Laid Off? Your Next Steps to Move Forward

Laid Off? Your Next Steps to Move Forward - Style Nine to Five

So, you got laid off – there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a big blip on your career journey, sure, but it’s not as hard to recover from a layoff as it may seem. Just try to keep calm, take care of yourself, and when you’re ready to move forward, here are four steps to consider taking.

1. Consider What Could Come Next

After your layoff, take a moment to assess where you are in your career path and where you’d like to go moving forward. Think about the things you liked and didn’t like at your job, the areas you succeeded most in, and if you felt fulfilled working in that industry. This is a great opportunity to explore other industries or change industries entirely.

If you’re still committed to the same industry, you at least have a better idea of what to look for in future positions – for example, let’s say you got laid off from a social media manager position. Maybe in that position you realized you have a talent for the visual aspect, but not the writing aspect. You could propel that into an advertising career that focuses on graphic design, video content, whatever it is you excel in.

Plus, in your assessment, you can determine if you need to take the free time you have now and put it into further schooling, an internship, gaining new skills or building a portfolio, or if you should just jump back into looking for a new position.

2. Revamp your LinkedIn and Resume

You’ve definitely accomplished a lot since the last time your resume needed an update. Edit your resume, LinkedIn, professional website and social media, and whatever else you may have that contributes to your career growth. Include the job you got laid off from and any of your accomplishments at the company, skills you developed while there, and anything else relevant. While you may be in a tough spot right now, find some positives in looking at all the great work you’ve done throughout the prior stop on your career journey.

Once you take the time to do this, you’re ready to start looking for new gigs. You should also take the opportunity to state that you’re open to work on LinkedIn. There’s no need to announce that you got laid off, just stay positive and focus on alerting your network that you’re in the market for a new job. This could even involve reaching out to people in your network and see if they know of anywhere that’s hiring – after all, they know your skills and past experience, they may also know somewhere that’s a perfect fit for you.

3. Put Yourself Out There

After being laid off, one of the best things to do is put on a positive face and try to get back out there. This can be done in a variety of ways, so you’ll be sure to find one that’s viable for you. The most obvious one is to just start searching for new jobs and applying anywhere that jumps out. If you know what you want to do next for sure, take some time out of each day to peruse LinkedIn and job boards (like Style Nine to Five!), and save anything that interests you and put together applications for your favorites.

There are other options as well, even if you’d like to transition to a new industry or you’re not even sure where to go after your layoff. Consider visiting industry events and networking – this is a particularly great plan if you’d like to explore other industries and you aren’t sure which one to dive into. Reach out to professionals who interest you and set up informational interviews to learn more about their work and lifestyles.

Another option is to take time away from full-time work to build your skillset, whether that means going back to school (whether full time or for one or two courses), doing personal projects to strengthen your portfolio, or taking on short freelance and contract positions to test out different industries. Plus, while you’re taking time to build your skills, you can still apply for jobs sparingly where you can.

4. Pursue Entrepreneurship

Another option is using the skills and knowledge that you’ve gained within the industry to start your own business or to begin freelancing. This is a great option for people who learn through this experience that they’d rather work for themselves than anyone else. It might be a rockier start than the traditional career path, but plenty of people have done it before you, which means that you can do it, too.

Consider what your own business or freelance path would look like – designing clothes, crafting social media posts, creating graphic design, whatever your talent and knowledge lies in – and research how other people have pursued your path in the past. It’s worth looking for entrepreneurs and freelancers on LinkedIn to speak about their experiences working solo, or to ask around in your own personal network if anyone would have a need for your service.

In between all of this, remember to take care of yourself. Your mental health is even more important than whatever the step forward in your career journey is. Remember that layoffs happen to plenty of people and don’t be hard on yourself about the fact it happened to you, too – you still did a great job at the company, so focus on those positives and let them propel you forward.

Unsure of where to go next in your career? Figure it out through a Virtual Career Meeting with Style Nine to Five founder, Christie Lohr!

Emily Morrison is a media professional with passions for writing, film and popular culture.

Feature Image: Adobe Stock