In reading, “Layoffs fueling summer of angst”, it reminded me of some best practices for those recently laid off and for those considering leaving their employer for FEAR of a future layoff.
I’ve been laid off twice in my career, and it’s not a fun experience. Your mind can play tricks on you. You may question your worth or feel like you have nothing to offer. This is untrue. In most situations, layoff decisions are driven by the bottom line: cost savings. Your experiences, education, and qualities make you unique. Getting “let go” from an employer does not change this fact.
For those recently laid off…
- Embrace the change and the uncertainty.
Two of my best professional experiences resulted after layoffs, and I probably wouldn’t have pursued these otherwise. Take time to reflect. Assess your skills, strengths, interests, and values. Stay open to possibilities. Be intentional about your next career path.
- Ask for help.
Join a support group. Some career groups are affiliated through a church or non-profit organization while others are as simple as joining an online group. If you want one-on-one assistance, hire a career coach. I did after my first layoff. You’ll gain clarity, confidence, and take action steps to keep you moving forward throughout the process. You can also ask a trusted mentor, colleague or friend to hold you accountable. Lean on your network – they are your most valuable asset!
- Consider a bridge job.
Being out of work can be stressful especially if your financial runway isn’t that long. Consider taking a bridge or temporary role to pay your bills while you look for a better role that’s more aligned with what you want. You can also use this time to save money to invest in your future professional self (earn a certification, go to school, or start a business).
- Be open to the career transition process.
Career transition comes with ups and downs. It can be a roller coaster of emotions. Trust in the process. Even baby steps are steps. If you are taking actions to move you closer to your goals, you will reach them. Practice self-compassion and celebrate your small wins!
For those who fear a layoff in the future…
- You are in control of your career.
Some of us are loyal to a fault. It doesn’t hurt to interview. In fact, I recommend doing this yearly if possible. It’s important to know your market value, and your options if something does change with your current employer. Plus, you’ll make valuable connections and learn a lot from the process. You’ll also improve your interviewing skills, so that they’ll be sharp when you do make a change.
- Network for life.
Often, we reach out to our network only when we need a job. Networking should be a consistent practice throughout your professional life. Also, it’s important to be a giver and not just a taker. If you’re asking for a recommendation on LinkedIn, offer to provide one as well. If you come across a job description that’s not right for you, share with someone else that might be interested.
- Research organizations of interest.
Be proactive and be curious. Take the time to learn about other employers. If you think that a layoff is in your near future, research organizations that you would like to work for; ones that align with your values. Research businesses that you find interesting. If something happens, you’ll have a target list to start researching job opportunities.
- Do your best work until the end.
Even if you’re a short timer, do your job to the best of your ability. It’s important to maintain work relationships. You may need a recommendation for your next role. Likewise, you may be in a position to help a former co-worker in the future. Stay positive and be professional always.
If you are thinking of making a professional change and want to learn how we can work together to reach your goals, schedule some time here: https://calendly.com/firstpenguincoaching/30min