What to do if…

Tips for those experiencing a job loss

In these uncertain times, it is likely you or someone you know might experience the loss of employment or given the current state of the market, the need to seek employment.

The first rule is DO NOT PANIC.

The second is DO NOT BE EMBARASSED! You did nothing to be embarrassed about. Unfortunate things happen to good people.

Acknowledge your emotions. You are likely to experience the whole gambit of them. Just remember, pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

Review your monthly living expenses. Car payments, mortgage, food, school, transportation. It may be that you will have to alter your current life style for the time being. Where can you cut back temporarily? Rather than a night out with the family, rent a movie and order pizza. Keep track of the monies spent on the job search. They are considered a business expense and are therefore tax deductible.

Create a statement that clearly reflects your situation. Start with the macro. ”Due to a reorganization of the company, or due to the decrease in projected revenues my company decided to downsize and my position was affected.” This eliminates any thought by a potential hiring manager or a recruiter that you are the cause…..it was simply a business decision (or a market condition) that negatively impacted you about which you had no control.

The next thing you need to think about is putting together your marketing brochure – The Resume. Begin by assessing your strengths and accomplishments. Most people make the mistake of writing a job description as their resume, rather than concentrating on what they were able to accomplish while in the position. Past success is a good predictor of future success.

Prepare a marketing statement that speaks to who you are and what you are looking for. Most people when asked for assistance are willing to lend a helping hand. When was the last time you were asked to do something (other than for your spouse or your child). What did you say? Most of us would have said “sure” or “I can’t right now, but I can in a couple of hours”. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR ASSISTANCE.

Create a list of target companies and people to contact.

Join LinkedIn.

Get business cards. You never know when there might be the opportunity to exchange contact information and you aren’t going to be carrying your resume around all of the time. Remember, you don’t know who you know because you don’t know who they know. Barbers, limo drivers, former colleagues, friends of friends have been known to open the doors to the next opportunity.

Get organized. Keep track of the positions that your apply for by company, title, date submitted etc., people that you contact directly, people who refer you to others and so forth. This way you will be able to track back to those who offered assistance and let them know where you landed and your new contact information. Keep this network active. You never know when you will be the one able to offer assistance.

BE PATIENT. Looking for a job is in fact a job. Plan your work and work your plan.

This article may be reproduced with attribution to: The Principals of WayFinders Careers.