Dealing with a Job Loss: “You’re Fired!” Can Spell “Opportunity”
By Brad Taft, MBA, CMF, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Chief Career Strategist, Taft Career Group
Fired, laid-off, let go, downsized. If you are leaving a job involuntarily, it doesn’t matter what words are used. It’s a shocker, and you need to recover quickly and develop a plan to get land your next job. Here is a 5 step strategy to get your career back on track.
Assessment & Goal Setting
Put your job loss in perspective. Anyone can take away a job; they can’t take away the skills, knowledge and experience that you have gained. Take a good look at these talents and develop a list of your skills, strengths and preferences. Write a description of your ideal job that would allow you to fully utilize your talents in a working environment most suited for your success. These exercises in assessment and goal setting set a solid foundation for moving forward with a job search, and concentration on the positive aspects of your background and talents can be very therapeutic during times like these
The Realities of the Job Market
Research the job market and gain an understanding of what opportunities exist and how your talents and interests match up with jobs that are in demand. Take stock of your financial situation and determine how long you can go until a new paycheck is absolutely necessary. Now is the time to analyze the realities of the job market and decide what direction your job search campaign needs to go in order to get a job that is a good fit for you in an appropriate amount of time.
Utilize all avenues of information and job leads including your network of family, friends, past co-workers and professionals who could be in a position to refer you to the right job. In addition, start diving into the world of Internet job postings, newspaper ads and recruiters. Develop a list of organizations that you want to target, and seek support from others in getting in front of the hiring authorities and recruiters in those companies.
Your Personal Marketing Campaign
Looking for a job is the great equalizer, because it doesn’t matter if you are a clerk or a CEO; everyone looking for a job is, at least temporarily, a sales person. You are selling a product to a customer: your talents are the product and your new employer is the customer. An effective sales person knows their product inside and out and can communicate not only its features to a customer but the benefits the customer can gain by buying the product.
In both your written (emails, cover letters, resumes, biographies) and verbal (telephone introductions, networking sound bites and interviews) communications, you must effectively state how your talents benefit the employer. Make sure that your marketing communications answer the most important question on the minds of a prospective employer: “What did you do for them, and what can you do for me?”
Landing the Job that’s Right for You
Develop a comprehensive plan for your job search campaign by setting realistic daily and weekly goals for yourself in researching the marketplace, identifying and pursuing job leads and continuously reaching out to referral sources. Be assertive and follow-up on all inquiries. Constantly ask yourself if the jobs you are considering are the right fit for your talents and interests. Strive to go after the career opportunity that is the best match for you
Even after Landing the Next Job, Keep the Search Going
The secret to career success is to never stop looking for the best job. Despite what your employer does on a formal basis, give yourself a performance appraisal every 4 to 6 months to determine the status of your professional and personal development. If you are not satisfied, can you go to your boss and discuss changes to your responsibilities that will allow you to make better progress in achieving your goals and keeping a high level of satisfaction? If not, then maybe it’s time for you to voluntarily start the job change process.
Author, consultant, and public speaker, Brad Taft is the Chief Career Strategist of Taft Career Group in Scottsdale, AZ, a career management consulting firm that supports individuals in planning and implementing effective job search campaigns. He is also Managing Director of Taft Vocational Experts LLC which provides expert witness services in employment-related lawsuits.
Brad brings a passion to his work in supporting people who are at a cross-roads in their career. He facilitates career decision-making, helps individuals communicate their talents and interests to prospective employers, and develops strategic campaigns for people to land new career opportunities.
Learn more about Brad and his career transition services at www.TaftCareerGroup.com. Contact Brad directly at email@example.com, 480-315-0372.