What To Do After Getting Laid OffSubmitted by Reby Advisors | Certified Financial Planners | Danbury, CT on June 18th, 2020
By Patrick Doherty, CFP®, June 18, 2020
It’s no secret that getting laid off from your job can throw your life into turmoil. Especially if you’ve become comfortable, confident, and maybe even a bit complacent in your lifestyle.
A client of mine who got laid off earlier in 2020 recently shared with me his experience searching for a new job for the first time in 25 years, working with a career coach, and learning how to find the right opportunity in 2020.
In turn, he and I wanted to share some of this knowledge in the hopes that it would help one of our readers who finds himself or herself in a similar situation.
So, what should you do after losing your job?
Talk with a Financial Planner
When it comes down to it, when you’re just a few years away from retirement, getting laid off can hurt quite a bit – not just emotionally. It can take a toll on your future financial outlook.
Though I am potentially a little biased on this step, I recommend speaking with a financial planner very early in the process. The state of your personal financial situation may ultimately impact how you approach your job search.
Think about it: if you already have enough money to retire, then you might have a lot more freedom in what you choose to do next than you initially assumed.
Remember, your financial planner should be able to help you answer pressing questions like “how much money and for how long do I need to contribute to my retirement accounts before I can retire?”
Your desired lifestyle in retirement, outstanding debt, inheritance goals, future expenses, and expected health care costs will all factor into how “retirement ready” you are. After gaining a clear understanding of where you are now, relative to your goals, you can determine how important salary will be in your job search.
Do you need an executive level position? Or could you still accomplish your retirement goals with a job that comes with potentially lower pay but more personal fulfillment?
Assess Your Job Market
Economists at McKinsey Global Institute estimate that 40% of current jobs are in occupations likely to shrink by 2030. Getting laid off can be especially hard for those whose specialization or industry is in decline, because then you have to at least consider changing fields. Deciding what you want to do and developing a strategy to enter a new field is a process of its own.
Professionals whose past work is very specific to one organization face a similar challenge. If you have grown accustomed to your value being tethered to institutional knowledge, it can be daunting to leave that institution.
On the other hand, those who already have a clearly defined profession – occupations like accounting, corporate law, graphic design, or computer programming, etc. – may be better positioned, at least initially, to find work because they already know exactly what types of jobs to apply for.
For other job seekers, getting to this level of clarity on what you’re after is one of the first steps.
Should You Hire a Career Coach?
The decision to hire a career coach comes down to a simple question: is it worth it to hire someone if it means less time out of work, a potentially higher salary, or entering a new field?
Career coaches create a structure for you to follow throughout the job search process, reducing some of the anxiety and stress of being unemployed. This is especially true when it comes to choosing a new career path, developing an elevator pitch to communicate your value, and using networking tactics to find hidden opportunities.
The right coach can also help you avoid costly mistakes. For example, did you write and format your resume for applicant tracking systems (ATS) which automatically disqualify candidates who do not include certain keywords on their resume? Is your LinkedIn profile optimized to get found by recruiters? Many people would overlook important details without professional help.
What Jobs Should You Be Going After?
Imagine a restaurant advertising “Food” rather than “Family-Style Italian” or “Organic Farm to Table” fare, as examples. I’m not rolling the dice on “food” when another restaurant has exactly what I’m in the mood for.
Knowing exactly which types of jobs to pursue allows you to tailor your resume and cover letter to prospective employers who need to hire someone with your skills and experience. And this is actually where searching for a job becomes a bit more fun and personalized.
To determine what types of jobs you should go after, ask yourself:
- What type of company do I want to work for?
- What roles am I interested in?
- What technical and professional skills do I have?
- What does the market want?
- What positions are available that match my interests, experience, and skills?
Essentially, you’ll want to find a balance between what you’re good at, what you’re passionate about, and what the job market wants.
Don’t Neglect Networking
“Networking is not only about trading information, but also serves as an avenue to create long-term relationships with mutual benefits.”
If you have neglected networking at some point in your career, you may regret not keeping in touch with some of your old professional acquaintances, right?
But, that’s okay!
No matter how long it’s been, it’s always possible to tastefully reach out to an old colleague, boss, or partner to inquire if there’s anything you can do to assist in their current endeavors, get new information about potential leads, or meet new professionals who might be better positioned to help you score that next opportunity.
Most importantly, after you’ve reached out, it’s absolutely critical to stay in touch and always be looking for opportunities to help them.
So, if you have not taken networking seriously earlier in your career, now is the time to make that right.
Review Your Severance
Pay close attention to the terms of any severance package that has been offered to you. Ideally, have an attorney review it with you as well, because there might be conditions attached that could lead to a lawsuit down the road. Many people simply assume that severance is a purely take-it-or-leave-it offer, but you may have more room to negotiate than you think.
You Can Do This!
Here at Reby Advisors, we strive to ensure that our clients always have the resources, knowledge, and strategies that they need to navigate challenging financial situations.
Please do not hesitate to call if you need advice.