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What To Do After You’ve Been Laid Off

It seems like every day, another tech company announces a layoff.

Although many people might assume engineers are the only ones impacted, the tech industry is comprised of so many other talented individuals — from accounting to HR, to finance, to back-end administration.

And all of these folks need our support, too!

If you’ve been laid off, it may feel like the world is ending. But I’m here to tell you from personal experience that it’s not — your next opportunity is around the corner.

In this post, I’ll share seven of my top tips to get back on your feet, boost your confidence, and get into the right job search mindset!

7 Steps to Bouncing Back After a Layoff

While there are many different ways to bounce back from a layoff, the seven steps I outline below have worked for me and my clients.

1. Breathe!

Chances are you’re feeling hurt, overwhelmed, and anxious — and that’s totally normal.

So feel your feelings. If you’re comfortable, talk to a friend or partner. Try going for a walk or find another way to blow off steam.

2. Review Your LinkedIn

Once you’ve taken some time to process your feelings, it’s time to prepare for your job search. And a big part of that will be refreshing your LinkedIn.

For better or worse, recruiters and hiring managers lean heavily on LinkedIn for candidate research, and it’s critical that yours is up to date.

Add any new skills you learned from your previous job and highlight any big projects or accomplishments in your work history. A lot of candidates will tell me they’re afraid of coming across as bragging, but don’t be afraid to brag about your certifications, experience, and education — you earned them and this is your time to show off!

Next, edit your profile to the “Open to Work” setting to make it easier for recruiters to find you. You might even consider writing a post about how you were affected by a layoff and the types of roles you’re looking for now.

3. Polish Your Resume

Updating your resume should come next.

Use what you added to LinkedIn as inspiration for new bullets, and include any quantitative metrics you can to back up your expertise and experience.

When you’re done, consider sharing your resume with a recruiter or someone you trust. A fresh pair of eyes can not only help you identify things that are missing, but they can also help you pinpoint and fix any spelling or grammar mistakes.

4. Reach Out to a Recruiter

Recruiters are one of the best people for you to connect with.

They know exactly who is hiring and what those people are looking for in a candidate. They can help you get your foot in the door and coach you on resume and interview prep.

So make friends with them — they have your best interests in mind.

5. Leverage Your Network

Don’t forget about the relationships you’ve built with past bosses, coworkers, clients, partners, and even friends. All of those people might know someone who is actively searching for someone with your qualifications.

You never know; calling, emailing, or texting someone might be the gateway to your next role. It’s worked for me — every job I’ve ever had has come from a referral. People who can vouch for you help you stand out from the crowd.

6. Ask for a Letter of Recommendation

The company you’ve been laid off from is probably yearning to help its former staff.

So why not ask for a letter of recommendation, or ask your old boss to be a reference? They’ll likely be willing to do it, and having that extra vote of confidence can go a long way when you’re interviewing for your next position.

7. Keep an Open Mind

As crazy as this sounds, layoffs can be a blessing in disguise.

I was laid off in my 20s from a marketing and advertising job. As I started looking for my next gig, I was exposed to the idea of recruiting. It started to sink in that recruiting was basically like marketing, but instead of promoting a product, I could promote people and their careers.

So I went with it. Turns out, my layoff fueled a full transition into the recruitment industry, and I haven’t moved away from it since.

Keep an open mind. Ask yourself what skillsets you have that are transferable to other types of jobs. Be open to other titles you haven’t previously considered. And give yourself the room to explore other industries you might be interested in.

Then, Psych Yourself Up

Unsurprisingly, people who have been laid off can feel insecure heading into their first round of interviews. A few things to keep in mind:

  • You’re not the only person who’s ever been laid off – This happens to so many people, and often, the layoff has nothing to do with you or your performance.
  • Have an answer for why you left your last job – And be honest. You can say something like, “I worked at X company for X years, and I have nothing but positive things to say. But unfortunately, there were budget cuts recently, and I was laid off.”
  • Preparation is the best confidenceFeeling prepared can calm your nerves. Be sure to review the job description, cater your resume to the role, and practice, practice, practice. Practice answers to interview questions in the mirror, with a friend, or with your partner to get accurate feedback.

You Can Do This

The first interview you get post-layoff doesn’t have to be your best interview ever.

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. There will always be other opportunities. Try your hardest to frame this interview as practice, and remember that every interview is bringing you one step closer to your dream job.

While you may have to “kiss a lot of frogs,” you have so much to offer, and you will soon find your prince.

And if you want some extra support in your job search. We at Planet Professional are here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Photo Credit: Canva

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