In the past many jobs were for life. The employer took on an apprentice, trained them and looked after them. In return they expected a level of loyalty.
In the information technology era mobility has increased, employees seek new challengers and employers expand, contract and relocate resulting in workers changing jobs, industries or even careers several times over. This ongoing flux is known as "churn". This continuous churn of workers means that even in times of high unemployment rates or company cutbacks there are plenty of jobs open to you.
In a tight job market there is more competition for
fewer jobs and you don't have any real job security. So you face redundancy, you
didn't see it happening. You have been laid off. You don't have three to six
months worth of money in savings to cover you. And now you add the stress of
finding the perfect job. Recognize that you'll likely experience the five steps of
dealing with loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally,
acceptance. Realize a termination is not the worst thing that could happen.
Sometimes terminations are for not being the right fit. With the
changing job market, getting fired is more common than you may think. Make it an
opportunity, not a catastrophe. Realize you've gone through other life changes
and made it through. You will this time, too.
Check with the employer about the termination of benefits, such as medical plan, life insurance and the use of the company car. Find out about any redundancy payment due and payment in lieu of holiday entitlement. Ask your line manager for a letter of recommendation and if they are willing to be contacted directly for a reference.
Next register for any unemployment, housing and council tax benefits. These have been determined in law as your rights. Some of these may not start immediately but can not be back dated. The forms will take some time to complete and you will need to bring proof of all income, savings and bank statements. The various benefit sections are not interested in your debts and will not offset savings against debt repayment plans. Income for any member of your immediate family will be considered before deciding what benefits you may be entitled to. Besides some financial benefit there may be other benefits that could help you when you do return to work. Such as training grants, trial periods, clothing allowance and travel to work schemes and continuing benefits until you first get paid.
The temptation is to immediately broadcast to everyone and anyone that you are looking for work but without the planning and preparation to take advantage of any leads and at the expense of raising your stress level. Visit family members and close friends - reduce your stress and in a timely manner plan your strategy back into work.
Leave your worries, fears and anger at home - stay calm and focused. Looking for work is hard enough without becoming stressed over it. Use the skills you've already acquired on the job to make it easier. Most people have felt the pang of losing a job and the frustration in trying to find a new position. That's why it is important to properly plan the process and treat job hunting as a full-time job.
Step 1 : Take stock of your life and skills.
Ask yourself some important questions before embarking on the next phase of your career.
Whilst it may seem that you are restricting the amount of potential companies, in fact it makes it easier to find that company. Once you know where you want to take your career, take steps to make it happen. Commit. No job search is easy. Network. Let people know you are looking for another job. Talk to former co-workers to see if they're willing to be a reference. During an interview, be honest about being fired, and keep it brief. Share how you've learned from the experience. Don't badmouth your former employer during an interview.
All the energy that a job seeker used to put into the daily eight-to-five grind now needs to be harnessed and focused on finding that next great career opportunity. Utilizing basic abilities like organization, planning, and interpersonal skills will come in handy and make the job of looking for a new position just that much easier.
You are not obligated to stick in an unfulfilling job or be constrained to looking only for jobs similar to your immediate work experience. You have to maintain a positive attitude. You are in demand, a resource empowered to negotiate for a job that is satisfying in terms of compensation, social fulfilment and personal satisfaction.
Find out if you can get on a workshop or join a networking and support group.
Step 2 : Get organized and pull together all the resources available to you.
Step 3: Prepare a personal business plan.
It helps to think of your job search as similar to starting a company, only the company is you. Your job now is to find one, taking into consideration what you would need to do if you were starting a company.
Focus on employment goals. Break your goals onto small steps. Outline daily, weekly and monthly actions, such as making five cold colds each day, meeting a former colleague or following up on previous applications. Visualise desired outcomes. Define what success looks like. As with any project lean on your team of family and friends. Get input from those close to you who can give you objective insights to the questions and options you are considering. Your job search should have a schedule and a delivery date. Within that time frame establish some milestones.
If you in employment then set aside three hours per day for your job search. If you are unemployed this is your full time eight hours per day task. Plans are essential but you must remain flexible so you can respond to change when the opportunities arise. If you get a hot lead and an interview double your efforts to get more. If you can acquire additional offers you are then in a great negotiating position.
Plan for changes. Anticipate obstacles that make you revise your your plan. Don't become discouraged by the media's reporting on the economy. You are only looking for one job and the odds of that are better than gambling on the lottery.
Develop a positive mindset. Reinforce the positive by focusing on what you have to offer and the rewards that you will receive. Believe in yourself. The job seeker who gets hired is not always the most qualified but the one who made the best job-hunting effort. Deal with challenges constructively. Make cold calls and maintain records of who you contacted, what was said and include follow ups into your schedule. Once you apply take steps to minimise the chances of your resume disappearing into the waste paper bin. Invest time into finding an internal referral who'll help you get your resume in the right hands.
Apply to the voluntary sector which can provide additional work experience, new references as well as provide your expertise to worthwhile organisations. Participate in professional organisation, online forums and attend job fairs, review newspaper advertisements and trade publications.
It is your responsibly to review and execute your action plan.
Finally, don't forget to take care of yourself. It is critical that you feel good about yourself. If the job search is not going as you would like take some time off to do something that you can be proud of completing. That might be washing the car or digging the garden. Eat well, get plenty of rest, exercise and focus on building up the relationships in the marketplace that will ultimately help you get through the next phase of your life.
Last updated 3rd March 2009