Many Ontario companies have been forced to lay off a substantial number of employees over the past few years. Unfortunate realities of economic recessions, layoffs are often the result of downsizing, or a reorganization of a company’s business model.
It’s not uncommon for recently laid off professionals to feel frustrated, confused and unsure of what lies ahead. Getting laid off usually comes as a surprise, leaving you with very little time to plan your next career move.
However, getting laid off can also be a chance for a fresh start. While it might not seem like it at the time, there are many ways to move your career forward after being laid off.
Give yourself the appropriate amount of time to regroup and deal with any feelings of betrayal or bitterness. And then start planning your next move by following a few of these simple steps.
Step #1: Don’t rush into a new role immediately
Your first impulse after being laid off may be to immediately hit the job listings and try to secure a comparable position as soon as possible. You might even consider trying to find work at one of your company’s competitors. This strategy is occasionally effective, but it misses out on one big thing: it doesn’t give you any time to take a breather and decide what you really want from your career as you move forward. As tempting as it is, try not to rush it. Even if you just take a couple of weeks to reconsider your professional goals and values, it will be worth it in the long run.
Step #2: Use your network of colleagues and friends
Many people have been in your shoes before and know what it’s like to feel lost after being laid off. Get in touch with your professional contacts and friends during this time. Discuss your thoughts and goals with them. Talking through the problem will not only make you feel better, it will also plant the seed that you’re on the job market. When it comes to advancing your career, it’s all about who you know. Putting the word out could turn into a great new opportunity for you.
Step #3: Evaluate what gives you professional satisfaction
Sure, being laid off isn’t ideal. But it does give you a clean break from your past role and a chance to really think about what you want from your career. Reflect on your past experiences and evaluate when and where you felt the most professionally satisfied. When you know what you really want, it’s much easier to go after it.
Step #4: Stay positive
In a tough economy, it’s sometimes tricky to transition smoothly from one job to another. It might take some time before you land in a new job that’s right for you. But even if you don’t have everything figured out right away, it’s crucial to stay positive during your search. Positive energy comes through in your cover letters, job applications and, most of all, in an interview setting. If you stay as positive as possible, you’ll be in much better shape when that fabulous new opportunity comes knocking.