Having your position fired may leave you wondering: what do I do now? We asked two career coaches for their best advice on the next steps you could take.
Research for SEEK shows that 38% of people have been laid off at some point. For most people, the initial wave of emotions that follows a layoff can be quite overwhelming, says Karen Thomas, co-director of the Transition Hub. “Shock, anxiety and fear are often the immediate reactions, often followed by a loss of confidence and sense of identity,” she says.
But redundancy can also be a moment of great opportunity, says Karen Schmidt, a career coach and author. “It often comes with some financial compensation and/or advance notice, so it’s a great time to take stock and explore your options moving forward, whether you decide to pursue a similar position or retrain for something completely different” .
Here, coaches share their tips on how to handle the post-layoff period and positive steps you can take to make the most of this time.
Get a clear picture of your finances
A key reason many fear after a layoff is not knowing where or when their next paycheck will come from, says Schmidt. If you don’t have a detailed budget yet, now is a good time to put pencil to paper. You can also check with the Department of Human Services to see if you are entitled to any benefits.
Consider temp work
Some people can quickly move from one job to the next after a layoff. But for those looking to explore options, or people who work in industries where jobs are slow to find, a temporary job such as a short-term contract could be the answer.
“A temp job can be great for giving you a break, and it also offers structure to your week, which is important when it comes to staying motivated,” says Schmidt.
Think about what you loved and hated about your last position, so you can move forward with a clear vision of what you do and don’t want to be in your next job, says Schmidt.
Take the opportunity to review your role and your industry as well. “I’ve seen people fired from similar roles two or three times in a row, not because of skill or performance, but because the role has become obsolete,” he says. This doesn’t have to mean finding an entirely new industry, it can simply mean a lateral switch, or finding a job that offers similar tasks or addresses a similar interest to you, in a more ‘future-ready’ position.
Consider a career change if you’re not happy
If you’ve found yourself in a job you’re not passionate about, Schmidt says the subsequent layoff can be a great opportunity to reevaluate your career.
“I have seen people change in small ways after a thorough review; Maybe they decided they liked the industry or position, but wanted to work somewhere on a smaller scale, or as a consultant, or use the skills they have to become a teacher or trainer. in his field,” she says.
“Others decide that they would like to pursue a career in something completely different. In that case, I recommend seeing a career coach to make sure you have a full picture of what the new industry may entail and how your expectations align with reality. They can also help figure out other potential options if you’re really stuck with what he wants to do next.”
Find opportunities to improve
If possible, look for training opportunities to strengthen weaknesses in your resume and skill set or help you transition into a new field or role. There are many short and online courses in a wide range of fields, says Thomas. Look for industry-recognized training providers before you invest your time and money.
Find a new team
Feeling connected and part of a community is critical to safely navigating the career transition, says Thomas. Redundancy can be a time when we struggle to stay positive, and isolation can be the enemy of good mental health, he explains. Be sure to make time each week to stay in touch with the people who lift your mood – bonus points if they can talk to you about business and career opportunities!
Practice how you will address your redundancy in future interviews
Schmidt says layoffs are becoming more common, and unlike a layoff, it’s about the company’s changing needs, not its performance. That said, it can sometimes be hard not to take a layoff personally. “Chat with a professional if you have difficulties; a career coach can help, or a psychologist may be your best option to regain your confidence,” says Schmidt.
It’s equally important to reframe the way you talk about your termination with yourself and with others, something worth practicing before starting a job interview, says Thomas. “Be open, honest, and position your redundancy within the context of organizational changes and restructuring to alleviate any concerns of poor performance,” she says.
Thomas says it’s time we remove any social stigma surrounding redundancy and embrace transition as a critical part of organizational and personal renewal. It is worth noting that 78% of the people who hire said that firing a candidate in their previous role was not negative, as it did not influence their decision to hire the person (59%) or increased the probability that they would be hired. hire the person (19%). ).
Redundancy does not have to be a negative thing. In fact, it can be a great time to channel anxiety or stress into proactive steps, such as exploring new roles and companies, considering a career change, or pursuing training or education.