When you’re comfortably employed the last thing on your mind is looking for a new job. Being laid off almost always comes as a shock. It can be a confidence-shaking experience and can overwhelm even the most confident individuals. The first thing to do is remain calm. While it may seem that it’s the end of everything you have worked for, it’s definitely not.
If you do find yourself laid off, don’t panic. By following some of our advice below you’ll help make sure you’re set up for success in your upcoming job search.
Remember to be polite and open with your human resources team. Ask for their assistance to find an alternative job. Many companies provide this service to employees, and if they do, take advantage of it. Being laid off can be not only a personal blow, but it can make a dent in your resume. Speak to your human resources department about potentially portraying your layoff as a voluntary departure. They may also be able to assist with accessing support services, such as advice on your resume and interview assistance.
Your own mental well being is important to take into consideration as well. Give yourself time to get used to what has happened and address the issues that may have led to your departure. Talk to those closest to you. Friends and family are great sources of ideas and support as you begin to reassess your career.
Make sure you work out your finances. You may be given a severance package, and if so you will need to ensure that you organize your finances accordingly so it lasts for the duration of your unemployment (which may be a few months). Find out about what benefits, such as healthcare, you are entitled to promptly so you can effectively organize your finances.
Start discretely letting friends and colleagues know that you are in the market for a new job. If you have built up professional contacts throughout your tenure at an entry-level job, take advantage of those contacts by approaching individuals to gauge any opportunities at their companies. You will most likely want to do this with a small group at first before changing your work status on professional networking sites in order to control your message.
Make a list of your greatest accomplishments. This will not only help you with your interviews, it will boost your confidence when you see them on paper just how good you look. If you need to, ask family, friends, and colleagues to help you define your achievements. Once you have a list, highlight the accomplishments that gave you the most personal satisfaction.
Ask yourself where you want to be in 10, or 15 years, and consider whether a change in career direction is something to consider. Start by matching your greatest achievements to the career options available. This may prompt you to take your entry-level job search in a new direction.
The best advice given in this stressful situation is to stay calm, remain positive, keep networking, and, no matter how tempting, never burn your bridges. Getting let go from your job may actually lead you to your dream job, so always keep your head up.
Sean Little is the VP of Marketing for FirstJob.com. FirstJob specializes in connecting the brightest college students and recent graduates to quality internship and entry-level opportunities via social tools and a curated database of jobs. Sean’s passions are music, travel, and, of course, helping college grads start their professional journey.