5 Painful But Important Things To Do When You Lose Your Job

lostjobAuthor: Elizabeth Alterman
Source: The Muse

When I lost my job in 2014, I naturally slipped into a self-pity funk for a bit.

What did I do first? I promptly made an enormous bowl of tiramisu and attempted to soothe my bruised ego with dessert. But—as good as it feels to take a well-deserved time-out—the quicker you curtail the wallowing and get back to the grind, the better for your career.

After realizing I wasn’t going to find a new job at the bottom of my trifle bowl, I put my spoon in the sink and got right down to business. I found a new job six months later, but was again laid off in 2017 amid a restructuring. This time, I was much better prepared to re-enter the job market.

The following is a painful but crucial to-do list anyone who’s been laid off should follow, based on my experience:

1. Acknowledge Your Emotions, Then Move On

Immediately after you’ve been let go, you may find yourself experiencing a range of emotions: panic upon saying goodbye to a regular paycheck, exhilaration as you embrace life without a set routine, rage when you reflect on all the long hours you devoted to your former position—the list goes on.

Rather than get caught up in each of these, recognize that they’re all normal.

But then—and this is the tough love talk everyone needs in this situation—move on and focus on the future.

In the case of both my layoffs, multiple colleagues were let go at the same time. Proving the old adage “misery loves company,” we served as our own little support group, commiserating together, motivating each other, and sharing leads.

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If you find yourself alone and struggling, joining a group or talking to a professional can provide comfort and encouragement and help you reign in those negative emotions.

Related: How to Bounce Back After You Lose Your Job (and Feel Like the World’s Ending)

2. Tell Everyone (Yes, Even Strangers)

Chances are, your self-esteem has taken a hit, and saying “I’m unemployed” aloud makes it that much more real and devastating.

Though you may be tempted to keep your status a secret, friends and family can’t begin to help if they’re not aware. Letting people know you’re available for new opportunities is the first step in getting your job search off the ground. (This email template will make it easier).

Right after losing my job in 2014, I attended a friend’s party and upon meeting her pals, I was asked the dreaded, “So, what do you do?” I reluctantly told people about my layoff and waited to be flooded with boatloads of pity.

But what I got instead was actually solid support. From headhunter contact information to offers to share my resume with their HR departments, people I’d just met were more than willing to help. I left the party glad I’d spilled the beans, no matter how awkward I’d initially felt.

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Pro tip: When talking about it, focus on what you want to do next—rather than what happened. For example, “I recently lost my job at [Company] and what I’ve missed most is working with customers. So, in my next job, I’m looking for a customer-facing role at a mid-sized company” sounds a lot better than, “I was laid-off because my CEO doesn’t know how to budget and goodness knows how I’ll pay rent this month. Honestly, at this point, I’d take anything that doesn’t suck.”

Related: 4 Questions to Ask Your Network Besides, “Can You Get Me a Job?”

3. Get Your Finances in Check and Create a Budget

Talking money is awkward, but knowledge is power. Figure out exactly what you’ve got to work with so you’re not accumulating debt at a time when you can least afford it.

The difference between the paycheck you lost and what you receive from severance or unemployment will determine if you need to make some adjustments to your spending—and just how sizable those should be. And this budget worksheet can help you get organized.

When I was forced to stop and really look at my finances, I realized I had to make some changes. I started with a bunch of small cuts: dinners in, books borrowed from the library, yoga at home instead of at a nearby studio. Doing this not only made me feel like I was preventing a bad situation from getting worse, it also motivated me to find a new job—fast.

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How To Use Tech To Make Your Job Hunt Easier

job-huntSource: Career Geek

Hitting the pavement and looking for work is no easy task. There is a lot of ground to cover, and no one is helping you find this job. Keep in mind that finding a few possibilities is just part of the battle because you still have to wow your potential employers with your interview should you be lucky enough to get to that step. Well, tech is here to make the job hunt a bit simpler.

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Your Resume Only Has 5 Seconds To Make an Impression. Here’s What you Should Do.

resumeAuthor: Jack Kelly
Source: Forbes

I’d like to offer you some counterintuitive advice: don’t spend too much time worrying or stressing out over your résumé. Yes, I know everyone else tells you to spend an inordinate amount of time writing, rewriting, correcting, asking people to proofread it and offer their comments and advice to absolutely seek out a professional résumé writer. They’re all wrong and misleading you. I’ll make this part of your job search really easy.

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Your Complete Guide to the Interview Process

interviewSource: The Muse

Between the 20 or so of us, The Muse team has probably been on several hundred interviews in our day.

(We know. We cringe thinking about it, too.)

In other words, we’ve been through all of those OMG-what-should-I-wear panic attacks and bathroom-mirror rehearsals of the perfect answer to “What’s your biggest weakness?” that you’re probably dealing with as you prepare for your big day.

But all those pantsuits and practiced answers weren’t for naught. In the interest of sharing our hard-won job search expertise, we’ve put together a list of the biggest job interview questions we had going in—and answers that will help you go into yours totally prepared.

Consider it everything you ever wanted to know about interviewing—answered.

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3 Benefits to Using a Staffing Firm in Your Job Search

staffingfirmAuthor: Debra Auerbach
Source: CareerBuilder.com

Three key advantages of using a staffing firm are experience, insights and confidential opportunities.

Sometimes a job search can feel isolating. You’re spending hours upon hours searching for opportunities, working on your resume and applying to job openings, often without having any outside feedback about what you’re doing right or wrong. That isolation can add a lot of emotional stress to an already nerve-wracking experience.

What you may not realize is that you don’t have to go it alone. “Psychologists tell us that next to death of a spouse, death of a child and death of a parent, the fourth most emotional experience we have, coupled with divorce, is searching for a job. It is emotionally stressful,” says Tony Beshara, owner and president of Babich & Associates, the oldest placement and recruitment service in Texas. “A professional staffing firm can help eliminate that emotional stress. Staffing firms are in the trenches on a daily basis with candidates and employers.”

Beshara says the three key advantages of using a staffing firm are experience, insights and confidential opportunities. Read on to learn more about these benefits and how staffing firms can play a crucial role in helping you find your next career:

1. Experience
According to Beshara, the average U.S. professional changes jobs every two and a half to three years. So that means a worker may go a long stretch of time before needing to engage in a job search. Staffing firm recruiters, on the other hand, live and breathe the job-search process daily.

Beshara points out that within the period of time between job searches, the job market can change – sometimes drastically. “The staffing professional is current on exactly what is going on in the immediate market. They have a unique perspective that the job seeker will not have. The market for a particular skill or experience is never the same as it was three years ago. It isn’t likely any job candidate is going to be aware of that change. So, the ‘new’ candidate may think that finding a job is going to be like ‘last time,’ but it’s not.”

A knowledgeable staffing professional can help navigate a job seeker through the market changes, so the job seeker is less likely to encounter any surprises or challenges along the way. “The experienced staffing pro doesn’t give theoretical or abstract advice, but practical ‘this is the way it is … this is what you should expect … this is what we should do’ advice,” Beshara says.

2. Insights
One of the often frustrating parts about job searching is not getting any feedback from employers as to why you aren’t the right fit for a role. When working with a staffing firm, you get access to that kind of information, which can help improve your search now and down the line.

“Staffing professionals have insights that candidates can’t get anywhere else,” Beshara says. “Since the majority of us work the same clients and the same hiring mangers over many years, we know what they like and how they like it, what they will hire and what they won’t. Since we get to know them personally, we not only understand the job they are trying to fill but we know their personalities and personal likes and dislikes. We give those insights to our candidates to be sure both parties have the best chance of success not in just getting a job, but [in having] a long, solid employment relationship.”

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Job Search Like a Pro Even With No Experience

Job SearchAuthor: Faizan Patankar
Source: Career Geek

About to start on your job search or are you already looking for a job, but getting nowhere? Work experience is key and if you are lacking that, people have told you that’s the end of your job search? Well, it doesn’t have to be. I will tell you how to job search like a pro – with no work experience.

Firstly, work experience is important. If you have a chance to do work experience – i.e., if you are at university or planning to take a year out, do so. If you have graduated or are a young job seeker, then let’s move on from the fact that you do not have work experience.

So, how do you job search without work experience? Here are 5 steps to help you prepare well and polish up your personal brand to offer a high value to employers.

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December Might Be The Best Time To Look For Work

decemberjobhuntAuthor: Gina Ragusa
Source: Mic

Job seekers who think December is worst time of the year to hunt for work may need to rethink their strategy, as some recruiters say the holidays are the best time to find new hires. Rather than taking a break from the search because you think decision-makers are too distracted with holiday parties and vacation, it’s actually smart to ramp up your efforts.

“Most people looking for a new job tend to think the holidays is a good time to take a break,” Doug Matthews, president and CEO of Career Partners International, said in a press release. “This is never a good idea. In my 30 years working with candidates in outplacement, December is one of the strongest months to receive job offers.”

In fact — despite some advice that says February and January are the best months to find a job — if you wait until the new year, you may miss a great opportunity. Why? Competition increases after the first of the month, Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster, said. “Recruiters also have more time to focus on your application during the holidays because it’s a little slower and they receive [fewer] resumes.”

Want even more specific advice? Submitting your application on a Monday or Tuesday seems to be a sweet spot to get a reply, some data suggests.

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