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7 Things You Need To Do The Moment You Lose Your Job

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7 Things You Need To Do The Moment You Lose Your Job

If you’ve ever lost your job you can probably relate to the initial shock and disbelief that’s often followed closely by such feelings as confusion and anger. When you lose your job, particularly if it was unexpected, it can be confusing to know exactly what to do next. These tips will set you up to get back into the workforce as soon as possible.

Line up your references

Obviously if you’ve just lost your job you’re probably going to need to find a new one pretty quickly. Consider things you’ll need to make your job hunt easier. One of the biggest contributing factors to landing your next job will be your ability to supply a suite of verbal professional references. You’ll likely need three, so start deciding who these may be.

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If your employer fired you for something like poor performance, you may need to get a little bit creative with whom you ask to vouch for the quality of your work. Certainly your immediate manager may not be the best person to ask. Perhaps there was another colleague who may have been impressed with your work and is willing to act as a professional reference.

Notify the masses

The importance of networking can’t be stressed enough and therefore it’s critical to keep the people in your network informed of your movement. Send a group email from a professional email address. That is, one that contains your first and last name and not the name of any pets or fantasy characters leftover from younger years.

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If you don’t have a suitable personal email address, now is the time to set one up, because soon enough you’ll be needing it to send out a bunch of job applications. A Gmail or Hotmail address is acceptable, or if you have registered your own domain name with your own personal name then that will look exceptionally professional to send an email from.

Use this email address to notify those in your network that you’re now contactable here instead. Your previous employer will likely redirect incoming email to your former work email address and the last thing you’ll want is for them to receive personal emails from your mum, partner or old boss.

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Refurbish your resume

Your cover letter and resume are your most significant marketing tools, so update them as a priority. The sooner these documents are up to scratch, the sooner you can start applying for new positions. You may feel confident enough to update them yourself, however, it’s a wise idea to consider engaging the services of an experienced professional. Some companies are starting to offer outplacement services which can help you not only updating our resume but also interview support for your transition. Competition is high in the current economic climate so there’s every reason to ensure you market yourself in the best possible way.

Professional networking platforms

Focus also on refreshing your LinkedIn and other professional networking profiles ready for the favorable consumption of hiring managers. A joke that may have been funny in the past may no longer be appropriate, similarly an incomplete profile will not reflect favorably upon yourself. If you opt to have your resume and cover letter professionally written, also consider having your online profile written by a professional with expertise in this area too.

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Interim work

Depending on your financial situation, you may wish to seek interim work in order to keep some money coming in whilst you spend time searching for a more permanent solution. Consider finding part-time work to keep you busy as well as earning cash in the short term and use your spare time to continue your job search.

Financial snapshot

The urgency with which you carry out your job search will likely be determined by your financial situation. Consider the amount of cash you have in savings and current accounts, and consider how long this will last. Take into account the amount of people you support as well as how much your essential expenses cost on a weekly or monthly basis. Use a monthly expense calculator and once you’ve gained a solid understanding of your current financial position, you can then find work that will provide a short or longer term solution to your financial needs.

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Reconnect with yourself

This flurry of professional activity may result in overlooking the need to nourish your soul. Take time out to reflect upon what you’ve learned by this experience and also give yourself kudos for the things you accomplished during the time spent in your most recent role. Consider the new skills you may have learned and new valuable relationships you may have built. The job may not have worked out for one reason or another, but there will still be many positive things you can take away from the experience that will help you flourish in your next role.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Joe Flanagan

Outplacement Specialist

Dealing With a Sudden Job Loss 7 Things You Need To Do The Moment You Lose Your Job Preparing for a Careers Fair 6 Quick Ways to Prepare For Your First Career Fair A Real Story Of Struggle From Bankruptcy To Travel Photography

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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