6 Steps to Turn Your Layoff Into an Advantage

This pandemic recession continuously turned the job market upside down. Major companies like Meta and Amazon laid off thousands of employees. Whether it’s due to budget cuts or company restructuring, layoffs don’t have to be a terrible long-term unemployment sentence. Now, layoffs can turn into a career boost. 

Try these six steps to take charge of a frustrating situation, and come out on top!

1. Announce it to your network!

It might seem odd to announce your layoff on LinkedIn, but there is a lot to gain from it. The post should be informative about what you learned from that opportunity, how you improved their business, and what you’re looking for in your next career move. Make sure you don’t post anything until after you have emotionally accepted the layoff. Writing an angry post will only burn bridges and turn away recruiters. 

Posting about your layoff does two things. First, it alerts your network to provide emotional and career support. Secondly, they can connect you with people who can offer new opportunities. Lastly, it alerts recruiters that you are available for interviews. 

Who knows, your old competitor might become your new employer. 

Here is an example of how one post can change your career.

2. Update Your Materials

Anything you’ll use to apply for a new job should be refreshed. Download IAW’s free resource on how to write an amazing cover letter and resume here

Besides the standard resume and cover letter, consider creating a portfolio website that highlights some of your best work, or writing a personal brand statement. What do you want recruiters to take away from how you present yourself online and in your application? For tips on how to show up authentically in your personal brand click here.

3. Consider new paths

Being laid off gives you the time to consider what the next step looks like for you. What goal do you want to work towards? If it’s climbing the corporate ladder, consider pursuing learning opportunities that would expand your skill set. Try finding a mentor or coach that can guide you, or earn a certificate that can set you apart from others. Perhaps your side hustle started to pick up traction now that it’s your main hustle. Consider becoming an entrepreneur and opening your own business. It takes a lot of work but there are tons of resources to help you create a fundable business plan.

4. Decide on a plan

Once you’ve got a goal, it’s time to make a plan. Detail each step you need to take to get that job, certification, business, etc. If you’re not sure what those steps are, talk to those in your community or network that can offer advice. Informational interviews offer insight into future paths you can take that could help you reach your dreams. 

5. Be choosy and open! 

Unemployment is a strain on anyone. Bills need to be paid, family needs support, and financial stress is overwhelming. While you may be on a stricter timeline, don’t let that keep you from being fulfilled in your career. The first offer you get may satisfy your financial needs, but is it really helping you move forward? Sometimes the opportunities that aid us the most are ones that get us out of our comfort zone. Be open to new ways of interviewing, networking, and searching for the next job. Try these five unconventional ways to find a job.  

6. Rely on your support system

Layoffs cut you off from financial support and it is an unstable time to navigate. Friends and family are there to support you where they can as long as you are open with your needs. For professional support, reach out to your network or join a professional community where you can find accountability partners to keep you on track. 

7. Focus on what you have gained

This tip comes form Donna Johnson-Klonsky who triumphed over many challenges in her career. She is a professional speaker, trainer, author, business columnist for the New York City Magazine, and certified coach. Donna shares her wisdom on her blog where she offers professionals a complimentary resource entitled “Let Truths Elevate You.”

“When faced with trials and the truth about our weaknesses, we may momentarily give up,” she wrote. “Sometimes, we see the pedestals of people we admire but are blind to the steps that took them there.”

Want to connect with more women like Donna? IAW is a professional community for women around the world. Our members find career and entrepreneurial support at any point of their journey. Read from thousands of resources in our library, attend weekly webinars and workshops, or meet local chapters near you! Find out more about our membership here

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