It has happened to some of the best people we know over the last several months. Even in the most normal of circumstances, involuntary job loss is one of the top five life stressors on the scale of challenging life events. Couple that with all the other things going on around us, and many are finding it tough to maintain stable footing.
So, you have been a part of a pandemic downsizing and never thought you would be looking for a new job right now. While it can certainly be demanding to get back in the game quick, what follows are a few Rules For Moving On When Your Position is Eliminated.
1. Decompress for a Few Days. Experts agree the first thing to remember after losing a job is to take care of yourself physically, emotionally and mentally. That means getting adequate sleep, maintaining your usual meal routine, staying physically active and protecting your mental health regarding both the news and your own personal experience of the pandemic.
Also notice how you’re immediately responding to the loss. Most people will often react in one of three ways: fight (such as overworking to find a new job), flight (such as seeking distraction) or freeze (such as feeling hopeless and paralyzed).
Once you identify your response type, it may be worth reflecting what about your personal history is causing you to react in a certain way. Recognize the root causes driving your stress so you can take control of and work through the situation.
For example, if you saw how hard it was for a parent to deal with job loss alone and find yourself doing the same thing, recognizing this can help you make clearer, more empowered decisions for yourself. It can also be helpful to remember, while you may have seen friends and family struggle in the past, they were able to work through difficult situations, and you will, too.
2. Let Go of Negative Thoughts. Instead, take control of the controllables. It can be beneficial to remind yourself this is the perfect time to take charge of your life.
While you may no longer have control over your income, for example, you do have control over your budget. Figure out what you need to do in the short-term to make sure you’re able to cover your housing, food, bills, health and other essential needs at this time. Know who to contact to ease financial stress. Also get familiar with the process of filing for unemployment.
3. Control your mental habits. Stay sharp and focused and reframe the challenge as an opportunity.
Just as it’s important to give yourself time to process the news, it’s also crucial to make sure you don’t spend too much time dwelling to the point that it becomes an unhealthy habit.
Set time aside every day to think through three ideas: what’s worrying you, what are you grateful for and what problems you can actively work to solve. Give yourself a time limit, say 5 minutes for each idea; think through them, write down your thoughts or talk about them with a friend. Then, begin to solve any challenges and overcome any obstacles, knowing there are solutions.
Also, assume greater control of your personal life by prioritizing relationships and spending quality time with loved ones. By focusing on what you can control, you will both lower your anxiety and tap into your ability to be resourceful and creative.
4. Gather References. Get a sense of who your champions are at the company you’ve just left. Ask them if they are willing to tell a future employer that you are good at what you do.
Especially if you haven’t been with your organization for very long, contact people you have had good relationships within your former companies. You never know, if they understand that you are open to new opportunities, this might even lead to an employment offer.
A great reference:
- Is familiar with your work. A good reference will be able to tell a story about your skills in action. It’s not enough to speak glowingly in general terms about your work ethic, presentation skills, or ability to collaborate openly with profound effect. They’ll need to provide specific examples of times when you demonstrated these talents. Because of this, it’s often best to choose references who’ve recently worked with you.
- Will have good things to say. This seems like an obvious point, but it’s an important one: don’t choose a reference who won’t have positive experiences and impressions to report. A negative reference—or even a “meh” one—will do far more harm than no reference at all.
- Can devote time to crafting an endorsement. A hurried, typo-riddled endorsement won’t reflect well on you. Neither will a rushed conversation between urgent meetings. Choose people who can set aside some time to speak with you about the job and hear which qualifications will be most impressive to the hiring team — and then communicate those points in their interactions with the employer.
- Presents themselves in a professional manner. For a variety of reasons, some people don’t come across well during an initial conversation. Perhaps your former boss has a phone phobia and comes across as gruff when speaking with strangers. Maybe your favorite client tends to curse a blue streak, even around people they’ve just met. Whatever the reason, it’s best to avoid asking people for references unless they can conduct themselves professionally in this context.
5. Brush Up Your Résumé. Make sure your résumé shines! If you aren’t satisfied with it, you can pay someone to rewrite it for you. An alternative is to Google résumé examples and fix it yourself, or reference our most recent article on crafting the perfect resume.
Remember companies looking to hire want to see certain things on a résumé such as employment dates that include the month/year, not just the year. Your résumé needs to look good, and it needs to be honest. Don’t inflate your educational degrees and promote yourself to a seniority level you have not reached.
Most importantly, companies want to see your successes, so emphasize goals achieved, awards given, etc.
6. Work With Good Recruiters. Reach out to recruiters you know, like, and trust; ask them if they have opportunities that fit your skillset and geography. Maybe the person that got you your last job?
Avoid recruiters who are just going to flood the job market with your résumé. Let the recruiter know where you are networked and don’t need help.
7. Start Researching Openings That Fit Your Criteria. If you haven’t given much thought to criteria, do so now; that will help narrow down your search. Identify the top 5 characteristics of the ideal company you want to give your talents to….Use LinkedIn, Indeed, and other job search engines to find relevant roles. Do not send unsolicited résumés just for the sake of sending them.
You need to be strategic with your approach. If you find an attractive opening and you know someone at the company, contact them. If you don’t know anyone, talk to your recruiter. A good recruiter may be able to get you an interview, while sending your résumé to a job board where 500 others have applied for the same position may not get you anywhere.
8. Follow Up. People are busy, so don’t just call once and then stop. You should call, email and then try again in two or three days. And, these days, most people respond faster to text than any other form of communication. A few years ago, texting was regarded as intrusive, but today it’s the best way to get your message noticed.
9. Never Stop Networking. If you have always networked, you will have been building up a base of support for your future. Your network will stand you in good stead now that you really need it.
If you have never thought about joining any networking groups, you should start now. For local jobs, contact your local Chamber of Commerce for information on any relevant groups. Start going to their events and meeting new people, as social distancing allows.
Spend time really connecting the dots.
10. Clean up your Social. Better yet, use it to great advantage. Companies in this attention economy are looking for folks with social proof they are very good at what they do and are plugged into the essence of digital selling and demand marketing. Creating a compelling personal brand is essential to landing the right role. Make sure your messaging across all channels is one a company would be proud to associate with and might even be able to use to their advantage.
11. Line Up Some Informational Interviews. Call people you’ve never met and who work in the industry you’re interested in…. Schedule an informational meeting with them. Be sure to explain why you want it and ask to meet them for coffee or lunch, even if remote. If you can swing it, let it be your treat. If you can’t afford it, meet the individual at their office, with physical distance norms being maintained, of course.
During your chat, do your best to find out who the big players in the industry are and what industry associations or networking groups you can join. Ask the person about the path they took to get to the position they’re in…. And before you leave, ask: “Who else should I talk to?”
DO NOT ask for a job and don’t ask if they know of any openings. They’ll understand what you’re looking for, so if they are aware of something, they’ll tell you. They’ll also be more willing to share contacts with you if you’re seeking information and not begging for work.
You CAN Do This
Being downsized is incredibly stressful, and it may seem at first that it’s the end of the world. When you take a more positive, proactive approach, you’ll realize that it’s not. In fact, it may be the beginning of something extraordinary.
Take care of the basics and then conduct a job search in a strategic fashion. Follow the roadmap outlined above, and you’ll have every chance of finding a better opportunity and a bright future.
At Cerca Talent+, we employ all the best strategies and more to ensure you meet and interview with only the best possible companies in your industry. We will tirelessly help you fulfill your job search goals by exceeding expectations every day. If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to me, Scott Rivers, via email: email@example.com.
Scott Rivers is the Managing Director of Cerca Talent+, a talent agency for the Oncology, Genetics and Life Science Industries. Scott’s recruiting experience extends into the areas of Diagnostics, Equipment and Device, Genomics and BioInformatics. His team manages recruitment for businesses focused on these areas in all roles.
As a leader who has worked at every level of commercial, medical sales and global marketing, Scott is an intense professional who partners with organizations to fine tune talent branding. If you are a leader looking to expand your team with professionals who are focused on delivering work in which they take pride, and you can be proud of, every day, then Scott would be privileged to help you in the process. Having been a professional in the fields where you focus, Scott knows the ins and outs of the companies, the business and the customers you are working to come alongside.
Cerca Talent+ is a full-service Executive Search Firm with a strategic focus in the areas of Clinical Diagnostics, Molecular Diagnostics and Oncology, Genomic and Genetic Medicine. Our clients choose Cerca because of our deep understanding of the industries we serve. They continue to work with us based on our extensive market knowledge, vast connections and quality of results.
We Provide Top Talent to create Peak Performance. That’s a good match for any company. Partner with the group that can talk shop and gain rapport with the pros who will lead your business into the future. Email Scott Rivers today at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call direct at 201-594-2101, and we will begin the process of finding you Top Talent guaranteed to help you set records.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST REFERENCES, DECEMBER 1, 2020 | BY JEN HUBLEY LUCKWALDT