Surviving (and Thriving from) a Layoff

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One of the biggest fears people have is losing their job. It impacts families more than just with money. Depending on your situation, your job can also be a source of identity and security. Having that gone can create a huge source of stress.

The good news is that it is possible to bounce back. It’s not going to be fixed with the snap of a finger, but you can find a better solution. It can be tough when you’re in middle of one, just trying to stay afloat. That’s why it’s best to prepare now when you don’t have to the additional pressure.

This episode  I’m going to share how you two can prepare yourselves should that situation come up including tips on updating your resume, LinkedIn profile, and network.  I’m so happy to have Eric from Narrow Bridge Finance on the show today and share his story. A few years ago, he was faced with a layoff and instead of panicking, he came up with a game-plan that not only helped get him his next job, but a $6,000 raise.
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Polish and Target Your ResumeWhat's the best way of surviving a layoff? Eric shares his story on how he found a better job after he was laid off.

It may seem frustrating to get a resume ready when it seems like recruiters and managers breeze by them, but having a resume can be the calling card to get you the job you want. According to Matt Tarpey, an adviser with CareerBuilder, it’s still essential. You just have to be smart about how you craft yours.

  • Go over your resume with a fine tooth comb to remove typos and grammatical errors. Sounds obvious, but it still happens far too often. Don’t disqualify yourself over an easy fix.
  • Think like the recruiter. When you’re designing the layout of your resume, stick to the essentials and the facts. You have about five seconds to make an impression, don’t clutter your resume with fluff.
  • Draw attention to your outstanding skills and be specific with your achievements.
  • Have an on-line copy of your resume. Should someone in your network think of you when a job comes it up, having a resume they can quickly print out and give to the decision make is invaluable.

Maximizing LinkedIn

Here are six steps you can do optimize your profile’s reach and value.

  • Tailor your profile. Don’t take the easy route and simply list your jobs. Make sure your profile fits your career aspirations. If you want to move up or laterally, review and update your profile to reflect that. Make it easy for people to see you in your next position.
  • Put your best face forward. Don’t just use photos for your profile, have them with your updates. Viewers are more likely to click on them than with a text only update.
  • Highlight your expertise. As you create or update your profile make sure you showcase your specific talents, using keywords that recruiters are likely to search for.
  • Show, just don’t tell. It’s not enough to tell people what you know. Establish yourself by writing relevant articles about your industry.
  • Take advantage of groups. Join groups that you can meaningfully participate and learn from.
  • Don’t just take, give. Make yourself available to help others with their career. Do you know a job opening at your company? Think of someone in your network who would be a great fit and share it with them. Even if they are not interested, they now know that you’re keeping an eye out for them.

Genuine Networking

The last area you should be working on is to me the most important – your network. Resources like LinkedIn and job search sites are important in today’s job market, but they won’t be as effective as having strong network.

  • Focus your energy on helping others to be successful. Keep your eyes and ears open to opportunities, not just for you, but others.
  • Set aside time each day to network. Don’t just wait for big events to reach out. Make time each day to connect one or two people, checking in, seeing how are they doing, and asking if there is anything you can do for them. Make it personal.
  • Learn to listen. When you’re networking, make the other people feel valued by listening carefully. Don’t just go for the superficial.
  • Share your passions. Don’t expect others to read your mind. Go ahead and share your passions and goals with your network. With the word out, you make it easier for others to help you.

If you’re not a gregarious person, you may worry that you can’t network properly, but that’s not true. You most likely have the skills, but you may not know how to use them. Keith Ferrazi’s bestseller Never Eat Alone, is an incredibly helpful read. Here are some nuggets to jump-start your network and make some genuine connections with others.

Engineer Your Lay Off?

I want to add another scenario for couples to consider when sitting down and talking about their finances regarding a job loss- severance packages. Depending on your circumstances and the conditions of the layoffs, you may want to take a severance package.

How to Engineer Your Layoff,  written by Sam from Financial Samurai, discusses how the right severance package can soften the blow of a job loss and provide a way for you to prepare for your next steps.

  • Guide you on establishing a plan to switch careers or retire.
  • Provide you with multiple strategies on how to maximize your severance package.
  • Teach you how to leave your company without burning bridges.

It’s very detailed, but it can be a wonderful resource for someone trying to optimize their exit on better terms. You can read my review of How to Engineer Your Layoff.

Love to Have Your Support

If you enjoyed the podcast, could you please share this with your friend or leave a rating and review? If you have any questions about this episode or ideas for future ones, please leave a comment. My goal to make this podcast both motivating and practical for couples looking to building their marriage and finances.

Thank you and take care!

Photo Credit: Sheila Scarborough

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