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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fired to Hired – Layoff to Payoff

Losing your job is a shock. It's a blow to your self-esteem. It can be a financial burden. Losing your job is bad news. So what's the good news?

When you are laid off or fired, it sometimes means you needed to be thinking about a new job anyway. While in your job, you need to constantly be evaluating if you've outgrown the role, the company, or if the company is moving in directions that may not include you. Yes, it is best to be looking for a new job when you still have one. But if you lose your job first, consider it a wake-up call telling you it's time for a change.

As a manager and recruiter, I have seen several examples of employees having to move on and finding a better fit in the long run. Certainly, this involves effort and not settling on lesser roles if you can. Hopefully you have a strong network including a few recruiters with whom you have a good relationship to rely upon to help you find your next opportunity.

A candidate I recently placed, Jason Estes, has a similar story. We've known each other for quite a while. And even after I didn't place him earlier in the year, he stayed in touch (even after he landed a new job himself). As fate would have it, his job was short-lived, but his timing was perfect. He let me know of his situation right away and I had a potential job for him even before interviews were starting. I lined up a meeting and he got the job very quickly. He is now working at a more stable company where his talents will be fully utilized. And most of all, he is happy! As Jason tells it, "After my second layoff of the year, looking for a job was the last thing I wanted to do, especially right before the holiday season. Fortunately though, by maintaining a great relationship with Jeff, I was able to quickly land the perfect job with a long future ahead."

Yes, there is often bad news associated with losing a job. But you need to ask yourself at those times, was it time to move on anyway? Can I do better? In many cases, the answer turns out to be: Yes.

by Jeff Lipschultz

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