Fuelled by recession fears, companies have been laying off workers since the summer. Some of these layoffs are happening because of financial reasons e.g. Mark Zuckerberg admitted that he miscalculated the longevity of the acceleration of e-commerce during the early pandemic. Many tech companies over-hired last year and are now having to let people go – some startups which last raised funding over a year ago are laying off staff to make their cash last longer.
According to layoff tracker Layoffs.fyi, Meta laid off 13 percent of its staff, Stripe laid off 14 percent, and Uber also laid off 14 percent. These are big numbers, and signals a shift in how we think about job security at big tech firms.
Losing a job is hard – it can affect your self-esteem, it can be tough on your finances and if you aren’t smart about the next steps, it can even derail your career.
Getting laid off can feel very personal – after all the company is saying that they can manage without you – but you must not lose perspective. Redundancies and layoffs are frequent occurrences in today’s job market. It happened twice to me and will probably happen again in the future! After the initial grieving period, try to think about it as an opportunity that ultimately is going to do you some good.
If you’ve been recently laid off, give yourself time to decompress (even if just for a long weekend) before you start applying for jobs.
Don’t start talking to recruiters when you’re still emotionally raw. It’s completely natural to feel resentful after losing a job you’ve put a lot of time into, but it’s better to vent in front of your friends and family to get any anger or bitterness out of your system before looking for a job.
While it’s natural to feel a bit depressed about your job prospects, you’ll want to surround yourself with positive people who will encourage you, remind you of your past achievements and support you in what you want to do next.
Once you start job searching, your plan should include the following elements:
Start researching industries and companies – then identify key decision-makers or personal connections in the companies that interest you. Are they hiring? LinkedIn is the perfect place to research and connect with these people.
Network often and consistently (even virtually). The aim is to leverage your network to identify possible opportunities or roles that aren’t advertised. Aim to create relationships within your target organizations as referrals can really help your chances of getting an interview.
Instead of simply asking people to help you find a job, focus more on finding out about any insights or leads which can help your job search efforts. For example, if a company interests you, try to connect with people who work there to learn about the company culture.
Reconnect with former colleagues individually to tell them you’re seeking a new opportunity and exactly what type of job you’re looking for. Ask if they have advice, and if not, if they can introduce you to someone they know. Remember: most people want to help but they don’t know how unless you ask and tell them how they can help.
Build a strong online presence:
Ensure your LinkedIn profile is complete and optimized with industry keywords, a strong headline which clarifies your unique value proposition and tangible achievements for every role listed on your profile.
The LinkedIn algorithm will rank you above others and place you higher in search results if you are an active LinkedIn user. In order to be considered an active user, you need a minimum of 500 connections and to be active on the platform. That includes posting, liking, commenting, or sharing other posts even just once a week. You can increase your online visibility by consistently engaging on the site. Share thought leadership posts related to your field, post thoughtful and engaging comments on posts, and build connections with key decision-makers.
Customize your resume
Include recent employment and career achievements on your resume, and be prepared to customize your resume for every application – I’d recommend customizing your Summary or/and Skills/Core Competencies section. Employers need to understand why you’re the best candidate for the role, so you need a resume that directly aligns your skill set with the requirements of the job.
Create a routine task list
This can include half an hour of research daily building your target company list; carefully evaluating a couple of companies per day (check their LinkedIn page and other social media profiles and their website to learn more.
It might be reaching out to 3 contacts per day – it can be reaching out to ask how someone you’ve worked with is doing to re-engage in a conversation or use something interesting you’ve seen on their profile as a conversation starter.
Your task list could include applying for a certain amount of jobs per week or requesting an informational interview with a connection who works at a company that interests you. Ask this person for additional leads.
Take the Opportunity
You could look at this as an opportunity to take your career to the next level. Find a company that offers you a better work / life balance and prioritise your own needs and career goals for next time. For example, if you’re a legal professional looking for the next opportunity, companies like Clearlake Legal Careers specialise in offering an elite business model for legal consultants or sole practitioners, allowing individuals to take more control over their careers.
Take the time to research what you really want from your next role, you could even create a list of the ideal organisations you would like to work for and be proactive: get in touch and ask them if there are any opportunities and what they would look for. Fortune favours the brave!
Getting laid off can be a traumatic experience, but try to think of it as a temporary setback. Being being laid off isn’t your fault and there’s always something positive to come from job loss.
Finally, practice gratitude. While things might seem bleak right now, try keeping your mind focused on what’s good about your life.