Job loss can be a dismal experience, and when it happens, the consequences of one difficult day can haunt an employee for years. Of course the laid-off employee will have to contend with a difficult job market, but even when she finds a new position, her troubles won’t necessarily be over. Many employers hire and fire (or “shape the workforce”) based the principles of FIFO: first in, first out. And this can mean ongoing instability for the employees who fall into the “first in” category.If you’re out of work, landing a new job will be the first step toward professional recovery, but until you’ve gained some seniority in your new role, the threat of cutbacks may continue to hang over your head. Here are a few ways to deal with this issue from a financial, emotional, and career development standpoint.
1. Don’t make big purchases just yet.
Yes, you may need a new car or a new laptop. And once you’re officially on the payroll in your new company, you can finally go shopping. But if you can, try to put these purchases off for just a little while longer. Take care of urgent matters (like a trip to the dentist with your new insurance card in hard), but let the larger items go, especially those that aren’t time-sensitive. Keep saving even when it seems like you don’t have to.
2. Demonstrate a willingness to stay.
Some new employees accept jobs that aren’t perfect or that don’t align with their long term plans simply because these jobs are available and these workers need a paycheck. They take the offer and join the workplace, but they keep searching on the side for something better. If your new job represents nothing but a placeholder or a stepping stone, that’s fine– But keep this fact to yourself. As far as your boss is concerned, this job is your dream job, this company is your ideal employer, and there’s nowhere else in the world you’d rather be.
3. Put down roots.
Don’t come and go from the office like a ghost. You may be introverted and you may prefer to focus on your work and make friendships and relationships a secondary priority…But keep in mind an eternal truth about the employer-employee contract: It’s much harder to fire people if you like them. If this unfortunate event has to happen, make the task as difficult as possible.
4. Learn fast.
Learn the ropes so quickly and so well that it becomes impossible to tell you apart from your coworkers in terms of skill and experience. Don’t move and grow at the pace your managers expect; move just a little bit faster.
5. Shake off confidence problems.
The longest-lasting and often the most damaging legacy of a job loss isn’t financial—It’s emotional. Get the help and support you need to move forward without being haunted by self-doubt. If you believe that your work has value, others will believe it too.Put your layoff behind you for good. Visit MyPerfectResume, land your next job, and find an unshakable foothold in your new workplace.