Once you are done with accepting and dealing with the layoff in the initial phases it is time to plan on how to make the most and best of this period. The best advice we have is not to brood on what just happened but to start preparing yourself for the next steps. Positivity and action can take you a long way forward – and that’s where we are going. All depends on how you plan the next steps and what you can do with your time to make the most of it.
Of the various thoughts that cross your mind now, consider these and add others that might help you plan your next steps:
Do you have some extra time at your hands these days? Make the best of your time; plan your day accordingly during the layoff period. Assume you are on a project; every well executed project works on a well laid off plan. Plan your job search smartly; the more conscientious you are now, the faster you shall see the results. Review some of the suggestions below and see how you can divide your time to these activities retargetfully to quicken your steps towards your goals.
Make the Best Use of the offered Employment Placement Services
If your employer has offered you employment placement services or paying for a career coach or counselor, do not let this offer stay sitting in an envelope. Pursue good coaches who can help you through the transition phase. Career coaches and counselors can help you prepare a job search plan and assist you towards the secrets of the unadvertised marketing plan. They can also provide some customized assessments which help you figure out your true inclination towards a career or job. More so, at this stage they can act as your guide and friend who can give you an unbiased opinion and boost your confidence in getting back in the job market quickly. There are also resume critique services available through coaches and counselors and resume experts, make the best of these again. It is time to revamp and polish your resume.
Update your Resume
Sprucing up your resume is not about updating in the usual way as you have done before; it pays to look at your resume in a new light, it is time to completely refresh your resume. Focus your resume not for mass sending to the job boards and advertised jobs but focus on a few that you really want to pursue. Research each potential employer carefully, what is the required job description and how you can tailor your resume to suit their particular needs. Prepare a customized resume not a standard one that caters to all. Take time and consult your career coach or counselor in preparing an above average resume, in a tough job market you have to market yourself much more intensely than what you would do in a strong economy with a robust job market growth.
Focus on Smart Networking
Not just networking but smart networking is the call of times. Look for networking at all opportunities. Prepare new business cards, what you have carried all through were from your previous employer now you have to market yourself on your skills and abilities, how would you do that? At every networking opportunity never go empty handed and don’t come back empty handed. Have your resume and/or business card handy and bring back the business card of the person your network with.
Begin with the End in Mind
Of course the final desire is to land a great job or a new career that satisfies and is conducive to your working style. Have the end in mind, if you have been doing all of the above diligently, an interview call is not far ahead. Start preparing in parallel for this make or break event – prepare for acing that interview and the road to a new job or career will seem shorter.
Research and Track how Income Tax Deductions can be Availed during Job Search
Your costs incurred towards the job search process post layoff are tax deductible. You must keep a record of your expenses such as mileage when going for job interviews, the costs of resume preparation, phone calls to possible clients/employers, recruiters costs etc. Some good tips on this topic are at How the tax code can help you in a layoff.
Take a break
If you feel your mind and body needs a rest, then why not go on a short (or long) vacation with your family to unwind and relax and rejuvenate to get back in the rat race. (Obviously depends on various things – your present financial standing, your state of mind and your severance package!). How about a trip to Las Vegas (but of course, if you are in US), if you are good at gambling (whatever that means) and hit a jackpot perhaps you don’t even have to bother about looking for a job thereafter. But before you dip into your savings for that vacation, note this good advice on the CNN.com article: But those who are unemployed more than six months lose unemployment insurance benefits and are more likely to deplete savings to the point where they are forced to cut back on spending.
Some other good tips by Erin Chambers at this WSJ article: What to Do After a Layoff