I just saw an article about HP’s newest layoff news – they are laying off about 9,000 people over the next few years (they are picking up 6,000 people, so the net change is only 3,000 jobs affected).
This post is for the 9,000 people who will get laid off, or those who are worried about being laid off.
What do you do now? I bet you weren’t counting on the retirement with the golden watch… and probably questioned the longevity of any retirement benefits you might have been working towards… but you might not have been preparing for a transition this soon.
Here are five bits of advice for you, as you prepare for your pending layoff:
- Get a JibberJobber account* and start using it. It is time to figure out what your professional network looks like, and work on nurturing relationships. Get a good networking book by Thom Singer or Keith Ferrazzi and then resolve to network in a good, meaningful, sustainable way. You’ll need JibberJobber (or a tool like it) to organize and manage your short-term job search as well as your long-term networking (because you don’t stop networking after you land your next gig).
- Get on LinkedIn** and start using it. You might be on LinkedIn right now but you aren’t using it and haven’t gotten any value out of it. There is plenty of value-add stuff to do there – you can do more to be found by those who would hire you, and you can do more to find those and reach out to them. There are other networks to look at but LinkedIn is not optional.
- Get a real resume done, and maybe even pay for it. I spent a week spinning my wheels looking for and ultimately recreating my resume. It was a waste of time, especially considering my resume was keeping me out of interviews. Yes, you read that right…. I didn’t understand how to craft a marketing document (aka, resume) that would get me interviews… a professional resume writer would have helped me with that.
- Start learning about the current job search. You might have been in a job search a few years ago, or it might have been a few decades ago. I’ll tell you now, the job search of today is DIFFERENT than the job search of yesteryear. It is DIFFERENT. You need to learn what current strategies and tactics you should employ and what outdated stuff you should avoid. Assuming you know what you are doing, no matter how smart you are, is a mistake (a mistake that I made, which cost me months of anguish).
- Pick your ego up off the floor. I know getting laid off feels like a slap in the face, and you might (will) feel shame. However, this is the world we live in. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who have been laid off, young and old, experienced and green, competent and smart, rainmaker or back-office support. It’s probably not your fault – you need to not let job search depression, shame and other bad feelings point you in the wrong direction.
The job search is not easy, and many times it is not fun (it can be fun). But it is now a career management skill that you must be comfortable with. The better you manage your career the less painful this and future job searches will be (and there will be more).