2020 was the year of COVID. It was also the year of layoffs. If you were one of the millions of Americans who suffered a career setback during the pandemic, don't get discouraged. It's possible to bounce back into a career you love, even after a layoff.
Let's slip into a time machine for a second. It's February 2020. The unemployment rate is at 3.5%. Jump ahead two months. COVID has taken hold, and the jobless rate skyrockets to nearly 15%. Five or six million people are filing for unemployment claims every week. Even though things have improved since the spring, the unemployment rate remains elevated, and hundreds of thousands of workers are still getting laid off each week.
Losing your job in this way is no reflection on you. You're a victim of economic and market circumstances. It's time to pick up the pieces and reset your career. Here's how. Here are some tips for bouncing back into a career you love after a layoff:
You might be angry. You might be hurt. You've got that mic-drop rant for your boss all worked out. Given that the company gave you the boot anyway, you might be tempted to go out in a blaze of glory. What's left to lose?
Ignore that temptation. Don't lash out. Instead, remain polite and gracious on your way out. You'll need your boss and your coworkers as references as you rebuild your career. At the same time, you want to remain eligible to be rehired if things improve down the line.
Don't Get Down
Getting laid off is a psychological trauma. Studies show that losing a job is commonly associated with a significant bout of depression. As hard as it is, though, you need to take a positive attitude.
Remember: you didn't cause the economic conditions that led to your layoff. You're still a good employee and will be an asset to any firm. Talk to your support system and keep your spirits up. You'll be better positioned to jump on new opportunities if you maintain an optimistic mindset.
Assess the Market
Layoffs often come suddenly. You can go from feeling stable in your career one day to complete panic the next. As such, you might not have current information about your options or the state of your industry.
As you launch your job search, conduct research into the market. This will help you make a targeted plan. You can use what you learn to pinpoint your best options and prepare for a quick turnaround.
Reach Out to Your Network
If you're looking to streamline your job search process, nothing works better than a friendly recommendation. Networking is all about skipping the line and getting your resume to the top of the stack. As soon as you're ready for a new opportunity, start contacting your best professional contacts. Get the word out that you were looking to find your next landing place.
Think about Part-Time and Contract Work
Full-time gigs might be hard to find. Companies are often reluctant to bring in new permanent staff members, especially in a tough economy. However, that doesn't mean you have to sit idle while conducting an extensive job search.
You can fill your time with contract and part-time assignments. These will help you stay in the game while you look for something longer-term. At the same time, they can act as tryouts. Do an excellent job with a freelance assignment, and you could easily turn that role into something more substantial.
Use a Staffing Firm
Navigating tough economic times gets easier when you have expert help. You can get that by teaming with a top-flight recruiting firm, like Qualified Staffing. They can steer you to the kind of assignments that can reignite your career, even in the wake of a layoff.
Contact Qualified Staffing today to overcome a difficult labor market and get your professional development back on track.