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What to Do if You're Out of a Job

March 1, 2000
Related Topics: Your HR Career, Featured Article
Speaking from experience--some tips if you're on the wrong end of a downsizing, firing or layoff.

  • Come to a quick understanding that you are now fired, self-employed and currently in the process of marketing yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your former organization will take you back--because 99.9% of the time they won’t.
  • Find experienced, supportive and extremely positive people. Listen to them and learn from their search stories. Misery doesn’t need company in a job search.
  • Network continuously, establish a daily routine and stick to it. Tell everyone you encounter that you are in the job market--and start with your family.
  • Establish a realistic marketing strategy with an opening statement describing your skills and abilities.
  • Research potential employers and practice for your interviews. Expect phone screens at any time and be prepared
  • Look procrastination in the eye and run the other way. Do it now, not tomorrow.
  • Swallow your pride. When you're asked if you need help, say yes and take it in any form.
  • Join a networking support group and participate. To gain job leads, you must be willing to share them.
  • Use e-mail and create electronic résumés. Also use the various career and search sites that are available.
  • Prepare for rejection from employers, friends and personal contacts. Press on. Don't forget, they can’t fire you--you’re already fired.
  • Learn from your mistakes and quickly move on.
  • If you spend time as a job seeker, etch that experience forever in your mind. When you land your next position, give a few minutes to that caller seeking a job--remember what goes around…
  • Expect the unexpected and believe that a new, better position can happen--and it will.

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