Get Your Mojo Working
7 First Steps to Job and Career Recovery
Truth: a job lay-off can knock the wind out of you. It can totally screw with your career confidence and if not managed correctly can make you totally ineffective—we’re talking big self-pitying blob– in a job search.
You do have choices—
A. You can curl up in a corner in the fetal position believing you’re doomed for weeks maybe months on end while others make decisions regarding your life,
B. You can pull yourself up by the good old-fashioned bootstraps and choose right now to take steps toward job and career recovery.
1. File ASAP for Your Unemployment Insurance Benefits
We say this over and over again, but it IS the absolute first step to anything once you’ve become jobless. You’ll need the extra money you receive from your state unemployment benefits to keep you afloat while you launch a successful job search. Get the wages you deserve. Your employer paid unemployment taxes so that you could manage for a while in just such a situation. Get it.
2. Write a Resume or Update an Old Resume
If you don’t have a resume, write one. You can refer to our article on resume writing—it offers some great tips. If you already have a resume take an hour or so to update it. In fact, consider completely revising and starting off fresh.
3. Apply for Jobs with your state Workforce Development Agency
Anticipate that in most states you will be required to apply for work through your state workforce agency or employment services department. Here you’ll create an application, provide a resume if you have one and apply weekly for jobs that come available and fit your qualifications. As a condition of continuing unemployment eligibility you will have to be available for work, looking for work and able to work.
4. Get Your Head on Straight
Your state of mind will make a huge difference in how successful your job search will ultimately be: self-pitying blob or pulling yourself up by the bootstraps? Your decision.
5. Create Your Ideal Job
Make a conscious decision to seek (and attract) the “perfect” job. Try this exercise: sit down with a piece of paper and pencil. List all the things you’d wish for in your ideal job or career. Include things like ideal salary, job responsibilities, job title, job goal, ideal hours, office/work environment, types of co-workers, location, benefits, anything you can think of within reason that would paint a clear picture in your head of your ideal job situation. Save this piece of paper and use it as a mental tool to create a powerful image of yourself in your next job and career track.
Choose a volunteer organization that might make use of your professional skills while you’re also looking for work. Use this experience to satisfy a few goals:
Get yourself out of the house and outside your own problems
Connect with others
Fill in a blank on your resume—remember if you can produce some quantifiable results for an organization then you have a gold nugget to add to your resume.
Put this experience on your resume and make it valuable and genuine.
7. Manage Your Job Search
Don’t just wait for jobs to come to you, be proactive. Use the “ideal job” tool as your driving force for change. Apply for work with local temporary employment agencies, consider freelance opportunities that make use of your special skills and expertise, create accounts with a few free online job search services, such as Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com and others, and heck, you could become one of those motivated out of workers that have even launched their own successful business start-ups.