I recently received the above as part of a text message from my friend, “Bob.” My heart just went out to him because losing a job can be so debilitating and frightening.
Bob had been working steadily for years and never anticipated having to be in the market for a new job. To top it off, he revealed to me that he had never been in a formal interview, and he basically had a conversation with someone who offered him this job on the spot. Bob was a bit perplexed. Now what – how to move forward? What is the next step? Below are some of the suggestions I gave my friend, and hopefully they will be useful to you as well.
Give yourself a break!
Losing a job, whether you were fired, laid-off, or you resigned under duress is never an easy thing. There are many people who have been in the same situation as you, so you are not alone. Not everyone is going to be a good fit at all times, and you can learn from your mistakes. But please, be kind to yourself, forgive yourself for the mistakes you may have made, forgive your employer, and move on. Losing a job can be very stressful and depressing, and ranks as one of the top 10 causes of stress. Realize that you are mourning over a loss, which is certainly ok, but you can’t stay there forever. Give yourself a period of time to mourn and then let it go and move on. If you find yourself struggling to get past the hurt, find new strategies to help yourself cope with the grief. Surround yourself with people who are positive and care about you, talk to your clergy, get counseling – do whatever you need to do to get back to being the positive you.
Use your network, and quickly!
You have just left a job where you probably knew lots of people and had many contacts, depending upon your position. Use those contacts to your advantage. Let a person know that you are now in the job market, and ask them if they know anyone, who knows anyone, who knows about any positions in your field. Of course, it helps to know what you are looking for, so be prepared to discuss your skills and accomplishments. Did you know that statistically speaking 60% to 80% of the people in a recent survey say that they found their job through someone they knew? I know it is true for me – every job I have ever gotten except one was because someone knew someone who knew about a job opening, or knew someone who could help me.
Brush off your resume and update it.
A resume is a living, breathing document and needs to be updated every single time you submit it for a position. We have a tendency to think a resume is “all about me and what I have done,” but instead the resume should be focused on what you bring to the employer and how you can help the company be successful. There are many online sites, templates, and books on how to create a resume. Workforce Solutions operates 25 community-based career offices in the 13 Texas Gulf Coast counties to help residents get a job, keep a job or get a better job – offering placement, career counseling and financial aid services. You can get more information about resumes and other job skills workshops at Workforce Solutions.com.
My friend Bob has been unemployed for about two weeks now. He started off wanting to hide under the covers, and didn’t want to visit with me or anyone that could assist him with his job search at Workforce Solutions. Bob did finally start working his network and brushing off his resume. He applied for unemployment and registered in WorkInTexas.com so that he could start utilizing that for his job search. He has received two good interviews already. Perhaps I’ll tell you the rest of the story another time…
Velta Worley has over eight years experience in corporate management, five years of that specializing in workforce development as a Technical Assistant and Office Manager for Workforce Solutions.