I Just Lost My Job: Part 2 Finding Your Next Gig
This is the second part of a three-part series (Navigating Your Finances, Finding Your Next Gig, and What to do With Your Free Time.)
Oftentimes, people are unhappy with their jobs, but it does not get to a point where they have to make a change and they stay stuck in an unfulfilling position. Losing your job can be a breath of fresh air if you choose to take an optimistic perspective of the situation. I have had clients who were under a lot of stress and after they were terminated their health drastically improved. If you are not ready mentally or financially for retirement though, you have to prepare for the next chapter of your career. Has it been a lifetime since you last had to find a job? Here are a few tips to brush up on how to land your next gig.
Same Field or Career Change?
This is one of the first things you will need to determine in order to have a focused search. Staying in the same field is the path of least resistance, but may still require retooling your skills so that you are more attractive compared to your competitors.
Burnt out by your current field? Did you know that it is estimated that the average worker will change their career 5 to 7 times during their working life? It may take more energy to chart your new path, but it may be worth it in the long run. What is your dream job? Do not allow yourself to set restrictions on the possibilities initially. Take the top 2 or 3 options and begin to research them further to see if they are what you expected. Bonus points if you reach out to someone in that field and see what they enjoy and do not about what they do. What skills transfer over and do you need additional training or education? Determine if these obstacles are something you are able to overcome and then commit to your decision.
Networking is the primary source of filling employment positions by a landslide. There have been a ridiculous amount of studies and surveys, but the statistic ranges between 70-85% of jobs are filled by networking.
Networking takes many forms, here are the top three and their descriptions.
Natural Network- Close friends, family, and colleagues. Sharing your situation and the career you’re pursuing with these members may lead them to connect you with someone within their network.
Networking Events- Oftentimes, strangers gathered in an event format to expand your natural network. Helpful when your natural market does not have exposure to the career you are pursuing. Some career paths have specific networking events & conferences. Another great place to search would be alumni groups.
Social Networks- For obvious reasons, this has exploded in popularity due to the viral nature of the internet. Even though these relationships may not be as strong as your natural network, people tend to want to help others. Decide what makes sense for your situation: an update on your current situation and your desired new position, or a direct message to someone whom you think may be able to connect you with others.
Your Resume & Job Boards
A resume should highlight your skills and help you stand out from what could be a crowd of other applicants. According to Time.com, you should keep the following in mind when crafting your resume:
- Pay Attention to Format
- Make the Top Count
- Promote Your Brand
- Emphasize Key Skills
- Highlight Performance
- Show Key Work Metrics
- Control Your Timeline
In addition to being able to upload your resume and allow recruiters to contact you directly, you can also curate job search notifications so new jobs that match your preferences can be compiled and sent to you daily, instead of having to constantly go in and search manually.
You have applied or made a solid contact and now your phone is ringing… the interview process has started. Have you prepared in advance? Being prepared allows you to be more confident and relaxed, which has a significant impact on the impression you will make to your potential employer.
Have trusted friends run you through the wringer to prepare you to be able to not just answer questions, but be thoughtful in your responses. Include stories, examples, and details, but be concise.
Research the position and the company so that you can ask intelligent questions that will help you find out not only if you are a good fit for them, but if they would be a good fit in furthering your career. If it is, make sure you share with your interviewer that you are excited about the opportunity and what excites you about the opportunity. Close the meeting asking for clarity on what to expect next if that information is not provided.
Follow up with a courtesy email within 24 hours and reiterate your excitement at the opportunity and you look forward to hearing back.
Be prepared to receive an offer at any time. It is very easy to be caught off guard if you are the top candidate and are offered the position faster than you expected. In the moment the offer is extended you have a few response options:
- Accept immediately
- Ask for 24 hours to think it over (discuss with spouse if applicable)
- If the pay or benefits package is less than expected, you can share your expectations and see if or where adjustments may be made.
Some of the common negotiable benefits include pay, flexible work schedule, vacation days, and stock options.
Trying to find a new job or career is no walk in the park. The process may feel like it is going to take forever, but hopefully, these tips allow you to be more focused and spend your time as efficiently as possible so that you can have more confidence on the hunt.
Next week, I will have a final article in the series “You’ve Just Been Terminated: Part 3 What to do With Your Free Time”
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