Friday, January 30, 2009

Playground Layoffs

It’s hit the playground --- being laid off.

I’ve been approached on the kindergarten playground at drop off about being laid off from work and what to do. It’s hitting too close to home now so I think it’s time for my --- “What to do when your laid off" speech. It’s pretty basic but it seems like people always try to complicate things.

1. First don’t panic. Give yourself 24 to 48 hours to take it all in.

2. Start a notebook with ideas and write down all your career ideas. Sometimes the craziest ideas start you in a new direction that works. Be creative and think out of the box.

3. Go over your resume in detail if you have one. If not start writing one. (If you have not written a resume in a long time I’ll have another blurb for you to read later on how to get started.) Clean the resume up and email it to some of your friends to proof. Do not send it to any companies until you have gone over it several times. It’s hard to take a candidate seriously who has silly typos in their resume. People send resume with some major typos in them.

4. Tell everyone you are looking – yes everyone. The postman’s sister could be the CEO of a company so start talking. (I hope you postal people have a good sense of humor about my last posting about going postal on Dave. It was supposed to be funny! I actually think my postman, Tran is the best. The only time our mail gets messed up is when he doesn't deliver it! OK enough about the postal service.)

5. Revive whatever network you have. Pick up the phone and call people. In this world of email and texting, it’s nice to get a phone call. Join LinkedIn, Facebook, Myspace etc. and start networking on line. If you’re uncomfortable with doing that check it out – it works.

6. Get your references together and let them know someone maybe calling. Also ask them who they know and if they would forward your resume. They are part of your network. Do not include your references with your resume give them only if you are asked to preferably AFTER you have interviewed. Be careful, some recruiters will ask for your references to get other names for their databases. Protect your references.

7. Speaking of recruiters send your resume to at least three. If you are willing to move send the resume to three in the areas you’ll move to.

8. Dust off your best suit, press your shirts, polish your shoes and get ready to interview. Remember very little perfume and don’t try to break your interviewers hand with your handshake.

Good luck.

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