Monday, August 31, 2009

The Pink Slip Blues

If you've recently been slapped with a pink slip, what's your first step to recovery? It may depend on how urgently you need a new job. If you're strapped for cash, you'll have to start looking for new work right away. If you have money stowed away (enough to cover at least eight month's worth of living expenses), consider taking some time off to work through the shock and awe of having lost your job.

Whether you jump into job-hunt mode right away or take a break, you need to deal with the emotional side of having had your job terminated.

You Got Fired
If you were fired from your job, come to grips with why you were asked to leave and figure out how you can avoid a repeat performance on your next job. These questions may help:
  • Was the job description above or below your qualifications? Being over- or under-qualified for a job can cause poor performance. Recognizing this may help you find a more suitable job this time around.
  • Was the company culture not a good fit for you? It's hard to excel if you're in an environment that doesn't match your personality (for example, formal or casual) or lifestyle (for example, political or religious). Identify what company culture brings out the best in you, and find employers with that mindset.
  • Was there someone or something that caused your departure (for example, a disagreeable boss or unfair employment practice)? What role, if any, did you play in the situation? Get advice from a job counselor or trusted friend to understand how to prevent such a thing from happening again.
Understanding and accepting your job termination will help you move on to a new job – one that you'll enjoy and thrive at. It will also help you talk more easily about your last job in a job interview. (Yes, it'll probably come up in a job interview, so it's best to be prepared.)

The Big Layoff
If you got laid off from your job, research what caused the layoff so you can speak knowledgably about it to recruiters and hiring managers. Here are some things that might be helpful to know:
  • How many employees were laid off
  • How many rounds of layoffs there have been in the last five years
  • The reason the company gave you, the public, and its shareholders for the layoffs
  • Whether the company is closing completely or might get turned around
  • Why you think you were chosen to be laid off. This is a hard one, but once you understand this to the best of your ability, you'll likely see it wasn't your fault. This realization will help you move on with greater self-esteem.
If you're really down and out, you may need to get professional help. Consider asking a therapist, career counselor, or religious leader for a few sessions to discuss your situation. Also, try to find a support group (in-person or online) where you can work through the grief of your job loss with others who are in the same boat.

For more on having been laid off or fired from your job, read these posts:
Explaining a Job Termination
Fired But Don’t Know Why
Job Search Resilience
Gaps and Layoffs and Resumes, Oh My!


Boyle said...

Interesting! You just do not have the idea how much I needed these words today - yes, it all centers on the term "laid off"! Thanks a lot and keep posting similar stuffs!

Eniva Vibe said...

My BOSS should read this and hopefully gets a second opinion.

Resume Writing Services said...

Not only BOSSES, but everyone. A lesson to be learned!

Stella said...

This is indeed a lesson to be learned.

Funeral Home Website Design said...

Inspiring. When the word "laid off" is heard it is almost as painful as loosing the things you draw your strength from.