Employers laid off over 300,000 people last week alone. Even though the job market is improving, it is still highly competitive and truly devastating if you are the one who has lost your job. Many victims of layoffs seem to be over age 50 and they worry that they won't find another good paying job. This is a very stressful event to deal with. Don't despair! Everyone hates those feelings of rejection, but you can use this opportunity to LAND a BETTER JOB! I know you can because I've seen so many career counseling clients do just that. I know you will too. This article should get you headed in the right direction. -- RR
Laid Off? Job Hunting Made Easy
by Robin Ryan, Author of "Over 40 + You're Hired"
Losing your job is extremely challenging which is what Ken discovered when this 53 year old project manager got laid off. He had not looked for a job in over 10 years. He became a career counseling client and told me he felt lost. He had no network to speak of and belonged to no professional or civic organizations. He tried a few colleagues and his old boss but no one had any job openings. He stated that this was one of the most stressful things he'd ever live through.
No matter how many others have survived it and even prospered, being fired is still an awful experience. Today too many people interpret this event thinking "my world is ending". That will only lead you down a dark road of depression and desperation.
I worked with Ken on his attitude; his job hunting techniques, resume and we polished his interviewing skills. The layoff was a springboard into a new job that was more satisfying and lucrative. You can come through a layoff experience looking at a brighter future if you follow these guidelines:
Deal with the feelings. You're entitled to your feelings - don't ignore them - but be careful. You don't want to sabotage your future. Don't express your anger at your boss or the company. They may be in the wrong, but you have a lot more to lose than they do. Be especially cautious to not say anything on social media. (If you did, delete it). Deal with your anger by complaining to a trusted friend. You can also find a great deal of support online and in chat groups. Work on maintaining a positive mental attitude. Exercise! Start every day with a brisk one hour walk. Buy a couple of positive motivational tapes to listen to while you walk or exercise. These tips will help improve your disposition.
Analyze your career options. Do some serious self-assessment and marketplace review. What you want, and the reality of what's available might not be the same. Consider what has happened to your industry. If the industry is in a major decline, jobs will be harder to find. Maybe it is time to consider a new career. Make a list of all the job skills you possess. Review your interests. Note volunteer work and transferable skills -those abilities that you can use at any job such as managing others, research, planning, hiring, computer skills, etc. Define your strengths, your innate talents and then make a decision on your next job target.
To Move or Not to Move? Mature workers often hate the idea of moving. They refuse to deal with the harsh reality that moving likely is the best option for your career. Start job hunting by keeping your eyes on areas where your field has some growth. Develop a list of cities and companies you'd want to move to. By exploring a larger region your job prospects open up. This will lead to success sooner instead of a long wait with little happening if the market is rather dead where you are.
Become more marketable. Search online through job listings and determine what skills employers are asking for and then take those courses to update your skills. Computer courses, communication, leadership classes are always helpful. Obtaining a specialized certificate in a field such as credit, payroll, healthcare, human resources or project management can lead to a new job. Volunteer work that keeps you active in your field is very appealing to employers too.
Don't waste your contacts.
Do not approach people until you are ready. A common mistake is to frantically call EVERYONE you've ever met and say "I'm looking for a job - do you know of one?" Huge error! You must be able to articulate the specific job title you want to work for. 63% of people hired in the last year found their job through contacts AND 80% of all job openings go unadvertised. Start a list noting former bosses, coworkers, colleagues, friends, neighbors, family
anyone you can think of.
Develop a list of 4-5 specific questions you can ask that will help lead to hiring managers, such as: Do you know anyone working in XYZ Company? OR Do you know anyone in the (name specific) department at XYZ Company? Always ask for referrals of someone else you should talk too to expand your networking list.
Target Your Resume. Is your resume updated with accomplishments and recent results you've achieved on the job? This is essential to get an interview. Target your resume to fit a specific job. Be concise using relevant information that outlines experience related to the job title you are applying for. General, long resumes are a BIG mistake. Showing your past actions and the results you achieved in your past positions is what employers want to see. Define and quantity if you saved time or money, added to the bottomline, or made productivity improvements.
Know What to Say. Be able to offer a concise intro about your skills and experience. Use a technique I call the 60 Second Sell. Link your top 5 selling points together in a few sentences on how you can effectively perform that job. Use this as a verbal business card to open and close your interview. To improve before a face-to-face meeting, write out answers to potential interview questions and role-play them with a friend.
This approach takes a lot of effort but it works - and in our competitive job market that's all that matters!
� 2015 Robin Ryan all rights reserved.
Robin Ryan is America's leading career job search expert. She's appeared on 1500 TV & radio shows including Oprah, Dr Phil, Cnn, ABC News and NPR. Robin has a career counseling practice working with individual clients across the US helping them land better jobs. For more career help visit: www.RobinRyan.com
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Laidoff / Unemployed: Job Hunting tips