Laid Off: Looking Back, Looking Forward

I am a copy editor for branded technical books. I’ve been in my position and loved my work for the past decade. In 2003, I had an internship with my department immediately after I graduated college and was hired straight out of my internship. However, I’ve recently been informed that I will be able to continue at my job potentially up to the end of April.

I am getting laid off.

The lead time before the end is a blessing, but even with the advance notice, I’m anxious about my situation and my future. I’m also excited. I haven’t been a player in the job market for a long time, so I have a lot to learn. The learning is exciting, but I’m anxious that I won’t be able to pin down the exact professional path I want to travel. I’m excited to find out what I’m capable of doing next. I’m concerned that in the vastness of the market, I won’t be visible. I’m excited to meet the employer who will see me, recognize my gifts, and hand me new challenges. My task now is to open myself up to the world of job hunting and new possible career paths.

The anxiety and the excitement are things I can tackle head on through research and networking. The sadness, though, is just something I have to get through by experiencing it. I’m going to have to say goodbye to my team and my work. Will I love my next team and new tasks as much as what I’ve had? That’s what I truly want, so that’s what I’ll aim for.

To get what I want, I need to become a hunter.

Here are the tips that I’m learning as I prepare for the future:

  • Use LinkedIn. LinkedIn is going strong and is a highly valuable resource. I’m adding new contacts and growing my network. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account and you’re a professional anything, now’s a good time to start one regardless of whether you’re seeking employment. I know it’s yet another social media account (YASMA) to keep track of, but it’s a valuable tool in every professional toolkit. Here's my LinkedIn profile.
  • Indeed.com is the hot job search site these days. This is a new discovery for me. However, I’m not going to limit myself to one such site. Oh no. All the job search sites will be receiving my love and attention (CareerBuilder, Monster, and others) because they’re all going to have slight differences, which means different results.
  • Talk to people. Now is not the time to close up and hide. In some ways, it’s tempting to try to deal with this alone because, “Rawr, I’m strong and independent,” but it certainly isn’t helpful. By talking to people, especially friends, and letting them know my situation, I can gain support, useful tips, and possibly some leads. I can’t network if I stay silent.
  • Check your roots. I plan to hit up my alumni association for information and connections. Who knows what I might find? I’ll also check in with the career services department and ask whether any support is available to alumni.
  • Be organized. Notes. There will be lots and lots of notes on the research I’m doing. I sense a spreadsheet in my future.
  • Invest in thank you notes. Old school isn’t always just old school: Sometimes it’s also classy.

Do you have any additional tips for me and others in my situation? Have you ever been laid off?

Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer. This post is not sponsored or endorsed by my employer.

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Virginia blogs at Kiss Chronicles, and her ebook of the same name can be found at Smashwords, Amazon, and other online retailers. The ebook is free with a suggested donation to cancer charity.

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