Here we go again.
I learned over the weekend that yet another friend had lost her job. This time, however, it wasn’t because of the economy; her employer thought she was looking for a new job and decided to pre-empt her departure by firing her.
Whether or not this was legal or ethical on the part of the employer, what’s done is done. Bottom line: she was fired, it’s a bad economy and she needs a job.
I’m not one of those touchy-feely types and believe you need to be realistic when it comes to job searching. The thing is, there is no use wasting time dwelling on what happened. Instead, I gave her some advice for what to do next:
First: Of course you’re allowed to feel the effects of losing your job. Take a few days to come to terms with it and re-charge mentally. Don’t, however, look at this as a vacation. You can wake up one day and find out your severance or unemployment has run out and you don’t have another job lined up.
Second: You need to approach your job search like a job. Make a to-do list and set goals. It’ll feel great to cross things off your list. Report your progress to someone daily or weekly.
Third: Update your resume with quantifiable results. Show how you either saved your previous employers money or made them money. (In my friend’s case, she was a top stylist at a salon and brought in so many clients she was booked solid.) If your “new and improved” resume isn’t bringing in the interviews, go back to the drawing board and make small tweaks to it until your phone starts ringing.
Fourth: Stay busy. It’s all too easy to procrastinate — believe me, I’m a world-class procrastinator. Instead, search and apply to as many jobs that fit your skills ever day. Make sure you are networking — online and off — and polishing that online profile. Also, try volunteering and get some sort of exercise.
Fifth: Don’t apologize for being out of work. There are many people in your situation these days and hiring managers know this. Instead, focus on how you can excell at the jobs you’re applying to and show how you are the best candidate.
Finally: You have to find some silver lining somewhere. Now I know I said I’m not touchy-feely with advice. What I’m saying is, just know that you are not alone. Check out these unemployment blogs for some cameraderie, inspiration and even some humor:
- Unemploymentality — http://unemploymentality.com/
- Fired for Now — http://www.firedfornow.com/
- How I Got Laid Off — http://howigotlaidoff.com/
- Unemployment Haiku Weekly — http://unemploymenthaikuweekly.blogspot.com/
If you have a question about your job search, go ahead and send it our way.