Recently, I spoke to a networking group from HRNY at Lee Hecht Harrison about how you can stand out from the crowd and find work after a layoff. I’ve been doing quite a few of these kinds of seminars as you might guess. They are often filled with people who are, in many cases, starting from scratch as they recover from their job loss and figure out what to do next.
The truth is that while losing your job can be shocking and upsetting there are things you can be doing while you are still employed that will help you stand out from the crowd and find that next opportunity. And guess what—sitting around and worrying about whether you’ll be next is not one of them!
Here are a few things you should be doing regardless of how secure your job seems:
1. Reignite old relationships and start new ones.
Too many people find themselves in the uncomfortable position of reaching out to old colleagues they’ve lost touch with to ask for help when they need it the most. Instead, take advantage of the position you are in and reconnect with people for the sake of building relationships. You won’t feel desperate and you can actually focus on getting to know people on a more relaxed level so that if the time comes it won’t feel so awkward to ask for help.
2. Always have an updated resume.
There’s no reason why anyone should have an outdated resume. The longer you’ve been at your company the harder it is to come up with all of your past accomplishments. Keeping a file of “achievements” that lists projects you’ve worked on and value you’ve added will have you a step ahead, especially if you find yourself needing to get your resume out there fast!
3. Come up with a wish list.
When you’re looking for a job after being laid off you’re more likely to feel stressed and less likely to look at this as an opportunity to finally do something you love. Take time now and ask yourself, “If I had it my way, what kind of work would I be doing?” Make a list of what your dream job looks like—where you are working, what the environment like, who you work with, what you are doing, etc. Should you happen to be laid off you’ll already know what you’d love to be doing making it much easier for you to find that job.
Last bit of advice: stop following the play by play of the economic crisis. Do you really think knowing how “bad” they say things are is going to make your situation any better? With all the bad news out there it’s easy to forget that more people are actually working than not!