Many individuals who have experienced job loss can agree that it is not an easy process for anyone to go through. For most of us, our jobs provide us with much more than a source of income, they provide us with structure, a professional identity and impact the way we see ourselves. During this time, it is normal to feel many ups and downs as well as a wide array of emotions. It is important to remind yourself that job loss is the unfortunate reality of a tough economy.
There are many things you can do to can get through this period and you may find that this opportunity allows you the time to review your career goals and focus on what is most important to you. The following are a few steps to ensure that you remain marketable during this period:
1. It’s Not You, It’s the Economy
For those of you that may experience job loss, it is important to differentiate yourself from the business decision. When an organization decides to either centralize its operations, eliminate a position or reduce its workforce, it is usually based on the company’s performance. It is critical not to take this personally and realize that being let go is not based on your individual performance. This is very tough to absorb as it is natural to blame ourselves for decisions like this. However, you must not take things personally as it will impact your ability to find a new job.
Feelings of resentment and remorse can easily be detected in an interview through your selection of words, tone or attitude towards your former employer. It is essential that you take time to process the loss, let it sit with you for and then move on when you are ready. The time period for each person will be different, but I suggest not to hold onto it as you must forward with your adapted skillset. In today’s job market, job loss has become is a reason many job seekers are in the market and potential employers know this but will not hold it against you as long as you stay positive about the change.
2. Update your Resume
Take the time to reflect on the experiences that you have gathered with your most recent employer. Remember, that although your last employment ended in job loss, there are often significant achievements that you should be proud of. Thinking through these major tasks, projects and accomplishments can aid in updating your resume.
3. Add to your LinkedIn Profile
Ensure that your LinkedIn profile captures your most recent position and it is highly recommend for you to obtain endorsements for your experience. These go a long way towards adding credibility to your profile and should not just be limited to your most recent experience but your overall profile.
4. Be Patient
Getting back in the job market can be challenging, do not set unreasonable time frames for your expectations to find a new job. Once you have updated your information, I suggest that you target positions and companies of interest. Think through to see whether your values align with the organization. Ask yourself, is this an opportunity that provides you with lateral or vertical movement? Is it aligned with your career?
5. Rehearse Your Interviewing
Freshen up your interviewing skills through researching commonly asked interview questions and practice them with a close friend or loved one. There are numerous examples on various websites. In addition, prepare different situational examples that you have built in your portfolio through your most recent role as well as from other experience. Be sure to include your previous role as you may have had significant accomplishments during your prior employment. Review my October 13, 2015 article on “4 Methods of Effective Interview Preparation” for more tips and techniques on how to stand out in the interview process.
6. Job Boards
Regularly check online job sites such as BCjobs.ca to see if any new positions have been arisen and set up filters for position of interest. Some job postings have limited time frames and organizations may also start interviewing prior to the closing date. Therefore, you need to stay on top of the job application process and ensure applications are submitted in a timely fashion.
7. Take Care of Yourself
Do not forgot about yourself through this time period. I suggest that you keep your morale up and take the time to do something that you enjoy. This may be a hike, a spa day, a nice dinner or purchasing something. This will help you to feel valued. When interviewing, you are enthusiastic and feeling upbeat, if you are feeling down or low it can become very apparent in an interview. While these feelings are completely normal and acceptable, you want to ensure you are the best you can be when interviewing.
If you follow the steps above then you are more than likely to be successful in this process. As difficult at it may seem, do not give up and stay positive. Invest the time to update your resume, rehearse your interviewing skills and remain active on online job boards.
Ready to look for a great new job? Let’s go!