The tech industry has been rampant with layoffs in recent months. As someone who has had their position eliminated in the past, I know how much this can suck. So if you find yourself suddenly without a job today, it can be disorienting to say the least. In addition to the income loss, the daily grind that you had become so accustomed to has now come to a stop and it's normal to be paralyzed. So what now?
Here's what I recommend you do:
1 - Take 2 weeks off to reflect.
The WORST thing you can do right now is throw yourself into the job search. You are not in a place to thoughtfully apply to your next role. Take some time now to honestly reflect about the work you were doing: what did you like about that job? What didn't you like? Where do you want to go next? Take this decompression time to realign with yourself and think about where you really want to be: it can be a great chance to psych yourself up for the job search ahead.
2 - Tap into your network.
I am a big fan of having a personal board of directors: that is, a group of people you surround yourself with who invested in your professional success. It can be past bosses, old professors, even coworkers who want to see you develop and grow. Reach out to them first and explain your situation, and see if they know of anyone who is hiring or share what you are looking to do next. This is where the 2 week reflection comes in - you have had the time to look back and decide what would be the best fit for you now. If any recruiters have reached out to you in the past (maybe you have connected with them?) reach out to them as well saying that you are looking for your next opportunity.
3 - Update your resume and LinkedIn Profile, if needed.
Spend some time on your LinkedIn profile: are all your latest accomplishments on there? Courses you have taken? Have you asked coworkers for recent recommendations? Especially if your position was eliminated, and you left on good terms, it's perfectly acceptable to ask colleagues or even your old boss to provide a good reference for you. Think about what you want to be known for and what you want to do next: I would provide bullets of what you'd like them to write for you, which makes the process easier for them. Make sure to also spend some time refreshing your resume so you have it ready to go upon request.
4 - Take reflections from step 1 and go hunting.
You know where you want to go next, type of role you want, and maybe even have a shortlist of companies that are hiring thanks to your network. Now is the time to dig in and start with the applications. It can take up to 6 months to secure a new role, so patience and persistence is key. If you don't get an offer, ask for feedback: where can you be stronger?
Also block off some time every day to focus on the job search, and structure your new daily routine around it. Maybe its a good time to take that professional development or in-person course you've always wanted to do - now that you have the time, and can update your LinkedIn profile / resume with it...not to mention, do a little networking with the instructor or classmates. I would also recommend looking to see what local events are happening around you - often groups of professionals have regular meetups and you can socialize while figuring out who is hiring.
Bottom Line: One door closes, another opens
This experience sucks, I've lived through it. Take the time to grieve but when you come out on the other side, try to reframe this as an opportunity. Think about what was not ideal at your prior job, whether it's an increase in salary, more flexibility, or something else you want that is important to you. Best of luck in your search, and in the meantime grab this interview guide to nail your future interviews!
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