Lost Your Job. Article by: Mae Chapman

Assess the Situation

Maybe you work at Microsoft and have deduced you are losing your job. Lost your job, Don’t panic – there will be time for that later. The first thing you should do: figure out how much money your lifestyle costs (including your daily Starbucks). Then, determine how much cash you have now along with what you will have after you are no longer working.

If your lifestyle costs more money than what will be available after the lay-off, right now is the time to start making the tough decisions. For instance, that lovely cup of java every morning costs you $65 dollars a month ($3 per day x 5 days x 52 weeks / 12 months). Do the same for every expense you have. Make the cuts now. Denial holds dire consequences.

The upside to unemployment: you finally have time to spend with your significant other, children, and friends. Using this time feeling sorry for yourself is understandable, but provides ZERO return on investment. Money can be replaced; time cannot.

Assemble Your Resources

You may have a significant other. You may have children or relatives living in your household depending upon the income you soon, will no longer have. Involve them in the “Assess the Situation” process. Make it a team collaboration. Exercise some of those “Leadership” qualities you espouse on your LinkedIn profile. Don’t let fear get a hold of you – it is the enemy. Resist.

You are smart, skilled, and experienced. You probably also have active profiles on other social media platforms. Take a cold, hard look at yourself through the eyes of a future employer. Remove anything that may be construed in a negative light by someone you do not know personally. Post a photograph of yourself in your natural, business-like habitat.

Compose a new resume. Sure, but where to start? Simple: Create a master resume listing every position you have held (including the month/year started and stopped) with bullets and/or descriptions. Create a section listing your accomplishments, education, awards, and so on. Doing so will make the process of customizing resumes for various positions more efficient. Including “Hobbies” or “Interests” is usually unnecessary and better saved for conversation during interviews (if the subject comes up).

Focus

You are doing great! You haven’t freaked out yet. Your finances are in order. The members of your household understand what is going on and what needs to be done. You have cleaned up your social media presence. You have written down your professional experiences and accomplishments.

Now decide what companies you want to work for. Check them out, and that includes their financial situation. Every publicly-held company is required to file financial statements. Go to the target firm’s official website and look for “Investors”. Click it and you will find “Financial Statements”, “Filings”, or something similar. That is where downloadable financial documents can be located. Read them – you have time now.

Compose a list of target firms you have researched and are therefore reasonably assured(accounting humor) they will be in business for the next few years. Use LinkedIn to check out the people working at those firms. Maybe some of them are your connections. Maybe some of them are also members of Groups you belong to. If so, send them a note and ask them what they like or dislike about the company. Please don’t ask them to get you a job.

In other words: the company will research you before they invite you to work for them, and you should do the same thing. Because you have assessed the situation and assembled your resources, you are not desperate. You are calm and clear-headed. Therefore, you do not have to work somewhere just for a paycheck.

Deploy

You are now equipped to find a new position: you have the proper attitude, the required resources, and have designated your targets. You are rather awesome!

Now, it’s “Show Time”.

Let people know you are looking for a new job. Some of them may actually help you land a new position but most won’t. Don’t let that bother you because you have bigger fish to fry. Avoid wasting your mental resources on fruitless endeavours.

Review the list of firms you have researched that you would like to work for. Determine what problems they have and how you could solve those problems or otherwise contribute.

No one is going to “give” you a job. A company will invite you to work for them if you can solve a problem they have and make them more money than you cost. And not behave like a major pain while you are doing it.

Right here on LinkedIn you will find gazillions of articles discussing the writing of resumes, the hidden job market, what to do when recruiters call you, and so on. Start reading and learning. Decide what advice is applicable to your situation. Get your awesome self in front of people that need someone like you.

  • Assess the Situation
  • Assemble Your Resources
  • Focus
  • Deploy

Posted by: Mae Chapman – Mae is currently pursing graduate degrees in accounting (MSA) and business (MBA). She also provides consultation services to small firms and is writing a (somewhat) fictional tale of financial fraud, the murder used to cover it up, and the family torn apart by greed.
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