We've all seen the headlines screaming "recession" and bearing tidings of yet more layoffs and corporate downsizing. We've heard the stump speeches in the election touting the 750,000 jobs lost in the U.S. this year, and may even have seen friends, colleagues or family members get handed a pink slip. Nerve-wracking times indeed, and for those still employed but treading on ever less stable ground, it may well pay to be prepared should the worst occur. Here are four ways to ease the pain of getting back on the job market in the wake of being fired:
1) Start polishing your resume sooner rather than later. Taking a little time to update your employment history and incorporating recent achievements can pay off big when it comes to getting your resume in front of a recruiter or HR director. A little effort now will allow you to start focusing on finding employment opportunities rather than how best to frame your achievements.
2) Keep an ear to the ground for opportunities. OK, you probably shouldn't be spending your time at work checking out job boards (especially if you're trying to convince your boss not to make you part of the next downsizing), but there's no harm in knowing what other positions are out there.
3) Reconnect with old colleagues and acquaintances. Ever heard the expression "it's not what you know, but who?" Job searches are no different, and offers of employment or inside information on a hot vacancy can come from the even the most unlikely of sources. Social and professional networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are great ways to reconnect with people you may have lost touch with, and there's nothing like catching up with a former colleague over lunch or drinks to find out about the state of their company (and any vacancies that may exist).
4) Boost your knowledge. While going to class might be the last thing you feel like doing on top of working all day, adding a new qualification or skill may just be what makes your resume stand out from all the others in the pile. And, should you lose your job while the course is ongoing, it can also serve as a welcome break from the stress of job hunting, while also opening up the possibility of career center resources and yet more potential contacts.