Not laid off but know someone who was? Send them this.
Layoffs are in the news again. Locally, 300+ of Subway’s (the fast food franchisor) corporate employees were sacked last week. Some with 30+ years seniority.
I was laid off once too. It really hurts. They explained it away, as if this would make it feel better: no reason other than my short tenure there (like the accounting term LIFO) and a necessary reduction by departmental management selection, not a reflection on your capability or value to the company, they assured me, I had a hard time believing them on all three. Yes, I was angry.
And the shock and pain transcended my last days there as I cleaned up last projects and cleared out my possessions in a box. That was decades ago.
Today, you don’t clean up anything and you clear out in hours, security guard or HR observer posted at your door, so the shock and embarrassment is even deeper.
But it was a good experience in hindsight. Soon I found a better position that was better suited to me. The new company had just days earlier closed on its historically largest acquisition that expanded to numerous foreign countries, and they needed someone to help them straddle the domestic and international finance challenges of absorbing overseas locations. Just my forte.
After 3 name changes and one additional acquisition in the company I had originally joined as refuge, I ended up a few more steps up the corporate ladder, and later I was able to move to another, and yet another multinational. Many corporate acquisitions later, I was the in-house go-to-guy wherever I went.
Long story, short moral: Change is good. It just doesn’t feel like it when you did not order the change midstream.
Testing and stretching your capabilities is healthy. While painful in the short term, in the long run you are better for it, growing from, and nurtured by, those around you.
One major piece of advice: if you sense the layoff monster might be stalking you, you’d best have your LinkedIn profile all ready and fine-tuned before it attacks you from behind. You’ll need a really good one to show to a potential employer or recruiter.
That way you are not writing it late one insomniac night in the pits of self-doubt, which will not turn out well at all, or racing to have something (anything) passable to show, which you know you will leave out a theme or shortchange some vital career aspect without realizing it. Self-doubt and passable effort smell bad and do not cut it.
Do this now. Not when you unexpectedly need a new job.
If you suddenly need to renovate your LinkedIn profile–and good for you if you don’t, but don’t be too sure–the work and time you spend on this is always an investment you make in your career story, telling about yourself in your own words.
Revamp your Headline to say you are “seeking your next challenge.” Tell about your successes and accomplishments in your Experience section, and don’t forget to add an end date to the period you spent at the lost job. Get more recommendations now. Gather your tribe. Use LinkedIn to connect to colleagues and friends who can help you; message them and ask their help, include your LinkedIn profile URL for their reference, and hopefully they can be instrumental and refer you to others. They’ve likely been in the same situation too, so they know the drill.
LinkedIn’s new editorial staff has provided some additional advice that you may find helpful.
Stiff upper lip, head up, smile on your face, confidence in your actions and find the words. Hit the ground running on a high.