Can I just say how I sorry I am that you need this article? I know what a tough spot you’re in, and I’m sorry you’re going through it. I’ve lived through this, and each time I’ve walked away with better jobs than I had before (and without blowing through my savings).
Here’s my quick and dirty guide for getting laid off!
Step 1: Cry. Cry a lot. (We won’t tell.)
When you think you’re done crying, cry some more! Seriously, your body won’t run out. California may be in a drought, but you, my dear, are not. So feel all of your feelings. It’s important to process what happened so you can determine what your next steps are going to be with a clear head.
Step 2: Tidy up that resume.
What accomplishments you want to include from your last gig? What can you play up? Maybe your last job didn’t work out because you’re not in the right field. Are there ways you can tweak your resume so it will look fit a new career? Enlist the help of friends to help polish it up.
Step 3: Set daily career-related goals.
It’ll be easy to get sucked into a blackhole. Release that grip on your ex’s Netflix password and decide how many job applications you’ll fill out every day. Start slow and aim for three a day before you re-watch Gossip Girl in its entirety. (When you do give in and binge, remember that headbands do NOT look good on you. This is not the time for a closet overhaul. You’re welcome!) From there, figure out how many people in your field you can meet with per week to discuss new opportunities. Treat everything—nights out, lunch dates, Facebook messages—like a networking meetings until you get some leads. If money permits (lol, on what funemployment budget though?), enroll in some career development courses. Do it for the LinkedIn views, baby! (More on that later.)
Step 4: Monitor your spending.
This sounds scarier than it is, especially if you don’t have anyone to supplement your income. Utilize apps like Mint, Qapital and You Need a Budget to set spending and savings goals for the interim. My personal favorite is Qapital, which allows you to set savings goals and choose what you want to set aside your unemployment money for (ahem… rent, phone bill, etc). If you want, you can even set us a roundup rule that puts money into those goal buckets every time you use your debit card. These apps will help calm your financial anxiety during this dumpster fire of an experience.
Step 5: Master the sh*t out of LinkedIn.
The world’s most boring social platform will be your biggest ally. When I was laid off two years ago, the first thing I did was spruce up my profile and get familiar with the platform’s algorithm. Within two weeks I was recruited by the EVP of my current agency. Two years later, I’m still kickin’ at my dream job. Here’s what you need to know:
Build out your profile.
A complete profile will not only showcase all of your skills, but it will also bump your page in the platform’s algorithm. The more built out yours is, the more likely it will be seen by the right people.
Connect with as many people as possible. Connect with everyone from your Comm 101 class. Connect with your mom. Connect with your neighbor. Connect with your therapist (both in sessions and on LinkedIn).
Not only will this open the door for networking, but did you know that the bigger your network is, the more job postings you’ll have access to? Once you start adding everyone and your mom, you’ll be able to see what companies your connections have ties to, and that will give you a better foot in the door.
Profile views matter.
This widens your net and makes you pop up in more people’s feeds. Those new connections I mentioned earlier? Those people will view your profile, whose new connections will view your profile, and so on so forth. Views = opportunities to shine!
If you show up as a popular member of your network, your profile will be served to more important people like recruiters. “VIEWS” IS MORE THAN A MEDIOCRE ALBUM BY DRAKE, YA’LL. (Fight me on that opinion. I just want to feel something, OK?)
Consider paying for LinkedIn Premium. UUUGGGGHHHH. I don’t want to recommend this. I don’t! But here we are, and it’s being recommended.
Your resume will be floated to the top of recruiters’ lists. This is deeply unfair, but *that’s just the way it is*.
Your listing will be twice as prominent than other search results, just like the star you are.
You can see the full list of people who have viewed your profile in the last 90 days, which is either really convenient or really creepy depending on your outlook. I say convenient!
Step 6: Know that it’s OK to settle.
Sometimes, especially in your early 20s, all you need to get by is a paycheck and a strong Tinder profile pic. Don’t be afraid to take the job that isn’t exactly right in the meantime. Besides, by this time next year all legal tender will be rendered useless and we will be given job assignments based on our faces’ symmetry. Just know that this was all written in the stars!