively, you can take online classes that will grant you a certificate. Either way, you will be able to speak to what you learned on your resume, in your cover letter, and in your interviews. You may even be able to use a new language you learned on your journey!
Finally, in all of your eagerness to build skills, network, and get a new job, don’t forget to relax occasionally. It is true that desperation reeks. A desperate energy is an off-putting quality in even the most qualified candidates. Try one of the dozens of relaxation and meditation apps online to quell your anxieties and restore your inner calm. Confidence is the opposite of desperation, and confident people get more jobs.
Another element of relaxation that often gets overlooked is organization. Chaos is disruptive and unsettling; it generates a frantic energy. To combat the panic, get organized.
Check out an online calendar app to help you keep track of your goals and the steps you’re taking to get there. Long before you get your next job, plan your days as if you’re already working. Then, when you do land your dream job, you’ll be that much better prepared to excel and impress.
While losing your job might feel like the end of the world, it doesn’t have to be. Indeed, it can be the beginning of something great.
In today’s age of easily accessible information, you can use the internet to become a better version of yourself. And that better version might decide to aim even higher, personally and professionally. Technology puts resources at your fingertips, literally. You can only benefit from tapping into them.