Right now a lot of companies are laying off people. Some people think we are already in a recession.
Everyday I saw social media posts by folks who were impacted by layoffs. They are shocked, angry, sad and fearful of an uncertain future. For a lot of folks this is the first economic downturn they have experienced in their career as the job market has had a great run in the past decade.
I have been through two major downturns — the 2000 dot com crash and the 2008 financial crisis. I was laid off in 2000 but was able to land an offer in 2 weeks after layoff. In 2008 I was not impacted by layoffs. The 2008 financial crisis was the impetus for me to launch my career and interview coaching business. I was determined to help as many job searchers as possible.
If you are impacted by a layoff, or you are concerned about being laid off, I would like to offer you several pieces of advice.
First, you need to establish a structure to facilitate your job search process. For me, this means wake up at 7am in the morning, go through my morning routine, put on my regular work clothes, and start working at 8am at my desk. Job search is a full-time job. Treat it as a full-time job.
Second, job search is fundamentally a sales process. You’re the product. The sales process means you need to generate a certain number of leads, some leads will convert to phone screens, some phone screens will convert to onsite loops, some onsite loops will convert to a job offer. You need to get a pipeline going consistently.
This means everyday you should set yourself a goal of applying for 5 job openings a day, and follow up with your initial application every three days if you don’t hear back.
Third, you need to be super prepared for each job interview. It’s rough out there. You’re going against a lot of hungry job candidates. Thoroughly research the company. Review every line of the job description carefully and anticipate interview questions. Practice mock interviews with an experienced interview coach. Your goal is to get to know the role, the employer and their business so well that they feel you’re already part of their team.
Fourth, if you’re under a lot of financial stress, try to find a temp job, a contractor position, or a gig economy position. Start a side hustle. Stop the bleeding. Every bit of income helps.
Fifth, you need to be careful with your mental health. Job search is one of the most stressful situations in one’s life. Let’s face it — none of us have 100% control over our emotions, but we can consciously take steps to manage our stress level. Again, I’m going to recommend creating routines (i.e. do it at the same time everyday regardless if you feel like doing it or not). My recommendation is to walk 30-60 minutes every morning, and do 10 minutes meditation by following the free Headspace app (just do the free version, no need to pay for the app since money is tight).
Behind every crisis, there is an opportunity. Take a deep breath. Establish your routine. Be persistent and consistent. Do your homework and be thoroughly prepared. Pay attention to your mental health. You’ll come out of this stronger and more fulfilled with a better job.