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What To Do Once You've Been Laid Off

You've been laid off. Now what? So, the economy has gone downhill, you’ve been laid off, you’ve been looking for work for months; you’ve sent out a hundred resumes and still no luck… Welcome to the club (but not for long).


You see, I’ve been laid off three times in my mere eight years working in the traditional job market. As they say, “The third time’s the charm.” So after being out of work for six months and sending out over 300 resumes to potential employers (I have the excel spreadsheet to prove it), I said enough is enough, this isn’t working and I need to figure out what my options are.

After forging the Web for options and only finding advertisement-laden websites, I turned to my local library and read many books on how to start your own business, what it means to be a consultant, what it takes to buy a franchise - what is network marketing anyway? Isn’t that a pyramid scheme? (Funny enough, not at all.)

After countless hours of trying to get informed, (I felt like I was back in school), I decided it would be best for me to start my own company. But the stress didn’t end there (ooooh, no!). Now I had to figure out what that meant; I’m talking about the stuff they can’t teach you in books. Long story short, I have survived and just recently celebrated my first year of business.

That being said, I realized while celebrating my one year anniversary (before the party really got started) that this was all for nothing if I couldn’t pay it forward to other people who were currently in the same predicament I was in a year ago.

Here are my quick tips for those laid off and looking for the next step:

1. Stay calm and be positive.

2. Come up with a 30 second ‘elevator pitch’ that includes:

• your employment background.

• what problems you help solve.

• what type of people or industry you are looking for to get connected with.

3. Email and tell everyone you know that you have been laid off and include your elevator pitch (6 degrees of separation is a very powerful tool).

4. Get out there and network. Join networking groups or associations that are pertinent to your industry.

5. Meet anyone and everyone you can. It goes back to the old adage: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

6. Quality vs. quantity. If you find a job on the internet that suits your experience, email everyone you know (again) and ask them if they know of anyone who might work at this company. This will up your chances greatly of getting an interview. Plus, you can find out if it is a legitimate posting that is worth your time applying for. Some companies have to post a job for a certain amount of time, even though they are planning on filling it internally.

7. If you’re going to go ‘traditional,’ get your resume professionally done. These people know the proper words and styles to get you noticed.

8. Sit down and relax. You’ll be working again soon, so relish a little quiet time.

Diana is a Branding Specialist and successful CEO of Pro Presentations Inc. (Also, the lovely recipient of three ‘Company Packages’.)

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