Preferably, a job search is something you begin on your own terms. However, you won’t always start searching for a new job because you’re unhappy with your current one.
Layoffs and terminations can occur unexpectedly. When these events occur, you’ll likely want to run out and find a new job the next day, if only to regain a sense of control over the situation. The rush to apply to anything that’s out there could end up being a long-term career setback, however. A better approach is to reassess your situation, update your resume and lean on your network.
Consider the following tips for getting back to work after becoming unexpectedly unemployed.
Reassess your current career path
There are times when you lose a job through no fault of your own, such as a round of layoffs or a department being eliminated. If this is the situation, you were happy in that job and you had a plan moving forward, then there is probably no need to reassess your career path.
There are also situations where a job wasn’t the right fit. Maybe were unhappy and your performance took a nosedive. If that sounds familiar, take some time to think about what you want moving forward. A new job can be a chance to learn about a different company culture or other career paths. Perhaps you weren’t even thinking about changing careers but finding yourself unemployed has opened your eyes to the possibility.
Taking time to process your situation can keep you from wasting anymore time on a career path that isn’t right for you. It can also help you focus on what’s important moving forward.
Update your resume
Once you’ve had a chance to process your situation, focus on moving forward. A good first step is to update both your resume and LinkedIn profile.
If you’ve decided you were just in a bad situation and want to keep going on this same career path, simply update your work history on your resume and make minor tweaks. If you’re changing careers, you will need to completely overhaul your resume, likely switching it to a ‘functional’ resume format.
Lean on your network
Ideally, you should be constantly expanding and maintaining your network to prepare for this exact moment. Your network can be a source of job leads and emotional support.
Explain your situation to those closest to you and ask for advice. Reach out to connections you don’t know very well on a personal level by asking how business is going and segueing into asking about any job openings they may have heard of for which you may be qualified.
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