After the initial shock wears off, professionals in the IT market often find themselves attempting to negotiate in an arena many of them haven’t been in for years. In many cases, however, positive things can actually result from a layoff and once you get to a place in which you can appreciate them, it might not seem like it was such a bad thing after all.
Your strengths and weaknesses change with each new position and hopefully, you’re one of the people that have kept their resume current and updated. If not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate where you are in your career and where you eventually want to end up in the IT market. Many of us adapt to new situations easily and will immediately see a layoff or downsizing as an opportunity. Others, however, can get caught up in the "poor me" syndrome and end up wasting a lot of valuable time that could be used to locate new opportunities.
Take advantage of outplacement that may be offered by your employer
The first thing to do if you find yourself being downsized is to contact your employers Human Resource Department. In many cases, your employer will offer help from their recruiters in finding you a new position, rewriting your resume and/or polishing up your interviewing skills. While most of us are nursing bruised egos and tend to forego this help, it’s a very good idea to maximize any and all opportunities. If you aren’t offered employer-paid outplacement, you should strongly consider hiring and working with a career coach.
Regardless of where your assistance comes from, make sure that your resume gets attention immediately. It’s not a bad idea to have your resume done professionally but if you don’t want to spend the money, the important thing is that you rewrite and give it a fresh look. Many people make the mistake of simply adding on a new paragraph to cover their most recent position, overlooking the possibility that their entire focus in the IT market may have changed.
It’s extremely important to take the time to create a resume targeted at each and every opportunity rather than just sending out generic resumes to everyone on your list. In some cases, if you’re actually considering accepting a position below where you were previously, you may want to manipulate your resume to exclude titles. Many employers are wary of bringing people into positions that they consider beneath their ability level. If you’ve found yourself in this situation more than once, avoid the urge to simply do exactly what you did to find your previous position, what worked then may not work now. It’s always a good idea to take a fresh look at the market and start over from scratch. Your skills and experiences in the IT market have changed as well, you may find that the job you had didn’t really turn out to be the job you really wanted.
Take the time to reassess where you are and where you want to be
Now is a perfect time to do a reassessment of what you liked about your position in the IT market and what you didn’t like. Do you want to find a similar job or were you just given an opportunity to get out of something that really didn’t meet your expectations? Whatever the case, you’ve got an opportunity to start over and can market yourselves in a completely different light. Don’t get disappointed if the perfect position doesn’t pop up immediately. Hopefully, you were given a severance package that will enable you to conduct your new job search without financial constraints, but if not, don’t be afraid to take on a part-time position to keep you afloat until the right opportunity presents itself. In most cases, timeframes for obtaining employment are going to vary each and every time you find yourself looking. Just because it only took 7 days last time doesn’t mean you’ll be quite as lucky this time around. Be patient and willing to wait until the best position opens up.
For those professionals lucky enough to be able to coast for awhile financially, this might be the time you’ve been waiting for to try something totally new or different.