Being laid off or fired can be a shock.

For some people, being laid off or fired leaves them feeling angry, ashamed, or resentful. For others, the response could be, “Well, that was interesting. Time to move on. NEXT!”

But remember how quickly you bounce back and begin to represent yourself and your expertise as valuable to another company is always going to be your choice. 

A fast recovery depends on how quickly you accept that while you have had done interesting work, it is time to move on to better things. So, give yourself space to work through your feelings. Don’t let this setback diminish your pride in your otherwise successful career.

Put your redundancy package in perspective. Does it allow you to survive in the near future, or are you stranded? When your career game is interrupted, middle inning, it helps to remember that the sun is shining elsewhere, it is not raining everywhere, and you should remember to let that sink in.

Here are some other survival tips:

1.  Although a quick bounce-back might be a struggle, you will need to project a positive image to persuade your friends and potential employers that you are still in one piece. Focus on the highlights and achievements in your career. That helps to minimize the emotional fallout.

2. A layoff might free you up to explore a new career path or reassess your strengths, values, or where your career interests truly lie. Layoffs affect everyone in the department. Those who remain with the company quite often feel like they have just won the booby prize.

3.  Focus on your achievements in your former role. Use short and factual explanations. Too much detail can sound defensive rather than accepting of the situation.

4.  Laid off due to a merger, restructure, or downsizing? Use a broad brushstroke: Use all-encompassing language. “Unfortunately, I was laid off along with other colleagues.”

6.  Management change or a shift in direction: My skills and expertise are no longer aligned with the projects or the new manager’s priorities.

7.  Fired for performance reasons? Briefly explain the circumstances and what the experience has taught you. Then move on to what makes you a good match for the current position.

8.  Try to stay steady? Avoid responding to a deluge of jobs in a desperate attempt to get any new job. Instead, update your resume and shift your focus towards what you can offer.

Finally, accelerate your networking. The more active you are in your professional communities, the easier it will be to ask for and get help.

Thanks

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High Maintenance Job Seeker

The high maintenance jobseeker views the job search process and interviewing as a highly competitive structured process that should run at a clip. Many try to force things and cross over into Jobseeker Uptighterati territory, in an attempt to get an edge over other job seekers.

Franklin Paterson Company Inc. your One-Stop Career Boutique for Resume Writing, Interview Preparation and career Strategy Consulting.

Recognizing the High Maintenance Uptighterati Jobseeker in yourself:

1.      In addition to applying to the job online, the high maintenance jobseeker sends their resume or project samples to Human Resources and the Hiring Manager by the next day post.

2.      Many job seekers use colorful paper or ink or graphics in their online resume in an attempt to stand out.  This may render a fair portion of the resume unreadable and look ever so slightly like a craft project gone wrong.

3.      Once contacted for an interview, they need to think about it, research, or look at their schedule. Then bombard the recruiter or manager with a series of “I would like to know emails” or calls before setting up or attending the interview.

4.      Resist your tendency to be a Uptighterati by showing up half an hour early for the interview to see if the manager is available and can meet with you a bit earlier. Adhering to your punctuality principle, then trying to make reality conform to it, can be very annoying to others.

5.      The high maintenance jobseeker brings a series of show-and-tell items, awards, projects, reference letters, etc., to the interview and constantly interrupts the interview to show the items.

6.      Is accompanied to the interview by a friend, who sits glumly in the lobby, or worse, wanders around, peering into the interview room or other offices.

In an attempt to stand out from other candidates, many jobseekers inadvertently commit one or more of these interview mistakes. Qualified for a position, had the first interview you are not asked back for a second interview? Check the items above. Did you commit any of these blunders?  Have you turned into a High Maintenance Uptighterati Jobseeker?

Job Searching? Checked in with your References lately?

At some point during your job search, the potential employer will request references.

Typically, it will be when the company is seriously interested in you as a potential hire. You should be prepared to provide a list of employment references who are knowledgeable regarding your expertise in the skills and qualifications that you have for the job you are seeking.

Plan ahead,  get your references in order, before you need them. It will save time scrambling to put together a list at the last minute. Keep in mind that good recommendations can help you clinch a job offer, so be sure to have a substantial list of references who are willing to attest to your capabilities.
Do not use someone for a reference unless you have their permission.

How to Ask for Reference
You you need to be sure that you are asking the right person to write a letter of reference or to give you a verbal reference. You also need to know what the reference giver is going to say about you. Ask the reference writer if you can use them as a reference. Update the potential reference regarding the type of positions you are applying for, so they can tailor their recommendation to fit your circumstances.

Who to Ask for a Reference
Former bosses, co-workers, customers, vendors, colleagues, and college professors are good references. If you area recent grad just entering the workforce or if you have not worked in a while, you can use personal reference from someone who knows your skills and attributes.

Company Reference Policy
Be aware that some employers will not provide references. Due to concerns about litigation, they will only provide job title, dates of employment, and salary history. If that is the case, be creative and try to find alternative reference writers who are willing to speak to your qualifications.

Make a List
Create a document listing your references. Do not add the list of references to your resume. Create a separate reference list, add an email in addition to the telephone number. Have it ready to give to employers if requested by phone, or at the end of the interview. Include three or four references, along with their job title, employer, and contact information. If the employer asks you to email your references, paste the list into the body of any email letter, rather than sending an attachment.

Paper vs. Personal
It is a good idea to have a couple of written reference letters, especially if you are graduating from college, relocating, or the company you work for is going out of business. Most companies prefer to speak to a reference so they can ask specific questions about your background to find out what type of employee you were and why you might be qualified for the job.

Request a Reference Letter
Every time you change employment, make a point of asking for a reference letter from your supervisor or a co-worker. That way, you can create a file of recommendations from people you may not necessarily be able to track down years later.

Keep Your References Up-to-Date
Let your references know where your job search stands. Tell them who might be calling for a reference. When you get a new job, remember to send a thank-you note or email to those who provided you with a recommendation.

Requesting Permission
A prospective employer should ask your permission before contacting your references. This is especially important if you are employed – you do not want to surprise your current employer with a phone call checking your references. Finally, it is perfectly acceptable to say that you are not comfortable with your current employer being contacted. However, do have a list of alternative references available.