What to do when you unexpectedly find yourself jobless. There’s a reason for everything…even if it makes absolutely no sense. Utilize this gift of freedom to better your life and not let it take over and destroy you.
I was recently let go from my job. I cried a lot. The company sold and essentially it turned and burned a lot of good employees. You know what though? The scariest thing was this forced change thrust upon me. Reasons aside, I loved my job but I also knew and realized that I would be happier elsewhere. In my comfort and security, I was too afraid to make a move. Change is uncomfortable and it is not always welcomed or expected… but it’s necessary to be proactive, learn to cope and grow from it.
Cut Ties But Don’t Burn Bridges
Collect as many recommendations as you possibly can as these give your accommodations credibility. Usually, employers will happily give recommendations, especially if their department isn’t in jeopardy of getting cut. Remember to act humbly when asking for recommendations. Your goal is that management paints you in the best light possible for your future employers. I know that asking for recommendations is a hard thing to do, especially if you feel wronged by your termination, but it’s well worth it. A great recommendation can lead to more pay in the future.
Check Your Eligibility
Your HR team will have all the information you need about your termination. Severance pay, benefit options, paid time off payout, and what happens to your 401k, need to be your first questions. Generally, severance is 3 weeks pay for 1-3 years of qualifying work. In addition, you should research and immediately apply for unemployment pay through your state. You never know how long the new job search will take. I would also suggest shopping the market for health insurance benefits. In my experience, COBRA (continuation of health care coverage) is actually more expensive than getting personal health insurance.
Were You Passionate about Your Career?
Everyone has good and bad days, but dip deeply and honestly to assess whether you were truly happy in your past career. If the answer is no, then now is a good time to consider a change. Just because it’s what you’ve always done, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily what you need to continue to pursue . Give yourself a little time to grieve, then gather up your determination and move ahead with you plan of attack. Make sure to reassess your options before jumping back into another job that might not really suit you. Be bold and turn your life around.
What’s Important to You NOW?
Do you want to be a stay at home mom and avoid sending your child to daycare? Many people do it, so we know it’s possible and worth delving into. You can make this change, be it when you get let go or simply when you decide to walk away from your present job. Reconsider all of your options and check your finances. Could lowering your tax bracket achieve a same take home pay? Work at home positions can save you an average of $5,000 per year by simply avoiding the commute.
It’s always a good idea to determine the costs of working . You need to take into account absolutely everything to get a sensible, accurate figure. I include gas, car maintenance, lunch expenses, coffee, snacks, office party gift costs, clothes, taxes and childcare. *An important fact I found is that spending $10.00 a day on food and coffee at work, will add up to $2,600 per year. That’s approximately 6.5% of your take home salary if you make $40,000. Can you believe that? So quickly and mindlessly… we spend our hard-earned raises on coffee.
Being unemployed, made me realize I never want to be an employee again. Working 60 hours a week doesn’t bother me but working for ‘the’ man in the upstairs office does. Starting my blog, this adventure, has been the most fulfilling work experience I’ve ever had. Unemployment will give me the time I need to work on what I love.
When you’re ready to start making money, creating your site, offering any services, or freelancing, self hosting is a must. For $3.95 a month you can own your site and all its content through Bluehost. Run your own advertisements, sign up for affiliate networks and start pulling in money for views you are already getting. Use my helpful guide to get set up with WordPress and Bluehost Start Your Own Blog with Bluehost.
Making a life change takes time, so meanwhile, put out the fishing pole and fish for great jobs while you are setting up your blog. It’s always a good idea to keep all your bases covered.
Who Can Really Help You?
Your former company should offer you ‘Outplacement Services’. This is free to you, outplacement services should give you resources to perfect your résumé, interviewing tips and even help in finding future employment.
Staffing companies. My favorite staffing company is Volt they are nationwide. Major corporations are using staffing companies when they are going through change, need to hire a massive amount of people, or even when they don’t have the capacity to hire while maintaining normal day-to-day operations. What that means to you is that a recruiter, from a staffing company, will be looking at your résumé and they generally have different standards from a corporate recruiter. Your education and experience could really shine, even if you don’t necessarily have experience in the field you are applying to. Take a chance and aim high, it doesn’t hurt to try. I was hired as a recruiter with a customer service background. There are vastly different possibilities available for you as you are unique and something on your résumé is going to catch an eye.
What do the Critics Say?
Before diving in, read employee company reviews. Websites like glassdoor rank companies on a star scale. If the company has terrible benefits, and an elitist management team, the sooner you know… the better. Also there’s good insight, personal consolation, if you feel your interview went badly.
Have a Multi-Faceted Resume
Once you decide on a career field, go play detective and see what the most up to date resumes look like in your field. Copy that format, copy the style… but be authentic and genuine in your experience.
*Do not add anything to your résumé that will require continual alteration of your content.
*Value statements, and ‘why you are the best choice’ are no longer needed.
*Employers and recruiters want to see passion for the position, even if you have no experience.
*Anything that requires detail, specific information should go into a cover letter addressed to the hiring manager.
*Recruiters also love to see hard data, if you were top 3% of your company let me know!
Match your Resume to Your Linkedin Account
A lot of people are guilty of this, myself included. I’ve updated my résumé 10 times, I’ve updated my Linkedin twice. Some companies depend on Linkedin exclusively. Make sure that all professional profiles are up to date and match.
Brush Up on Your Credentials
What if it your job search takes two months? Wouldn’t it be great to earn a certificate in that time? This the perfect answer to the awkward interview question: “Soooo… what have you been doing with your time during your unemployment?” Retorting with “I took classes at my local college and achieved my Profession in Human Resources Certificate.” Need I say ‘Boom’? Employers love proactive employees. You can get a certificate in your current field or in the field you are interested in. Why not delve into graphic design so that you can start your Etsy store? It’s a good idea to make sure that any certificate program has proper credentials before you invest your money, there should also be placement success scores and accreditation.
Invest in Yourself
Do a couple of DIY facials and spend some quality time in yourself. Read the books you’ve put off, start doing yoga. There are tons of free ‘self help’ exercises that you could be engaging in daily. Have you been dying to make your own bath bombs LOL? Why not start? Curious about whether you could make and sell jewelry online? Now’s the time to explore and give yourself a chance!
When You’re Ready
Where to Look
Indeed.com is a great place to start searching for professional jobs. I find that their postings are less spammy than other sites. There are also more long-term opportunities, less pyramid schemes, temp jobs, or call center customer service jobs. You can search by place, skill, job type, experience, and salary.
As a recruiter, I love to recommend school districts for job opportunities. Their retirement benefits are out of this world, and there are opportunities in almost every career field. To name a few… research and development, finance, recruiting, health and wellness, communications, data management, hr, partner opportunities, management positions, recipe development, and tutoring. All in school opportunities such as teacher assistants, and secretaries also pretty much, guarantee a 4pm quitting time. You don’t only have to be a teacher to enjoy extra time off and snow days.
Dress professionally… Memorable but Not Too Flashy.
It’s easier to feel at ease in an interview in pants and a suit jacket than a dress. Many dresses and skirts are inappropriate for interviews anyways. What if the chair is super deep and you have to spread your legs completely to get out of the chair? What if the slit in your skirt is WAY higher than you thought it was in your car? Avoid all the complications …put on a cute, professional top and throw on a work coat with slacks.
Keep makeup to a classy minimum. You want to appear bright-eyed and alert, not overdone and dripping in mascara.
Make sure to bring a pen and notebook to take notes, and make sure they look professional. This shows that you’re, plus it’ll give you something to doodle in when you arrive early 😉
Looking for some more inspiration for a happier you? I think you will enjoy my posts below.
- How to Have a Successful First Week at Your New Job
- Live a Happier Life Tips Inspired from Abroad
- 10 Ways to Make Your Workspace More Comfortable
- Make Money and Improve Your Life While You Commute
- Is Your Email Address Keeping You From Getting Hired?
Remember you have a ton to offer and they will be lucky to get you. Meanwhile…It’s worth the extra hustle to start a website, your business will thank you in the end. For $3.95 a month you can own your site and all its content through Bluehost. Run your own advertisements, sign up for affiliate networks and start pulling in money for views you are already getting. Use my helpful guide to get set up with WordPress and Bluehost Start Your Own Blog with Bluehost. Message me to let me know when you sign up, I am happy to promote and help in any way possible.
Let’s Connect! Follow my blog with Bloglovin or find me ‘The Rising Damsel’ on Pinterest. If you are looking for a free Tailwind Tribe try The Rising Damsel’s brand new one: Promote Your Blog – A Rising Damsel Tribe.
I hope that these tips inspired you to take care of yourself a little, pick yourself up and decide on a direction that will work for you and your family. Always remember be proud of your uniqueness. Put yourself in the employer’s seat and realize that what they are looking for is a person that is a team worker, competent and honestly giving their best. I know that’s what you have to offer the right opportunity is on its way.