I was just a few months away from my 9 year anniversary at my previous job when the company I worked for pulled the plug. “It’s nothing you’ve done, we’ve just decided to re-evaluate our business model” is what they told us. You may have been there. You may be there now. Maybe you’ll be there sometime soon. The fact is, most of us will find ourselves looking for a job, for no fault of our own, at some time in our lives.

I’m no genius, and I don’t confess to having all the answers, but I would like to share what I’ve learned through my experience, in hopes it will help you if and when you find yourself in the same situation.

  1. It’s ok to feel your emotions. You’re bound to feel angry, hurt, disappointed, frustrated, worthless, humiliated, used… you name it. Feel them. It’s natural. Then get over it. You can only control what you can control, and you can’t control that your company just laid you off. Start to take action on the things you can control.
  2. Ask for help. Take your resume for example. After 9 years with the same company, my resume was “old school”. There are a number of resources available to help you get all the paperwork in order. It can be free on Google or through a paid service.
  3. Network. It shouldn’t be a secret that you’re in the job market. Tell anyone who asks. Bring it up in conversations. Use LinkedIn. Don’t feel ashamed. It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do. If people don’t know you’re looking, they can’t help you.
  4. Keep an open mind. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into the particular industry you came from. You’ve learned a lot of business lessons and have a tremendous number of experiences to draw from that you can take to a new industry. Plus, working in a new industry can re-spark old ideas that you may have let die.
  5. Consider working with an agency. There are a lot of jobs that aren’t posted on LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed or any of the other sites. It is the job of Recruiting and Staffing Agencies to know what’s available. Even the stuff that’s not posted.  If you’ve been successful in what you’ve been doing, you are like a gold nugget to them. Reach out and let them help.

The only thing for sure in business is change. Be ready for it and embrace it! You will land safely, and possibly in a place that you never would have dreamed. More than likely, in a place that you never would have considered had you not been forced to get into the job market. It’s all about how you choose to react and the actions you choose to take! All the best!

Hiregy is a professional recruiting and staffing agency located in Tampa and Orlando. 

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