02 Dec 5 Ways to Rebound Your Career Faster After a Layoff
You aren’t alone if you’re looking to rebound your career after a layoff. This month, Amazon joined other tech giants, including Twitter and Meta (formerly Facebook), in a significant workforce reduction—laying off ten thousand employees. With an economy in flux and problematic inflation, job security is on everyone’s mind. After an endless dialogue around quiet quitting and the great resignation, employers are refocusing on strategic hiring and “right-sizing” organizations as the American enterprise moves into a more unstable economy.
The current wave of budget cuts across industries has been so pervasive that they’ve ignited a necessary and grossly overdue change—destigmatizing layoffs to alleviate the shame that’s so often been tied to them. Instead, veterans from tech and other industries are taking to LinkedIn, TikTok, and other social platforms to network, exchange dark humor and focus on making fresh starts. TikTok videos with professionals fresh off a layoff are going viral—focused on sharing their next steps and skillsets, and finding humor in the unfortunate change in their employment status. LinkedIn has been buzzing with #opentowork and #opentohire posts and colleagues making posts to support team members going through layoffs at their current or former employers.
While the economic uncertainty is bringing more professionals together in a positive way, it’s devastating for anyone to go through a layoff. That’s why this blog covers how you can take care of yourself and your job search.
Remember, it isn’t your fault.
Layoffs are an unfortunate part of the current economy. And after years or even decades of contributing at an employer, a layoff can quickly change the way you look at how you’ve invested your time and energy there and throw off your self-image or even identity. Abruptly shifting from contributing at work and being recognized as a high performer to being out of a job is never easy. It’s shocking, and it’s hurtful. It’s easy to take it personally after dedicating so many hours and your skillset to an organization.
You may never know what went into the closed-door conversations that led to your layoff along with countless others (budget changes, investor and stakeholder concerns, board meetings, etc.), most probably out of the control of your direct manager who is perhaps riding the wave of uncertainty just like you. But you should know that layoffs happen to everyone, no matter how far they’ve come in their careers or how many breakout achievements they’ve brought to life and made possible. You aren’t alone, and you aren’t to blame.
It’s always a shock, sometimes traumatic, and a frightening rollercoaster of emotions (all valid) after being displaced from your position. Try to give yourself the grace and space to process this major and likely unexpected life change and remember that it has nothing to do with your past job performance.
Remember, all the hard work you put into your former employer still resulted in tangible and often measurable accomplishments that you can share and take wherever you go next.
Rework your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Before officially starting your job search, take some time to keep your resume and LinkedIn profiles up to date. Whether you’re applying for jobs with a PDF resume or using your LinkedIn profile, highlighting your skills with the right keywords is critical to getting your application in front of hiring managers. Recruiting and Human Resources departments use application tracking systems to filter out candidates who don’t have the relevant skills instantly before human eyes ever review the details. It’s critical to make sure your resume showcases your achievements and experience in the right way.
Recruiters and hiring managers actively use LinkedIn to search for professionals with specific skill sets. Ensuring you have the skills most relevant to your professional strengths listed (and endorsed) is essential to be found by recruiters and hiring managers and showing your experience.
Enlist your personal and professional network.
You’ve lost your job, not your connections. Due to the shame many people feel after a job loss, in the past, many professionals have been very cryptic or private about their employment status and subsequent job search. Don’t be. Again, layoffs happen to everyone regardless of professional experience, rank, or performance, and you aren’t to blame. Let your network know on LinkedIn that you’re #opentowork and ask them to share your post and profile to help you gain visibility.
And don’t forget about your Facebook friends—whether it’s other parents from your kids’ school or college alums, let people know you’re working on the next steps in your career and are open to fresh opportunities. With working remote becoming more common than ever, even friends or relatives in other states might know about job opportunities that align with your professional goals.
Treat your job hunt like it’s your new job.
Get into a rhythm with your job search, keeping careful track of the connections you’ve reached out to, the recruiters you’ve interacted with, and the positions you’ve applied for already. It’s helpful to break out a separate email directory dedicated to your job search where you can find your latest interactions with recruiters and employers and quickly review applied positions.
Like being successful in any other job, finding a balance is important. Make sure you give yourself time to relax and have fun. Job searches and layoffs are incredibly stressful, but how you treat yourself is one of the things you can control.
Ask for help.
Whether you are reeling from stress and need the support of friends and family or a therapist, or you are looking to recruiters for an extra buffer on your job search, it’s important to ask for help. Layoffs can be both personally and professionally devastating. Processing those feelings, being supported by your inner circle, and getting outside assistance can make a major difference.
Have more questions? Staffing Strong has answers.
At Staffing Strong, we have clients who are still actively building out their businesses with new hires, and we can counsel you on landing your next gig in any economy. Let’s talk! Submit your resume today.
Meet the Author
Evelyn Vega is the Founder and President at Staffing Strong and the Past President of the Phoenix American Marketing Association. Since 1999, she’s made her career about supporting her clients in building meaningful careers and partnering with businesses in finding quality hires. In her free time, Evelyn sits on various advisory boards and enjoys practicing on her drum set!