So you’ve been laid off. Whether you were at the company of your dreams or just a pastime on your way to something better, receiving bad news stings. We’re here with you on your journey, and while we wish we could just wave a magic wand and hand you a new job, there are some tricks and best practices you can keep in mind to make the process less painful. Here are 5 ways to make it easier on yourself, and on your future employer.
1. Rebrand yourself.
The fastest way to get what you want is to know what you want. If you’re looking to get a new job quickly, having a direction for what’s next and setting yourself up specifically for that is key. This might be as simple as updating your resume and LinkedIn, but it might also be the perfect time to reposition yourself for a different role or industry.
Thankfully, if you’re not in the mood for a deep-dive with your therapist, there are tons of online quizzes that can help point you in the right direction. Gallup has a great one to get you started. Once you’ve identified one or two directions, look at the job descriptions of some roles you’d love to land and add as many of those keywords into your own profile as possible (if applicable, of course—no one likes a catfish). A killer LinkedIn profile is going to attract recruiters to you for the roles you want.
When looking at new directions, cast your net wide. Your goal should be to find a job in an area where you can use your existing skills and experience while building new ones. If it’s been a minute since you last went on a job search, you might come upon industries and job functions you haven’t even heard of before. Think of all the baby boomers who had no idea influencing was a full-time job—don’t be afraid to try something new!
2. Leverage and build your network.
If job hunting were bird watching, your network and connections are your binoculars. When you’re on the lookout, friends, former colleagues, and even strangers can help you zoom in rare or hidden opportunities. However, don’t go off spamming as many LinkedIn requests as you can just yet. Here’s how to think strategically about the people you’re connecting with.
- Reconnect with people from your past: Your old colleagues and classmates have since gone off to do all kinds of different things. Not only is reconnecting the perfect opportunity to learn about different roles and industries, but if you’re suave about it you might also be able to leverage their network as your own. It can be tempting to hide the fact that you’re looking for new work (especially if you were laid off), but sharing your story online can actually bolster your brand and rally your network to help you. As your network react to your posts on platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook, you’ll reach their networks too.
- Narrow down new connections: If you simply connect with everyone who shows up on your first search, you’ll burn out fast. Instead, platforms like LinkedIn make it simple to filter searches by company, school, and even location. Try to find people you have something in common with—even if you don’t know them or have any mutuals. Maybe you went to the same school, or have a similar career history. Maybe you have a similar background and can make a relatable joke! The best connection requests are personal and specific and you might even consider getting LinkedIn Premium to help make this process easier.
- Make an ask: There’s hardly anything worse than the awkward silence at the end of a meeting. Be forward (but respectful) with your asks—whether that’s asking for advice, inside info, a referral, or an introduction. The key to successful asks is being someone who others want to help—usually earnestness and relatability come across very well. Each coffee chat can lead to dozens of others on your journey to that new job if you do them right.
The most important part of networking is communication. Be prompt with your responses, personable in your meetings, and polite in your asks. Basically, be someone you’d want to network with. And don’t worry about coming up with all this by yourself—check out our starter pack for perfect outreach messages.
3. Stay organized.
When there are dozens of calls scheduled, job applications out, and people’s faces to remember it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The trick with staying organized is starting early—prepare the spreadsheets and messages you’ll need now, so you can stay on top of things later on. That way, when you’re switching between coffee chats or getting dozens of job application responses at once, you’ll remember to take notes, track action items, and record statuses.
Not a Type A person? Don’t fret—there are dozens of tools and resources that can help you with this. Platforms like Notion, Airtable, and Calendly can help you track your progress, sort jobs applications, and schedule meetings easily. Store all your outreach messages and easily record jobs and coffee chats with Magical - check out our handy job hunting guide to get started.
Setting reminders for when to reach back out to people also helps get back to top of recruiters’ minds! As a rule of thumb, send a follow up message every week until you reach three times. Try also to send your emails at the beginning of the day (Monday through Wednesday) to maximize your chances of a response. Here are some great outreach templates for following up.
4. Branch out of LinkedIn
LinkedIn Jobs is a great way to see the positions companies are listing, but there are also a ton of other sites that post jobs you might be interested in. If you’re not finding jobs that suit your fancy on LinkedIn - or if you’re looking for specific kinds of jobs like remote or startup jobs - don’t worry, there are plenty of alternatives. Find below some of our favorites:
- Indeed is the largest job website in the world with nearly 10 new job listings added every second. Job seekers from every industry and every experience level are welcome to find a variety of roles, from full-time to freelance.
- Glassdoor focuses on salary transparency and company reviews for current, former, and prospective employees. Job seekers can search for open jobs while viewing information and reviews on the company’s culture and benefits, as well as salary data.
- FlexJobs specializes in remote jobs, which might open a world of opportunities you hadn’t considered before. Job listings are professionally vetted and hand-screened. While the platform charges a fee, job seekers appreciate the ad-free environment and time-saved in screening.
- AngelList is the go-to platform for finding jobs at startups. They boast listings from over 130,000 tech startups in a variety of industries with salary and equity transparency upfront. They also list hiring managers so you know your application is being read by a human.
5. Find other ways to spend your time.
The worst part of job hunting is being burnt out from job hunting. While it may be tempting to take a role from the first new company that shows any interest, you might end up accepting a position that isn’t the best for you in the long run. Here are some ways you can distract yourself from the stress and hustle of looking for a new job:
- Get a part-time job. Not sure how much runway you have? Side projects, consulting gigs, and freelance work are some great options to make extra money on the side. Check out sites like Upwork and Fiverr to find short-term or part-term options to supplement your lifestyle while you look for the right role.
- Start a side business. Have an idea or talent that you were never able to commit to full time? Now is the perfect time to started. Companies and recruiters love to see hustle and drive, especially since being a business creator practices a wide variety of skill sets. Your side gig might just turn into a full-time job!
- Start volunteering. Find local charities or organizations you care about. Companies often consider volunteer experience similarly to work experience. Especially if you’re trying to switch roles or industries, gaining experience in a new field through volunteering will catch recruiters’ eyes. Posting about your experience can also draw more attention to your work.
The first step is often times the hardest one. Congrats! You’ve already gotten started. The last thing you’ll need is that extra motivation and encouragement to kickstart your job hunt. Call your mom, text your friends, and rally the troops to be your supporters in this journey. The perfect opportunity is out there and with a lot of preparation and a little bit of luck, you’ll be at your next job in no time.