I’m working with a soon-to-be former COO in the tile industry. He had become extremely disillusioned with his company President’s disregard for the direction my client knew the company needed to take, so he planned to move on soon. Headcount had been slashed throughout December, but he felt his job was secure, for at least the next several months.
Then he got “the email”. Yes, he was actually laid off in an impersonal email. I hear similar stories all the time these days.
Even though my client was planning to get out of the company in a few months, the layoff hit him hard. Having to drop this bomb on his family over the holidays hit even harder.
Before getting his head entirely around a new job search, he needed to dust himself off and recuperate from the initial blow.
My blogging friend Luke Harvey-Palmer recently offered some savvy advice that may help those faced with the crush of a recent layoff start dipping their toes into job search. I’ve added some of my own thoughts to his list:
1. Get a gym membership! This not only helps you establish a routine and gets you exercising to make you feel better, the gym is another networking environment.
2. Revisit your contact list. Go through your list and either email or send a written note to viable contacts notifying them of your situation and what you’re thinking of doing next.
3. Update your executive resume and other career marketing communications. If you haven’t kept up with your resume, there’s no time like the present, and get your personal brand and value proposition into the document.
Along with re-thinking your skills and experiences, updating your resume reminds you of all the great contributions you’ve made to companies in the past. Once you have some jobs in front of you that look like a good fit, revisit your resume and focus on your target jobs. You may need more than one version.
4. Get online. You need to have an on-brand footprint to be found by hiring decision makers who routinely source candidates through online search. At the least, set up a profile on LinkedIn for sure and consider other sites like Twitter, Facebook, and VisualCV, to meet new people and communicate your skills and talents to a wider audience in the search for your next opportunity.
Also think about blogging in some way to write about your passions and interests. It will act like therapy (writing can be calming) and will introduce you to a whole new world of opportunity (I guarantee).
5. READ. Dive into all those books piling up on your bedside table and catch up on relevant subject matter. Seek out the best blogs and websites on these subjects and take time each day to read them. Stay informed and LEARN!
6. Get invited to interesting events. Even if they cost good money, these events can be invaluable for meeting new people, starting new relationships, and improving your confidence. The longer you spend away from social situations, the more uncomfortable you will become – so stay social!
7. Be Grateful. Appreciate the many, many great skills you’ve developed over the years. Be thankful for supportive, loving family and friends. Be grateful for your good health!
8. Take some time out and work on #1. Don’t rush into your next opportunity (unless you have to). You may be surprised how easy it is to simplify your life, get rid of some unnecessary expenses, and afford to take a little time out to ’smell the roses’.
This would be a great time to work on DEFINING your Personal Brand, and working out what it is that excites you, and what is unique about you – do you have a Personal Brand-Value Statement?
9. Prepare yourself for a protracted job search. Accept that it may take longer than expected. Try not to be discouraged and hard on yourself in response to inevitable setbacks and rejections.
How to Protect Yourself If You See a Layoff Coming
Executive Job Search and Career Management: Weathering a Layoff
Meg Guiseppi says
Thanks for commenting, Johanne.
I agree that getting into the gym is an unorthodox approach, but it makes sense when you think about the benefits to your physical health and networking health.
“Get a gym membership” – very unorthodox advice. Although it does make sense after you’ve mentioned it as a strategy for building your network.