How to Get a Great Job in 2012!
10 Steps to Accelerating Your Career after a Setback
Okay. Let's face it. Losing your livelihood rates near the top of life's most stressful events . However, the demise of one job shouldn't strike a death blow to your career. Yes, there's a recession going on. Yes, the unemployment rate continues to hover around historical highs.
But, through strategic planning and steadfast execution you can relegate your unemployment to a temporary shelf in your career library of highs and lows. Use the following steps to help you navigate this eventful period.
Okay, you're off the hamster wheel. Now what should you do?
1. If you haven't already. . . have a good cry or even a screaming spell.
You've lost something valuable. It's ok to grieve. But, don't spend too much time musing over what was. Maybe your former employer did not realize your value. Maybe you were just hired at the wrong time. Maybe, office politics did you in. Whatever the reason for the loss, you can make it your gain. Life is all about change and you have the opportunity and power to change this fumble into a touchdown.
If months have passed and you still have not worked through your sense of loss and/or or having trouble functioning -- sleeping too much or not at all, talk to a professional -- a counselor, doctor or spiritual guide.
2. Review your budget
Take an inventory of all income and outgo. Immediately, cancel any expenses you can do without -- cable, multiple phones, etc. If you are unwilling to cancel the service, consider downgrading to a cheaper plan. You'll be surprised at what you won't miss. Resolve to spend only on absolute necessities. If you have any type of "job loss" coverage, consider filing a claim. This coverage will either suspend payments or in some cases make the payment for a period of time, However, note that if you invoke this payment on your credit card, you will be unable to use the card. You will want to have one card available for emergencies.
Also, don't forget about your health insurance premium for yourself and family. Sign up for Cobra Insurance if you can (your former employer will send you the paperwork). Note, this insurance will be quite expensive since you will be shouldering the entire cost of the premium. If you cannot afford Cobra insurance, look into low-cost options available through your State or the Obama Health Insurance program.
3. Take thee to your state's Unemployment/Work Force Development Office.
You can sign up for unemployment insurance, training and other services here. You can even sign up online in many states. But, you will want to sign up ASAP since there is a waiting period in some states. The amount of unemployment you will receive depends on your former salary; don't expect it to replace what you were making. Also, you may be deemed uneligible for unemployment -- if you were terminated for cause or you quit, for example. Note, if you are receiving severance payments, you unemployment insurance may not kick in until the severance payments have been exhausted.
4. Inventory Your Life
Are you where you want to be? Were you even headed there while you were working. Many people decide, after a job loss, to change their career and/or life path entirely. If you don't see yourself doing what you used to do for the rest of your career life, take some time to investigate other career paths. Many employment agencies, community colleges and life coaches can provide career counseling and training options. Conduct some research into careers with good growth potential, but don't feel you have to be in a "hot" growth area. Enthusiasm for your lifework is paramount.
Take some solitary time to write down vocations and occupations you enjoy (or think you would enjoy). Write down any areas where you excel. Are you complimented on particular attributes or skills frequently; list these areas also. Now, connect the dots.
For example, let's say you that as a young adult, you knew your way around a sewing machine, and even after maturing and working in the real world as a Public Relations Manager, you still designed and sewed several outfits yearly. At work, you are consistently complimented on your fashion style. And in your spare time, you enjoy attending fashion events, etc. Well, you see the pattern here (pun intended).
5. Establish a Game Plan
Do you want a job in the same or similar occupation. Do you want to start a business and/or explore a new career direction. Will you need to go back to school and for how long? How long can you survive financially before you have to return to work? How does your family feel about your plans. Are you spouse and children supportive? Try to factor in all variables when you work on how you are going to proceed.
6. Network . . . Network . . . Network
Empower your network of friends and families to help you. Ask them to let you know if they hear of any openings or opportunities in areas you'd like to explore. Try to gain contacts in areas you have targeted in your self exploration. Let them know you'd appreciate hearing about leads, even if they don't think the job would be suitable. Update your social networks -- FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Join a professional organization in your field. Attend job search workshops/meetings.
7. Make sure you have top-notch job searching tools
A well-written resume can be a great marketing tool. If you don't feel your resume paints you in the best light, have it professionally written. If you don't have it written by a pro, have several friends review it. And, triple-check it for spelling and grammatical errors.
And while your contacts and/or resume may help you get your foot in the door, you will still have to convince that prospective employer that you are the one for the job. Practice your interviewing skills.
Take advantage of any job placement assistance your former company provides.
8. Consider temporary, part-time or short-term employment until you find your next career opportunity or to supplement family income while you are pursuing other career options or training
Sign up with several temporary agencies. These agencies contract with businesses to help them fill temporary openings. Sometimes, these temporary positions will lead to a permanent position in the Company. Other, short-term positions -- census workers, substitute teachers -- are good options for earn some extra dough.
9. Review help wanted advertisements regularly
Enough said. Review the newspaper, not only for ads for also for business/economic news which may fosters new jobs. Keep in mind that on-line job sites are numerous. In addition, to generalized sites which list all occupations; there are occupation-specific on-line sites. However, as you have probably heard, most jobs are obtained through networking so incorporate this into your job discovery. If you see one of your contacts on LinkedIn has a contact at XYZ Company and they're looking for an accountant, ask your contact if he/she can provide an introduction or at least a mention.
10. Volunteer for an hour or two weekly
Have you ever thought, "If I didn't have to work so many hours, I'd volunteer at the library, or school, or state park?" Here's your opportunity. Volunteering can represent the trifecta of opportunities. You're helping someone else. You're making new contacts. And, you're gaining new experiences. Maybe, you're considering a career change, volunteering in this area can give you invaluable insight, and even help you make the transition.
On To Bigger and Better
Yep. Your life has changed, but you can spin it positively. Take a breather if you need to, but make it short. Don't fall into the habit of sleeping in, chatting with the friends, running errands, etc. during the time you normally would be working. Plan your days for productivity and stick to your plan. Setback . . . temporary roadblock . . . career change . . . life acceleration . . . you now have the opportunity to turn that job loss into a positive life acceleration.
Congrats on Phase II of your life!