This time of year brings merriment and joy - and sadness. Holiday lists are made, halls are decked, cheerful music is played and people are generally in a nicer mood.
However, because many companies operate on a calendar year cycle, this is also the time of year layoffs are made. The expenses need to be booked as part of the current calendar year.
And being laid off sucks.
It is a blow to the ego as well as the pocketbook. And once people stop reeling from the conversation where they were told the company had to let them go, they start thinking about finding a new job.
If you recently returned to work, then being laid off is even more frustrating. You might feel like you failed at managing work and home life. But that is not the case. Why you were laid off at work has NOTHING to do with how you are doing at home.
You need to get back on the horse and find another job. Of course, one critical question looms: how do you answer the question about WHY you were laid off and looking for a new job?
Bouncing back is important. Don't let it get you down as a mom. Or as a careerist.
If you were laid off as part of restructuring or downsizing, then you need to accept that. Don't let it bruise your ego - too much. It happens. It is part of life. Especially the more senior you get. In fact, being an executive comes with a higher pay check and higher risks - the risk of being laid off increases too.
So once your ego heals, learn from your previous experience. Use this "failure" to your advantage. Find the right job. The right company. Be the high performer you know you can be.
Think about Tory Johnson: According to her website, "Tory Johnson is wild about small business success, which can be traced to having been unexpectedly fired from a job she loved. The permanent scar from that pink slip led Tory to shift from employee to entrepreneur. She’s built two multi-million-dollar businesses—Women For Hire and Spark & Hustle—while serving as a Good Morning America contributor, New York Times bestselling author, contributing editor to SUCCESS magazine and a popular speaker. Oh, and she’s a wife and mom, too.
In 1999—after being unexpectedly fired from a job at NBC News that she thought she’d have forever—Tory started Women For Hire in the corner of her bedroom with twin babies crawling at her feet. Armed only with an AOL address and dial-up Internet service—the most minimal tools around, she wasn’t thinking fancy because she had one simple hope: make a decent living to support her family and help some women find jobs. Of course, in the last 13 years, she’s done a whole lot more than that. Tory knows firsthand that anyone can take very deliberate steps to apply essential strategies to turn their passion and purpose to profit."
There are thousands more moms like this. Women who regrouped from failure. Learned and succeeded. You can too. I recommend following these five steps:
1. Complete a company analysis: Evaluate your previous company to determine what worked and what didn't. Use this information when targeting a new employer. Think about your previous company's culture. What did you like? What didn't you like? What were the warning signs? Did management change often? Did the company's strategy change every 6 months? Was execution a problem or did the industry tank?
2. Complete a job analysis: Try to objectively evaluate your performance in the role. Was it a good fit? Were you over your head? Were your goals and performance objectives aggressive? Review your performance appraisals. Where were the warning signs? People management? Strategy development? Execution? Use this information when determining the RIGHT job to pursue.
3. Develop a blockbuster resume: Spend the time to develop a resume that sells your qualifications. Make sure your resume is targeted to the right job for you and shows you understand your business/industry and how your job impacts the bottom line.
4. Develop a Targeted Company List and Network - Identify which companies would be a good fit for you using the information you gathered in steps 1 and 2. Use LinkedIn and other professional networks/associations to network. Meet with people to learn about the company and potential opportunities. The more you can learn about the company, the better you will be prepared to interview.
5. Practice interviewing - This is a very important step. Please practice interviewing. It may have been awhile since you last interviewed. So practice. Practice answering questions as to why you were let go. Have answers to what you would have done differently or what you will do differently. Show you understand the new company and it's business.