I know it doesn’t help to hear, but you’re in good company: Many professionals face this same obstacle every day. It’s your perfect storm and you need guidance. Here are my recommendations for you:
- Start the job search process now. Forget everything you think you know about how to search for positions and get current with the new process. Grab the latest books, read job search and career blogs, and ask your peers for their advice. For starters, my book “Cut the Crap, Get a Job!” provides insight from the perspective of a hiring manager with 30 years of experience.
- Don’t just update your résumé and start applying. You need to really think about the next position you are aiming for and how you will align yourself with a career change.
- Never say, “I was fired.” I just met a man named Ron at a conference, and he was still outspokenly bitter about being let go. He said, “My stupid ex-company gave me the boot.” Bad Ron. Instead, say: “My company reduced headcount,” “my role was eliminated,” or “my company downsized.” Never badmouth your prior boss, company or peers. Be proud of the work you did for them and explain how you are ready to launch into another exciting company.
- Fill the gap period with a volunteer role. Teach classes for local students, tutor kids who have special needs, or take on another cause that you’re passionate about. Go to Volunteermatch.org and get active!
- Hit the gym and get fit so you look your best in your next interview. Dress appropriately and never look disheveled, disorganized, or not ready to work.