Here it comes: year-end when a dearth in 2016 financials start showing up in 2017 budgets as lower head counts. Is that likely to be you?
Layoffs at Christmas make no sense emotionally, but financially they do for the people planning next year’s expenses. If you’re worried your position may be on the chopping block, don’t waste any emotional energy hoping that compassion wins the day. It might, but you can’t count on it. Use the possibility of being let go as fuel to get excited about taking the next big step in your career. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a little parting severance gift to urge you on to the next thing in greater comfort.
Easier said than done? Read on.
Getting laid off, or even knowing it’s a possibility, can be a real energy drain. The worries that can crop up—about money, reputation, self-worth, rejection, yadda yadda, can come on you like a tidal wave if you let them. So don’t let them. Understand that all of those feelings that feel so uncontrollable are just old emotional triggers that you can let go of. And if you may be facing a career transition, now is the time to let them go!
If you’re triggered by the worries that come up when you think you may be about to lose your job, then whether you do or not, now is the right time to let the emotional triggers go—reducing your stress by a boatload. And, even more importantly, once you can see past your triggers, you’ll see that a potential lay off is a fantastic opportunity to think about what’s most important in your work-life reality and set about getting a job that’s an even better fit for where your life is right now (instead of where it was when you got the job you have now.)
Face it, when you took this job things were different. You and your life have progressed, you’ve moved on, you’re in a different place. So what kind of job does your life need now? When you have the answer to that question, you’ll feel much more excited about looking for a new job, or talking to your current employer about ways your job can evolve if you make the cut.
And you need to be in this place of excitement! Connecting to your enthusiasm not only gives you energy to get out there, network and interview well, it makes you more confident while you do.
But then what? Dreaming about a better future can be fun and easy, but what about looking for a job? I recently did some outplacement coaching for a company’s employees, many of whom haven’t been on the job market in over a decade and here’s what I told them: things have changed! And yet they haven’t.
What’s changed (and what hasn’t) in job hunting?
These days it’s deceptively easy to find job openings to apply for online. There are so many sites that are begging for your resume that it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’ll find your dream job just by sending out 5 resumes every night between ten and eleven pm. But beware… the vast majority of those job postings are just trolling to fill resume databases that reduce you to a collection of keywords. Many of the jobs advertised aren’t even real. As a result, less than 5% of hires are actually made from online submissions, and those aren’t good odds.
Use job sites to help you research your dream job, employers and salary ranges. Use them to stimulate your job search, not become the basis of it.
Even with all our cool technology, most people are still hired these days through personal referral. What this means is that you’re going to get closer to your dream job faster by networking. LinkedIn is a great tool for networking these days, and so is picking up the phone or talking to people at social events. No matter how you do it, you must network to increase your chances of getting the best job for you.
Also, when it comes to interviewing and negotiating your employment package, things haven’t changed much either. Sure, you need a LinkedIn profile in addition to a resume, but interviewing face to face is still talking to another human being face-to-face. Video interview? Face-to-face rules apply, plus you’ll also want to be sure to minimize distractions in your background, have good lighting and look at the camera instead of the bottom of your screen.
So, basically, your job hunting strategy doesn’t need to change, but a few of the tactics have.
Bottom line advice if you’re not sure a lay off is coming
It comes down to this. If you’re not sure, plan for the worst case scenario and you’ll be farther ahead no matter what. At a minimum, do the following:
- Find your emotional triggers and let them go so they don’t sap your positive energy
- Take the time to create a career vision and identify your dream job
- Network to find people who can help you find your dream job (use holiday parties wisely!)
- Spiff up your LinkedIn profile and get a base resume ready
Even if you keep your job, you’ll be more focused on what you want and you can be more specific in talking to your current employer about how you can get it. And… if the pink slip does land on your desk, you’re ready to go.
Yes, easier said than done, but that’s why we’ve created the InPower Coaching Career Center to help you along the way. Don’t wait. Start now.
P.S. And if you do get laid off, here are five questions to ask before you walk out the door to protect yourself.
Are you secretly worried that if you go for your dreams you’ll be disappointed? “Too worried ” to stop and think about what would make you happy? Not sure how to organize your dreams into a job search? Don’t let “not being sure where to start” stop you. Take our 2-minute Career Quiz to get personal advice you can use now.