Losing your job is never a fun experience. But if you can manage it properly, you may actually be setting yourself up for the next job that comes along. There are plenty of people who have been laid off and managed to thrive afterward because they figured out how to leverage their misfortune and make it work for them. How? They landed their next job sooner rather than later by being prepared with a killer resume, networking like crazy, and identifying things they could do (or learn) to get another gig as soon as possible. You don’t have to feel hopeless when you get fired from your job or let it be the end of your career. Laid-off workers are often surprised at how quickly new opportunities open up for them once they start looking instead of waiting for something to fall into their lap. Here are some tips on getting the next job faster by leveraging getting laid off in your favour:
Be prepared to find the next job quickly #
The unfortunate truth is that, when you get laid off, you don’t have to be the best person for the job to get it. You only need to be better than the dozens of other people who are also getting laid off and trying to find their next job at the same time you are. Losing your job can be a scary experience, but it also gives you a lot of time to prepare while you’re still employed and have a paycheck coming in. Use that time wisely to get your resume and cover letters ready, get references in order, and start networking like your job depends on it.
Network incessantly #
As soon as you’ve been laid off, start networking like your life depends on it. Talk to everyone you know (and even people you don’t know) to find out what they know. If there are people in your life who have connections to hiring managers or know people in your industry, get their help and have them put in a good word for you. We don’t always think to ask our friends or family for help in this way, but they can be invaluable in making connections for you and getting your name in the right places. Networking isn’t about self-promotion or asking for favours. It’s just about staying in touch with people so they’ll know you’re looking for a job and may have connections that can help you. You never know who knows someone who could use your skills and help you get your next job.
Identify transferable skills and learn new ones #
You may not have been able to find a job that was a great fit for you before you were laid off, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have skills that are transferable to other industries or that you can’t learn new skills. You may have been doing a great job at your company, but you may have been doing a job that someone else could do just as well or even better. If you’ve been in your industry for a while, you probably have some transferable skills that can help you get the next job quickly. Look to see if any other industries might need the skills you have. For example, if you’re a HR manager, you would know a lot about recruiting and interviewing. This would be a great skill to have in marketing, sales, or really any industry that needs to fill positions quickly. Or maybe you’ve been doing a great job at your job, but it’s actually a skill that could be helpful in another industry.
Focus on your strengths #
If you’re having a hard time identifying what your transferable skills are, try focusing on your strengths instead. What are you really good at and have people complimented you on in the past? What skills do you have that are often in short supply and hard to find? If you can identify areas where you excel, it can be easier to figure out what industries would love to have someone like you on their team. For example, if you’re great at speaking in public, you could be a great fit for sales or marketing. If you excel at customer service or people management, you could be a good fit for HR or even management. Once you figure out what industries are hiring and what skills are in demand, you can quickly find jobs that you’re a great fit for and set yourself apart.
Take care of yourself (and maybe even enjoy) #
One of the most important parts of getting the next job quickly is taking care of yourself while you’re unemployed. People who are laid off often have a lot of time on their hands and aren’t sure what to do with it, but you can actually use that time to your advantage. Find out what your industry’s organisations and associations are and join them. Learn something new like a language or coding language that you’ve been meaning to take the time to do. Get creative and think of ways you can use that extra time to improve yourself and your skills. You might even find that being laid off gives you time to relax, take a break from the hustle and bustle of work, and get reenergised so you’re ready to jump right into a new position as soon as one becomes available.
Getting laid off can be a scary thought, but it also gives you a chance to prepare for your next job. Have a killer resume ready and start networking like crazy to get the word out that you’re looking. Identify your transferable skills and learn new ones while you have time on your hands to do so. Finally, take care of yourself and enjoy the downtime while you wait for your next job.