What Not to Do When You’ve Been Laid Off

The Top Ten Things You Should NOT Do When You Lose Your Job. Lisa Silvershein, MS HRM
Certified Master Coach

# 10 – Do not spend your days at home applying to jobs on the Internet. 
If you want to find a new job you need to get out of the house and connect with people.  Build relationships, volunteer your time, and meet others for coffee or lunch.  Even a walk in the park can be an opportunity to make meaningful connections.  Sending an email does not cut it when you are trying to set yourself apart and get hired.

#9 – Do not send sloppy email to anyone.
You never know who will forward your email to a prospective employer.  Even if you are sending an email to your uncle, cousin, recruiter or neighbor check your spelling, your grammar and keep it positive.  Everything you write from now on should ooze professionalism.  I have seen people summarize their job experience to recruiters with typos and too much information about what they will not do and how much money they must make.  All I can say is T.M.I. (too much information) will not help you!  Keep your email positive and always consider how you will feel if they are forwarded along with a note about what a wonderful candidate you would be for a certain job or company.

#8 – Do not complain about your current situation and play the blame game.
Discussing what isn’t working for you will not get you a job.  Talk about what is working for you.  The good things that are happening.  This will make you so much more desirable as a potential employee.  It will also get you more referrals and job leads.  Nobody needs to or wants to hire someone who blames others for their job loss and current employment situation.

#7 – Do not keep your job loss and job search a secret.
So many people don’t want to tell certain friends or neighbors that they lost their job because they will “look bad” or “they can’t possibly help because they don’t work in my field.”  My favorite is the person who won’t tell any of the parents at their child’s school or on their child’s soccer team because then their child will find out that they don’t have a job and/or the other kids will make fun of them.  By keeping your job search a secret you are missing valuable networking opportunities and you are probably missing many job leads.  Wouldn’t you want to help a neighbor or fellow parent if they lost their job?  Speak up and work all of your networks – even the parent network.

#6 – Don’t spend your time telling people what you won’t do, what won’t work and what you must have in a new job. 
When you set your line in the sand you are boxing yourself out of many opportunities and limiting yourself in many ways.  It is not very pleasant to try to help someone who shoots down every job idea that you share with them because they have only one thing that they want to do for a certain amount of money in a specific location.  Discuss what you will do, all of the things you love to do and everything that you are good at doing.  Share all that you have to offer and keep it positive. 

#5 – Don’t network with the intention of getting help from a person without considering what you will give to them.
So many people neglected their networks when they were gainfully employed.  They didn’t return the calls of old colleagues because they didn’t need anything from them.  They didn’t maintain relationships and they didn’t go out of their way to help others in their field.  Once they are in the job market they think that everyone will magically open their arms and help them.  They call all of the people they didn’t have time to speak with when they were working and they are surprised when they don’t get tons of job leads.  To network successfully it must be a give and take relationship.  If you let your network slide when you were employed now is the time to reconnect by finding ways to help others.   Share articles and information that is helpful.  Demonstrate your value and your desire to give support, as well as receive it.  Whatever you share can be forwarded to others – so don’t forget tip # 9!

#4 – Don’t spend your days focusing on the doom and gloom.
You can read the newspapers and highlight the articles about job losses and unemployment or you can cut out the articles about companies that are growing, adding new products and optimistic about the future.  You can enjoy reading the articles about job seekers who found new opportunities or began their own businesses.  Hang out with people who look at the bright side of things, the people who always have new ideas and are willing to support you in a positive way.  Steer clear of the energy vampires who only get you to focus on the negative and cause you to get a pit in your stomach.

#3 – Don’t let leads wait until the next day.
I can’t tell you how many people get excited about a new job lead or contact and just stop there….they just tell me about it.  They never make the connection.  Why you may ask?  They either didn’t have time, tried once and never heard back, didn’t think anything would come of it so they didn’t want to waste their time.  Letting leads wait until the next day means that someone else is jumping in front of you by striking while the iron is hot.  Your job search is your job – so make the time and go the extra mile by following up on every lead.

#2 Don’t let each day roll into the next day without marking your progress.
Take time at the end of each day to track your accomplishments and create your to do list for the next day.  You need an action plan with action steps if you want to find a new job quickly.   Write down everything you plan to do each day.  Include calls you plan to make, letters you want to write, and people you are going to see.  Cross things off your list as you accomplish them and add new things that will enhance your job search on a daily basis.

#1 – Don’t keep telling yourself that you will never find a job in this job market.
People are getting hired every day.  There may not be as many job openings as there once were, but companies do need to stay competitive and people do leave their jobs for many reasons so remember that there are job opportunities out there.  It only takes one job offer to get you back to work.  If you keep talking yourself out of the possibility that you will be the one who gets hired over the competition – then you will not get hired.  Stay positive and keep trying.   Remember as Wayne Gretsky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take” so keep on shooting!

Lisa Silvershein is a Certified Master Coach who has spent over 20 years helping people develop professionally and navigate their career transitions as they identify and leverage their strengths. She resides in Basking Ridge and is the owner of Ark Career Coaching. Lisa works with individuals during all phases of their career. She supports students, individuals looking to advance or change their career, and retirees attain satisfaction and attain their career goals. She has extensive experience in human resources and career counseling. Lisa Silvershein can be contacted at Lsilvershein@arkcareercoaching.com or  908-244-6485


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