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Refocusing After a Layoff (Part 2 of 3)

refocusing after a layoff

Did the New Year bring more changes than you had hoped? If you find yourself coping after a layoff, you’re not alone. Employers in the Austin area conducted an “unusually high level” of mass layoffs in 2023, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reports. But don’t despair: Our recruiters are seeing hiring pick up in several areas.

Last week, we brought you tips on regrouping after a layoff. Now it’s time to think about your next steps as we continue our series of blog posts to help you regroup, refocus, and eventually thrive after you’ve been laid off.

Assess Your Priorities & Values

It’s important to ask yourself what you want to be the same and different with your next job. There are many assessments out there that can help, or you can use this guide from Indeed to get started. Consider the details of your daily life that you liked and didn’t like: the commute, schedule, pay, benefits, job duties, work culture, and other factors. Also, consider values that are important to you and write those down. Do you want to be a leader? Drive change? Drill those preferences and values down into keywords that you can use to search for jobs and employers that match on a deeper level.

Get Your Resume In Order

As cliché as it sounds, your resume can make or break your job search after a layoff. We recently pulled together our top resume tips for 2024 that can help you update your resume with AI, formatting, length and other considerations in mind.

Be More Deliberate

“I applied to 700 jobs in the past three months and only got one interview.” We hear these complaints from candidates constantly. When such a disproportion is at play, there’s obviously a disconnect in your job search. You may not be aligning your experience with the job’s keywords or qualifications well enough. “Don’t blast out your resume for every job out there and expect to be noticed. Take time to be deliberate, curate your search, and customize your application and resume to fit those higher-quality matches instead,” says Craig Patterson, The HT Group’s Director of Sales.

Consider Certifications

Another reason you may get lost in the crowd is because you lack relevant or recent certifications, particularly if you’re in a tech field. We recently covered the top IT certifications you’ll want in 2024 in the context of this. Whether you’re in tech or another field, if the job listings that spark your interest tend to mention specific certifications, consider taking this “time off” to pursue them.  

Be Open to New Experiences

After a layoff, you may be tempted to pivot into a different role or industry. About 24% of workers laid off in 2020 found jobs in new industries. By 2022, about 60% of job seekers sought employment in new-to-them career fields. One of the best ways to do this is to experiment through temporary, contract or interim work. We explain more about these types of work engagements here. Our most significant advice in this area is to be open-minded and willing to try employers or jobs that may not have been on your radar but that others with similar values seem to love. For inspiration, check out our tips on landing a job in a new industry.

Network, Network, Network

Reach out to former colleagues, friends, and even distant connections. Let them know you’re looking for work and explore potential leads. You never know who might have an opening or valuable advice. Check out our popular post on Career Networking for Awkward People (whether you consider yourself awkward or not). As we pointed out last month, referred candidates are nearly ten times more likely to be hired than other job applicants. It’s simple math: Networking—making and renewing connections with others—can better position you for referrals when the time comes.

So, get out there and believe in yourself and your ability to find a job that puts your last one to shame. Stay tuned next week for our final post in this three-part series: Success stories from those who were “forced” to discover their dream jobs after a layoff.

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