One month ago, I was laid off from my job. It wasn’t because of poor performance. In fact, my peers always told me about the fine work that I did. They expressed their compassion as well as their surprise. I was the only person in my department that was affected by this business decision.
My previous company decided to downsize. As a result, a few of us were told that our positions would be eliminated. I wasn’t totally surprised during my two and a half years of service; I’ve seen many of my peers, including two managers, get fired. The company downsized at the beginning of this year as well. In addition, the company had a lot of turnover that always seem to happen in waves.
Am I bitter about losing my job? Absolutely not. I believe that was the expectation from the management and my peers. Many people don’t handle a job loss well. I’ve experienced it before. As a spiritual woman, I believe that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes, it’s to protect us from more harm. Other times, it’s to make us stronger to prepare us for the events to come.
During this past month, I’ve used this time to pray and think about the next steps. I’ve enjoyed spending more time with my husband and son. I watch my son get on his school bus, and I see him when he comes home. I help him with his spelling, reading, and math. When I was working, my husband did all of those things. As far as the job search goes, I worked with a resume coach to revise my resume. I’m working with a career coach and learning more about using LinkedIn. I’ve enjoyed working with both of them.
I’ve always been told that you are not alone; there is always someone going through the same issues. I hope that I can encourage those that recently lost their job or maybe have been unemployed for a long period of time. Perhaps, you may have advice for me. This is what I will tell you:
1. Move forward and put the past behind you. I know this is not always easy, but it’s very important that you do this. When you’re interviewing, you don’t want to say negative things about your previous company.
2. Use your time off to your benefit. As a mentioned, I’ve enjoyed time with my family. I’ve also had time to write blog posts. If you’re not in a “desperate” situation, use this time to relax and plan your next step.
3. Networking. LinkedIn is a great place to start. One referral, ironically from a previous manager, led to a phone interview followed by an on-site interview. Applying for jobs online at sites like Indeed can work. ( I have been invited for interviews). It’s always wise to be creative with your job search.
4. Turn your talents into earnings. We all know at least one person with a legal “hustle”, whether it’s hair styling, coaching, cooking, graphic design, fashion, or singing. I’m still working on this. I recently connected with a former co-worker that became an entrepreneur. She had been preparing for the transition all year.
5. Count every experience as a life lesson. I took away some valuable experiences from my last position. There were days that I felt appreciated; there were other days that I felt like less than a person. In any case, I had an opportunity to gain leadership skills and develop my public speaking skills.
Please feel free to share your job search experiences and advice that has helped in your development.