You were laid off yesterday. You went home, tried to get a good night's sleep, and now you're ready to hit the job market again. Where to begin?
We reached out to financial advisors, career coaches and therapists to get their best advice on what you should do the first day after a layoff. Here’s what they said.
1. Completely change your financial mindset
Financial advisor Brook Anderson believes that a critical first step is to get a handle on your finances.
"What are your expenses? What are your liabilities? What's your credit card balance right now? What are those bills that haven't shown that you know are coming and that you're already obligated to pay?”
Once you've figured out where you stand, he suggests that you build our a detailed budget that outlines your needs versus your luxuries. Even what you purchase at the grocery store should be examined, he said.
"It's human habit that when we go to the grocery store, we buy the same kinds of things we always do instead of clipping the coupons or looking for sale items. You've got to completely change your mindset from day one. You're in a different mode until your first paycheck is deposited in your bank account."
2. Have a professional review your LinkedIn profile and resume
According to Sam Phelps, executive recruiter at Newcastle Associates, updating your LinkedIn profile and creating a new resume should be at the top of your list after a layoff.
"The very first thing I would do is update my LinkedIn profile. Flesh it out. Indicate that you are open to new opportunities and speaking to recruiters. Update your content,” he said.,/p>
Next create a new resume. Using a resume builder is an affordable way to update your document. Or, if you can afford to, he suggests getting a professional to assist you.
"Get someone to professionally review your resume,” he said. “If you haven't updated it in a while and you haven't been in the job market for a while, in particular, have professional people review it."
3. Think about the news in a positive light
Christine O'Neill, a career coach, believes that looking on the bright side is a critical step when you are entering the workforce. Specifically, she believes that thinking of a layoff as an opportunity rather than something bad that has happened to you is helpful.
"First of all, you should try to… put yourself in a mindset of thinking of this as a positive,” she said. “Use the opportunity to ask yourself, ‘How might I want to change my career? What would I like to do next?’”
4. Let your network know you're looking
Demetri Georgiadis, managing director of recruitment at CreativeSourcing suggests that networking early in the process will be beneficial to those who have experienced a layoff.
"Flip that switch on LinkedIn to let everyone in your network know you're looking,” he said. “Meanwhile, craft emails to your clients and colleagues. It's like dating: if you don't tell people you're looking they're not going to know, right?”
5. Apply for unemployment
Don’t wait until your situation is dire before applying for unemployment benefits.
"Even if you've gotten notice, even if you're getting severance, even if you might get paid vacation, go ahead and file,” recommends Michele Evermore, a senior researcher and policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project. “Some states will allow you to receive severance plus unemployment. I would tell people to not wait until those things run out. Some states take a while to make the determination if you're eligible, and they take two or three weeks. They'll pay you back for those two or three weeks you were waiting to get those benefits, but you should apply anyway right away."
6. Assess and reflect where you are
Stephanie Licata, career counselor at Sound Change Career Coaching, recommends that after a layoff job seekers should take some time to reflect on their careers before sending out any job applications.
"The biggest mistake people make in job transition is they start with the job search, and the job searching is probably the third step. The first step is assessment and reflection. The second step is strategy, and then the third step is actually going out to apply for jobs and going out to find opportunities,” she said. "People usually start in the middle, then get frustrated thinking it's not possible because they haven't done the important reflection work. As a coach, that's what I do with people before we launch into finding work."
7. Put yourself in the driver's seat
Kacey Cardin, leadership coach, says it's important to see yourself as the author of your own career as quickly as possible.
"People will show up with a lot of regrets and complaints when they're still in the impact of a layoff. Instead of just hearing the complaint or letting them stay in that space, I ask them, ‘What difference would you like to make in the world?’ Ask yourself questions that will make you aware you're in the driver's seat of it all instead of being the backseat driver who has the illusion of control but really just sits and complains the whole time"
8. Wait for the right job
Don’t be tempted to take any job – wait for the right job, suggests David Goodenough, a licensed mental health counselor.
"The first thing people think they're supposed to do is take anything that comes along [but] I'm a big advocate of taking a little time out to plan and really be clear about what you're looking for, “ he said. “Don't just accept the next job because that's going to likely lead you to be unhappy and frustrated and maybe in a bad situation."