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As a career coach, I’ve had dozens of overwrought people pop into my FB chat or the contact form on my website, with a TL;DR of “FML, I just got FIRED.”
And I’m so SO sorry that happened to you.
[I wrote this post in 2018, and I’ve updated it for 2020!]
I’ve been there, friend. In the summer of 2009 (with the world still reeling from the economic shitshow of 2008) I was working at a call center selling DirecTV and Verizon products — and one day, upper management rolled in and let us know we had all been laid off.
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I wasn’t exactly surprised, because supervisors had been talking about not making sales goals. But I *still* felt like I had been sucker punched, and I was an 18-year-old without a car or home payment, and no kids.
Getting fired feels like getting dumped, only worse. You can always go on a Tinder//coffee shop dating spree, but there’s something about getting let go that attacks your self-esteem, and that SUCKS.
Below, you’ll find the beginnings of a guide on what to do when you get laid off or fired.
- Mope for a Minute!
Being let go can really take a toll on your mental health and self-worth. Take some time, right now, to write down a list of 10 things you like about yourself. Also, create a daily schedule for the amount of time you’ll spend looking for a new job (ex: 10AM-1PM: “Job hunting”), along with getting out of the house.
It’s also okay to cry and be bummed. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings and be ticked off/angry/grieve/etc. You are a badass, and you will bounce back from this.
TLDR: EMBRACE MOPING. The only way past not-so-fun feelings is THROUGH them!
2. Tell LOTS of People – They Can Help YOU!
While this may seem exactly what you DON’T want to do, post on Facebook and let folks know you got let go. Share a link to your LinkedIn, and ask folks to send job postings for the specific industry/job type you’re interested in.
you want to be sure to be SPECIFIC about what type of job you’re looking for in these posts (script here).
Something like 80% of jobs are filled because the candidate “knows a guy” so work that network! Be sure to make the post public so your friends can tag their friends. You can post regular updates about your job search, sharing about good/bad interviews.
3. Cover Your Bases – Check Health Insurance & Unemployment Dates
If you get healthcare through your employer, figure out out your last day of coverage and get as many meds refilled as you can. Don’t put off that dental appointment any longer — cavities can turn into expensive root canals!
You may be able to cover the whole premium yourself (under COBRA or other rules), so be sure to ask about this!
4. Get Specific about What You Want!
Now is a great time to sit and take stock on your life. Are you interested in getting another degree? Want to switch industries? You have a bit of extra time on your hands, so head to Barnes & Noble or the local library to check out books on topics that interest you. You can spend the whole day reading (or download a few audio books!) at your library, updating your skillset.
I also love Pluralsight for getting new tech skills, and there are loads of online courses out there with Facebook groups. (LMK if you need a rec!)
5. Post Your Resume on Monster
SO. It costs around $500 to post a job on Monster or LinkedIn, which can get pretty expensive. Monster offers a subscription service to hiring managers, where they can search through resumes online, for way less cash.
Upload your resume to Monster, and see what happens. Sometimes, my clients get a million emails about selling insurance but no bites, and other clients have gotten full-time offers by posting to Monster. It’s free, so what have you got to lose?
6. Check out Craigslist or Indeed
While posting a job to Monster costs a few Benjamins, posting a job to Craigslist only costs a few bucks — so lots of companies will post there *first.* Never give out personal info on CL (bank account info, SSN, etc) and follow the CL safety guide!
I know, it’s weird that people still use CL? But they totally do!
I also would check out Angel.co for roles in tech, and be sure to follow companies on LinkedIn – they’ll often post job postings to LinkedIn FIRST, ones they haven’t published widely yet.
7. Update Your LinkedIn Headline
The LinkedIn headline is autopopulated with your job title, but it can be edited. Edit it to make it clear you’re looking for a new position. Ex: “Currently seeking a full-time position as a [Job title] in [Geographic Area].”
8. Explore New Ways to Make Money
In the 21st century, I think it’s critical to have multiple streams of income. Can you use this time to level up your skills, perhaps learning a new skillset that is in demand? I wrote a post listing specific ways to make an extra $1,000 a month (no driving needed)!
8. Let’s Talk About Your Resume (ugh)
I would rather bleach the grout in my bathroom than update my resume. So, let’s talk about how to make this as painless as possible:
- Set a time limit – get out your phone timer! Set an hour to make edits, then call it.
- Make sure you’re including KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Include numbers and data on how much money you saved (or made the company), the reach of your projects, etc. Share data points!
- It can be more than one page. Two pages are fine!
Also, if you need help writing your resume, I’d love to help you!
It’s gonna be okay, friend. I’m rooting for you. ❤
Ready to hire additional help? I offer 40% off to clients who have been newly laid off, and more info can be found here.
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