Retrenched…. Now What?
Career Coach Fiona Wainrit explores life after losing your job and shares her Top 5 Tips to quickly get you back on track.
Being retrenched is a common reality in today’s world, numerous studies have indicated that the average person will experience job loss at least twice in a lifetime. I deal with such clients everyday and no matter how senior they are, it’s never easy.
Having experienced just how differently each person handles the situation makes each client so unique. Author Shaunti Feldhahn has spent years researching the male psyche. The staggering results of her study showed a whopping 78% of men said they’d still feel a compulsion to provide for the family, even if their wives earned enough money to support them. Men need to deal with the mental burden of feeling like they need to be the main breadwinners.
I’ve seen even the most positive of men experience a rapid decline in their sense of self-worth. So it’s important they receive emotional support from their families. On the flipside, many women view their redundancy as an opportunity to take a break, re-calibrate and spend time with their families. Obviously, the urgency all depends on their financial situation.
If you’ve recently lost your job, you may be wondering what’s next? Firstly, it’s worth investigating whether your x employer will fit the bill for Outplacement Services. If this is an option, I highly recommend you take it up. No matter how experienced you may think you are as a jobseeker, the market has changed and there’s still plenty to learn.
I’ve compiled my ‘Top 5 tips for professionals’ below. Being an x Recruiter, I’ve included a few suggestions on standing out from other job seekers.
- Create your own personal branding- Think of yourself as a product, whereby the buyer is the hiring manager. You need to speak with this person directly, once you’ve managed to bypass the gatekeepers. Evaluate what value you could bring to the organisation, assess what differentiates you from other applicants and come up with a few key strengths that set you aside from the rest.
- Quantify your achievements–Use numbers, dollars and percentages to clearly demonstrate your achievements. What you can quantify? Is it sales revenue, customer service retention or growth, new clients you’ve won, the results of a project, or a process improvement you’ve initiated, resulting in increased productivity/ profit? All of these things and more can easily be quantified and employers love numbers!
- Know exactly what you want- You cannot expect to land your dream job when you don’t know what it is! Now that you’ve identified your key strengths and how to market them, it’s time to gain some clarity around the job and industry you’d like to be in. Incorporate your passions and interests and think about what this ideal role would look like. Can you see yourself in it? Talk to people in those industries, discuss your ideas with people who know you well. You can tell a lot by their reactions. Once you’ve explored different options, become specific about what appeals and target your job search accordingly. Contact employers directly, rather than waiting for the right job to be advertised. Which leads to my next point about networking…
- Use Linkedin– Don’t underestimate the power of networking. Linkedin has become the most used professional networking tool globally. Use it to connect with others in your field, join industry groups, keep in touch with current news/ events, search for jobs/ companies/ people. Have the right keywords in your profile so you come up in Recruiter/ Hiring Manager’s searches. It’s also a great tool to promote the awesome personal branding you created in Tip No 1!
- Research, research, research! – If you have an ideal company in mind you’d like to work for, or even an industry, learn the lingo; read blogs, industry articles and press releases. This will ensure you come in prepared to the interview. You will have an air of confidence that you know about the organization and can subtly weave your knowledge into your responses, rather then re-hashing what’s on the ‘about us’ or ‘values’ tab of their website. It’s all about establishing a point of difference in a competitive job market.
These tips are purely a starting point to keep you on track. If change is the only constant, why not embrace it and see it as an opportunity to try new things? Since your brain is already working in ‘change mode’, it’s a great time to try new activities out of your comfort zone. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine, maybe even try a new sport or activity, take-up meditation, cooking or art class. You may not be in this position for long where you have so much free time. Use it wisely!