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6 Tips for Navigating Through Career Limbo

Many circumstances, both foreseen and unforeseen come down the pike while at the workplace. But, it can happen to any employee at any given time, being laid off. With so many financial obligations, who wants to find themselves in this predicament? It’s important though, to know what steps to take if you suddenly are faced with this dreadful situation.

Letting the Chips Fall

A little background information: A close friend of mine recently was laid of her job of more than ten years’ because of a company-wide restructure. While I gave her a hug, Kleenex and reassurance that everything eventually would be okay, I also pondered what I would do if I had been in her shoes. It’s been said that looking for a full-time job is a full-time job, but this is what came to mind:

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More than 50 percent of job leads come from those we know.

1. There always is an initial moment of shock when something comes our way that we are not prepared for. After coming to terms with the reality of the situation, I would reach out to colleagues, friends and family members for job leads; a job search technique also known as networking.

Every contact is a potential job lead, so it’s best to network with both professionals who are currently unemployed and those in search of new career paths. Plainly stated, more than 50 percent of job leads come from those we know. With this statistic, it’s no surprise that competition for jobs is and continues to be fierce in this economy.

2. A steady stream of income is important, to make ends meet on a day-to-day basis; filing for unemployment would be next on my list. Once your unemployment claim has been reviewed and accepted, you should have enough cash to tide you over until you secure another full-time job. How do I submit my unemployment claim? Simply do a Google search for ways to file a claim in your area.

3. Everybody wants to lead a fulfilling life. Therefore, it’s necessary to reevaluate from time-to-time, to make sure both short-term and long-term goals are being met. I carefully would mull over and take stock of what I want the next juncture of my life to consist of. Do I want to go back to school? Do I want to pursue a different career path? And, I would figure out if I still wanted to live in the same state or move to an entirely new one, to get a new lease on life.

4. Jobs fairs, also known as career fairs are an excellent way to meet face-to-face with a recruiter and get your résumé in the hands of potential employers. How do job fairs work? Essentially, a job fair is a recruiting method used by a large number of employers that occurs in a plethora of venues.

They can take place at college campuses, convention centers or hotels. Also, job fairs can have a targeted focus on a specific industry or a variety of industries, therefore career fairs attract a diverse range of applicants. Typically, these events involve employers hosting tables or booths where they:

• Provide information and literature about the organization and current employment opportunities;

• Answer applicants’ questions about positions within the organization;

• Provide applicants with necessary follow-up contact information;

• Collect applicant’s resumes (roughly 50 percent of employers will not collect resumes, but instead will refer applicants’ to their Web sites where resumes can be uploaded);

• Hand out applications and possibly conduct brief employment interviews, if time permits.

5. Temp agencies or staffing agencies are becoming increasingly popular these days. For various reasons including budgeting, many companies enlist the help of staffing agencies to fill vacancies within their organization. And, working with a temp agency just may help land a full-time job. Knowing this, I would register with reputable agencies such as Kelly Services, Manpower, Office Team and inquire as to whether or not they have temporary-to-permanent or temporary-to-hire positions available.

6. We put in a full day’s work to earn a living and support ourselves, therefore, we must remain gainfully employed. However, since the layoff arose, a mini vacation would be in order to regroup. It just may provide the much-needed time to refocus on what lies ahead: finding a job in a chilly economic climate. Now is the perfect time to make good on the New Year’s resolution of spending more time with family and friends.

Picking Up the Pieces

It’s hard not to put the blame on yourself and label yourself as a failure, during periods of uncertainty. For this reason, I would reassure myself that the separation between the company and I happened through no fault of my own. Lastly, being laid off is not for the faint of heart. But, above anything else, I would not allow myself to get lost in the shuffle.

Web Links:

http://info.brooklyn.cuny.edu/confluence/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=2588968

-Kimberly Williams

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3 thoughts on “6 Tips for Navigating Through Career Limbo

  1. “Laid- Off .” My heart goes out to anyone who is laid off, in this day and time. This blog gives a lot of tips. It is very thought provoking and useful.

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