When you get laid off, you have far more choices than you could possibly imagine. The problem that most people have is that they freak out and quickly apply to as many jobs as possible, while spamming their network, praying to (insert person you worship here) and becoming extremely stressed out in the process. I know things are tough right now, but it also means that there are enormous opportunities for you to either start over, rethink your career jobs and create the future you want!
That is why today I’m going to take you through a process you can use to reposition your brand in this economy, so that you can surface as a champion when we get out of it. The first thing you want to do is to take a deep breath and stay as optimistic and open minded as you possibly can. If you can’t do that, then it’s hard for any advice to work for you.
If you are one of the millions of people that are laid off, then you really need to understand what options you have before you start applying for jobs or launch a new company. A good way to do this is to start conversations with the people that surround your life and those who have already lost their job and are in the same position as you. If you’re an introvert, then doing this online is a wise idea. You should join groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and Ning to locate people that are just like you and find out what they are doing right now. This way, you won’t make job searching mistakes and you’ll have other people to support you during this tough time.
Here are some options:
The bottom line is that you need to do something because employers frown upon slackers and every new person you meet will ask you “what do you do” and you better have a good answer. If you do nothing, you’ll appear to be uninteresting and you’ll be ostracized as a result.
“If you’re job hunting, or just trying to hold onto a job in this economy, your personal brand must demonstrate that you are hard-working, self-sufficient, loyal, positive, and most importantly, that you get results. Everything from your website to the way you answer questions must communicate these characteristics. Managers who have hundreds of resumes for every opening at their fingertips won’t waste time employing (or even interviewing) people who need too much hand-holding or think they are entitled to meaningful work.”
“To job hunt in a bad economy you need to be a specialist. In a good economy, people hire generalists. In a bad economy, hiring managers can be very picky and they look for a perfect fit. Specialists fit perfectly, not generalists. So talk about yourself as if you are specialized, and then people will think of you when a job that fits comes up. Also, retool your resume to look specialized. You don’t need to have everything you’ve ever done on your resume: It’s a marketing document, not your life story.”
Right now a lot of people are scared and they are hoarding what (and who) they know. I recommend the opposite: When you give generously of your knowledge – career ideas, recommendations of resources, networking tips, etc. – you strengthen your image as a “go-to” person, someone others can rely on even in tough times. Share your knowledge by speaking on pro bono panels, commenting on blogs, sharing article links on Facebook or Twitter, answering questions on LinkedIn Answers, etc. The more you share your knowledge, the more knowledge (including networking contacts and job leads!) you’ll receive from others in return.
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