In today’s business world, many variables affect strategy and performance. These factors can be economic, political or technological.
Consider the global Financial Crisis in 2008. You might be a top performer with a high salary in the Banking and Finance company. Unfortunately, if poor economic conditions force your company to downsize, your years of loyalty and performance might not save your job. It is a business decision, not a personal one.
Over the years, industries have evolved to meet the requirements of an ever-changing society. Production costs have realigned and job scopes have been redesigned, making job security unreliable in today’s context. Thus, this article aims to help you get back on your feet if you have lost your job, or are at risk.
These are the 5 key areas to take charge of:
Plan your Finances
The loss of your job affects your daily life in both the short and long term. Problems might not be immediately apparent if you received a good severance package. However, that might not be the case if you only received a month of in-lieu-notice salary. This could put a strain on your living expenses, especially when paying last year’s income tax.
Plan ahead with the following:
- Avoid high ticket items such as investing in a new property or purchasing an expensive car
- Come up with a worst-case scenario contingency plan
- Save enough to last for at least 6 months
- Reduce unnecessary spending to conserve your savings
Manage your Emotional Stress
Losing a job can lead to many stressors: financial, health, mental wellbeing, family, low self-esteem, self-doubts and job search blues. After experiencing repeated rejections, you might start to question your self-worth, whether age is a barrier, or if you have priced yourself out of the job market.
Sounds familiar? Take heart that many individuals have undergone a similar emotional cycle, persevered on and overcame their challenges. Try these 3 ways to ease your emotional burden:
- Start an exercise schedule. Regular exercise keeps energy levels high and boosts overall mental health. Additionally, it can help project positive body language during interviews.
- Ask for family support. Don’t go through difficult times alone. Share your plan, progress, rejections and next steps with loved ones. Strong support from your family can help you get back on your feet faster.
- Stay positive. It’s easier said than done, but remember that losing your job is temporary. Plan an enriching daily schedule and stay committed to it; search for jobs in the morning, network with friends and former colleagues in the afternoon, spend quality family time in the evening.
Maintain an Active Network
70% of PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians) find jobs through their personal and business networks. In fact, 24% of those jobs found are hidden jobs, especially those well-paying jobs not shown on any job portals. You never know when someone will recommend you to headhunters or hiring managers.
Here are a few tips to level-up your networking:
- Print a set of personal name cards, and use it during networking sessions or at the end of a successful interview to leave a good impression.
- Be helpful, charitable and compassionate. Though you may be out of a job, you still much to offer. When you help others, people are appreciative and may, in turn, lookout for opportunities for you.
- Social media is an essential tool in networking. 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find potential candidates. With a good online profile, regular posts, and an expanded network, your next job may find you instead.
Design your Job Search Strategy
Mass mailing job applications using one identical resume is a common but ineffective strategy in jobseeking.
By flooding recruiters with your resume, you could damage your chances as potential employers may back off to avoid choosing which recruiter to pay the commission to if you are hired.
Practise these 3 tips for better results:
- Refresh your resume with a new look, and always keep it up to date.
- Adopt a targeted approach by customising each resume that highlights specific core strengths and transferrable skills that fit the job description.
- Apply directly to hiring employers, and only select trustworthy recruitment agencies to share your resume with.
Seek Early Career Guidance
Having another perspective on your job search strategy can help refine your career plans, and ease your job search progress.
To talk to someone in confidence or consult on job search strategies, consider speaking to a Career Coach. For more resources on navigating with job loss, you can download this checklist to plan for your next steps.