1. Conquer Negative Thoughts Post Layoff
Identify the mental blocks that are holding you back and fight them. To be a winner, think like a winner. To be successful, imagine your success.

  • Fight your fears and apprehensions and defeat them. Develop a winner’s attitude. Know that you can do it. As you think, so shall you be.
  • Work towards defeating self-doubt and negative emotions.
  • Get rid of procrastination. It is not the time to brood or feel depressed on the layoff, it is time to act. Do not hide under the shadows of embarrassment or anger and delay the process of reinventing yourself. Every day and every minute is precious.

Do not hold mental pictures of difficulties and failures, but lift your mind above them and visualize powers and achievements. When you elevate your thoughts into the area of visualized attainment you look down on your problems rather than from below up at them and thus you get a more encouraging view of them. Always come up over your problems. never approach a problem from below.”
– Norman Vincent Peale

2. Plan your Job Search Process
No one else is going to do it for you, you are in charge of your career and a layoff must not get you down. Unless you get into the action stage, all preparation remains meaningless. Knowing is not enough, you must act.

  • Initiate an action plan – where all can you use your networking skills? Which companies would you want to work for?
  • Initiate a marketing plan. How well can you market yourself – how can you benefit your future employers. Remember it is not how great your skills are but how can you use your skills to benefit others.
  • Initiate mentoring or professional advice to accelerate your success.

For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.

I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything.. at least not at the same time. So think of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.
– Dan Millman

3. Confidence, Enthusiasm and a Positive Attitude
Nothing is accomplished without enthusiasm. Your enthusiasm and attitude will keep your spirits high during the negative or dormant stages of your job search.

  • Positive thoughts support enthusiasm and vice-versa. Be positive. Remain enthused. Develop a positive attitude. You need a positive and a fighting attitude right from the beginning of the job search process to the very end of the job negotiation process. Keep a positive outlook and boost your attitude.
  • Seek inspiration from powerful writing and even your previous achievements. Seek inspiration and enthusiasm from your kids and your family.
  • Howsoever uncertain and rocky the road might seem now, remain motivated by reminding yourself of the forthcoming success. But don’t hold on happiness until you get to that next milestone, enjoy the present.

Confidence can get you where you want to go, and getting there is a daily process. It’s so much easier when you feel good about yourself, your abilities and talents.
– Donald Trump

4. Enhance your Skill Set – Research new Opportunities
Acquire new skills or certifications that get readies you for the job market or if stepping into a new career.

  • Network to acquire information on available opportunities and to build your networking list. Talk to someone you know who is working in the area of your expertise or interest or explore others in their network. Do not stay cocooned in your post-layoff shell, it is time to network smartly. You may know at least 30-50 people in your area of residence – including your family friends and neighbors, let them know that you are looking for a job. in turn they know at least 30-50 contacts and thus your network grows. There is a higher probability of getting a job through a personal network then through the job boards alone.
  • Gather information on jobs and careers from the online job boards, classifieds, newspapers, trade magazines and your local employment offices. Get rid of any negative preconceived notions on a particular job or career. Be ready to explore new and unknown careers and options. Have a broad outlook, when you open up to possibilities, possibilities open up to you.

When I started out in business, I spent a great deal of time researching every detail that might be pertinent to the deal I was interested in making. I still do the same today. People often comment on how quickly I operate, but the reason I can move quickly is that I’ve done the background work first, which no one usually sees. I prepare myself thoroughly, and then when it is time to move ahead, I am ready to sprint.
– Donald Trump

5. Power up your Resume – get ready to Market yourself
It is time again to revamp and tailor your resume to the positions you are applying for. Devote extra time to power up your resume that shines above the rest. With limited hiring during a downturn or recession, you have to market yourself in a unique way to get noticed.

  • Create an online Portfolio if you already don’t have one. Creating a web presence might help those in certain careers but is essential for those in careers:
    o Website graphic designer
    o Web developer / Webmaster
    o Web content developer / manager
    o Media publicist
    o Illustrator
    o Interior decorator
    o Fashion Designer
    o Animation specialist
  • Update your online resume. Employers and hiring managers are looking for active resumes which have been recently posted. You have a greater possibility of coming up on an employers search if your resume has been updated in the last 5-12 days. Employers do not have time to waste on a dormant resume which might indicate that you could have possibly found a job but forgot to remove your resume online.
  • Emphasize your skills, personal attributes and previous experience; use the keywords and terminology relevant to the job description. Grab attention by stating quantifiable results of your previous experience.

Market yourself first through your resume and cover letter and then act as your personal sales representative at the interview. As would any customer analyze a product or service before buying; you are closely scrutinized during the process of resume selection and during and after interviews. Your skills are the core but how you package yourself depends a lot on your efficient abilities to market yourself.