Developing Your Career

Dealing With a Layoff? Don’t Go It Alone.

By James Greenway on January 16, 2013

Individuals trying to deal with a job loss alone have a difficult time maintaining high levels of productivity and often lack the focus needed to land a new position quickly.  Losing a job can be isolating and very disruptive. Accustomed to regular connections with colleagues, lots of activity and responsibilities, and the familiarity of an office,  job seekers can feel disconnected and may not have the self-awareness to understand which skills they need to improve.

For any individual who has been laid off, one of the first challenges he or she will confront is the need to create structure and accountability amid what feels like a lot of chaos.  Regular interactions with peers or a coach can provide the feedback, benchmarks and development that will lead to better results.

Research has shown that individuals participating in a “job search work team” – a small group of job seekers with similar goals – are better able to prioritize tasks that will produce the best results.  As a team, they’ll have an opportunity to hone skills that will not only get them in front of hiring managers, but shine in an interview.  Developing and practicing key skills will help them land new jobs faster.

Staying connected through regular meeting with peers offers job seekers an opportunity to share knowledge, broaden their networking reach, and gain access to information and leads. When working with a group, individuals can  test ideas and ask for feedback. A best practice is to share individual progress reports to ensure each job seeker maintains productivity levels and is accountable for achieving goals.

A job seeker should not face a job search alone. An external, face-to-face support system is essential. If you’re currently looking for a new position, add a job search work team to your strategy.  Here’s how:

  • Seek out other job seekers via LinkedIn or community organizations
  • Set up your own “Job Search Work Team”
  • Meet weekly to discuss goals, such as expanding your network, job leads identified, meetings scheduled
  • Practice your elevator pitch
  • Practice responding to interview questions
  • Share weekly highlights, gauge progress and set priorities
  • Ask questions, solicit feedback and learn from others
  • Provide constructive feedback to other members

Following this approach leverages the connections needed to uncover opportunities, spurs productivity and will reduce the length of a job search. But if you’re sitting home, alone, without guidance or feedback, and no one to talk to, you’re not conducting the most effective job search.

2 Responses to “Dealing With a Layoff? Don’t Go It Alone.”

  1. Erin Foster

    This approach validates my experience. Setting weekly/daily goals is a must. And asking for and getting feedback is essential.

  2. Stephanie

    Great advice. Keeping yourself connected seems to be the key. Also, it helps keep the creative juices flowing.


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