What You Should Do if You Lose Your Job

Author’s Note: This article was written around the time I lost my job. I currently work at a different company.

I lost my job a week ago. I was an SEO Analyst for a consulting company.

However, I am not discouraged in my job search. Through the process, I learned to be more confident in myself and the quantity and quality of my networking relationships is much different than 2 years ago. 2 years ago I was working on my dissertation, interning, and expecting a baby on the way. People have graciously reached out to help in my job search.

The purpose of this article is to share my tips from a fellow job searcher and be fully transparent about how I intend to land my next job. After Your PhD is meant to help folks, I want to put that into action with quality information from a job seeker.

Below is an overview of my 5 practical tips.

  1. Don’t Feel Afraid To Tell Others You’re Looking For Work.
  2. Process What Happened And Make a Plan.
  3. Revisit Your Network.
  4. Focus on Quality of Applications, Not Quantity.
  5. Validate & Evaluate Your Goals.

Don’t Feel Afraid To Tell Others You’re Looking For Work

Losing your job (whether it was or was not the fault of your own) can feel embarrassing.

Nonetheless, you need to reach out. Your network (friends and family) want you to succeed and job searching in many ways takes a village. Your network can identify job search leads and boost your social media profile posts. But at the very least, you need to communicate your wants and needs with others.

Last week I posted on LinkedIn that I lost my job.

I felt embarrassed and down that, I had to post this news to my network after posting months of posts about my previous role. However, I got several reactions and direct messages of support. I was also able to get a few interview leads through this post. Overall, I had 7000+ views.

That’s 7000 more views than saying nothing.

Process What Happened And Make a Plan

There’s a lot of emotions tied to losing your job and then going back on the job market.

I’m not going to lie. I cried about it. I put a lot of mental energy into trying to prove my worth to others.

I called close friends and went to my therapist a few days afterward.

Jumping back right away to the job market without learning from your past experience and then putting a plan together can make you disoriented and discouraged.

Reach out to folks not for networking purposes, but for emotional support. They can give you a welcome boost of self-esteem.

Talk to a therapist. I wish I talked to a therapist sooner when I was on the job market 2 years ago. You need to examine your own thoughts and feelings before moving on to the planning stage.

Once you feel that you can move on.

Write down what it’s going to take for you to find your job. That can include:

  • Important Skills To Consider.
  • People To Contact.
  • Things you need to revisit include your resume, website, LinkedIn, etc.

Revisit Your Network

Your network is incredibly important in your job search and relationships with your network aren’t supposed to end once you land what you want. If you have built your network over the years, check back to conversations with people you’ve talked to in the past that can provide more insight into what to do next.

You may have had an exchange that made a lasting impact, but you didn’t realize it. I’ve had people reach out from my last company that have offered to help and I only had a few exchanges on Slack.

Here’s a few ideas of who to contact:

  • Former Recruiters Who Interviewed You.
  • Coworkers of Past Companies.
  • Did you have an informational interview in the past, reach back out to them.

Focus on Quality of Applications, Not Quantity.

Job searching is a numbers game, but it’s also a relationships game.

When you apply for a job, you’re dealing with people. People who manage the application process, interview people and recommend folks for jobs.

You should apply to as many jobs as possible, but, you should also keep in mind that the quality of applications matters. Do you have a referral for the application? Referrals can make a huge difference in a job application and act as a back door for your application.

For example, I recently had an informational interview for an analytics position. I was given a referral for the role and the interviewer mentioned that through the referral process, my application was being “prioritized.”

Furthermore, do your research on the company. Dig into the company and identify information that can help you stand out. Don’t know the hiring manager? Look up people on LinkedIn who are most likely going to be reviewing your application. Examples can include:

  • Recruiters
  • Talent Acquisition Leaders
  • Directors
  • Managers

Validate & Evaluate Your Goals

The last tip is more abstract, but it can be the most important part. Job searching is about finding a role and that you are fit for the role because x, y, and z. If you want to prove to others that you want a specific role, you need to validate, demonstrate, or support the truth of the reasons why you’re the perfect fit for the role to others and more importantly yourself.

Find ways to motivate yourself and refine what you want in your career. When you motivate yourself enough, you start to learn new things and you can validate your goals and prove to others that you deserve that specific role. Afterward, you can evaluate what’s working, and what’s not working in your job search. Questions to consider when you are evaluating your job search.

  • Does my resume need work?
  • Am I targeting the right roles?
  • Am I standing out from the rest of the applicants?

When you can put together the pieces and identify your game plan and reach out for help, you’ll be on the right track for success. I certainly feel that way.

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