Pound the pavement intelligentlyEffective today, your services are no longer required. Here’s a cardboard box for your stuff. Goodbye.
Being fired or laid off is scary. It ranks fourth among life’s most stressful experiences, after personal injury, death of a family member and divorce, according to a study conducted by the University of British Columbia.
Hopefully, you’ll never be fired. But in case if ever happens, you should know what do do.
Here’s what the pros suggest:
* The most crucial element of any job search is your resume. Even if you feel secure in your current job, keep your resume up to date. In your cover letter, you might want to address why you left your previous job, recommends Harold Han, a headhunter with Halcyon Search.
* Ask your company if they have a contract with an outplacement firm. An outplacement firm is hired by an organization to help departing employees find new jobs ― usually at no cost to the individual.
* Submit your resume to search firms A reputable search firm won’t ask an individual looking for a job to pay for their services, so don’t worry about the cost. Their services are paid by companies looking for new people. Find out which search firms specialize in your industry.
* Let your former company’s competitors know that you’re available. They just might make room for you, Mr. Han says, especially if you’re well known.
* Find new openings. New companies, new campaigns, new branch offices all require staffing, Mr. Han points out. Find out who’s in charge and send them your resume.
* If you want to go on vacation after losing your job, make sure it’s short. Mr. Han says relaxing is important, “but it doesn’t take that long to get relaxed.”
* Focus and create a plan of action. Soul searching is good, but without a regimen some people start to get lost. “Keep your dreams, keep your visions, but keep it realistic,” says Sam Butler, a career consultant with the outplacement firm DBM Korea.
One sequential plan of action suggested by DBM is the Four-D model: discovery, direction, discussion and decision-making. Discover what you have to offer and where you want to go. Set the direction of your campaign. Job search communications should be approached as business discussions. Move these discussions into strategic decision-making processes. But remember, the best model is the one that you will follow.
* Remember your career goals. Koo Yeon-joo, a headhunter with Unico Search, warns against signing a new contract without negotiating. It’s easy to panic when you’re unemployed, but don’t take just any job ― and make sure the one you take pays you what you’re worth.
On one hand, you need to be flexible and set realistic standards. “Companies usually want to hire someone who has a job,” Ms. Koo says. But on the other hand, she adds, “If you accept any old job, chances are within a year you’ll realize it’s not what you want.”
* Network. Keep in touch with colleagues from old companies. If you’ve been laid off or fired, that’s not easy, Mr. Han says. “It might hurt your pride, but what really hurts is when you don’t have a job for a long time.”
Stay active in professional associations. Go to networking events, even if you don’t have a business card.
* Use your free time to do things you never had a chance to do ― like further your education. Before finding a job as an auditor, Kim Hee-jae studied to become a certified public accountant. He quit his job as a programmer when he realized he wanted to work in finance. “I feel good about the change,” he says.
* Don’t sit on the couch. When Mr. Kim, who asked not to be named, was unemployed, he ran 7 kilometers four times a week. Mr. Kim, in his 50s, wanted to get into global telecommunications, a youthful industry by any standard. He says he beat out an industry insider with a Harvard MBA for his job. He also has more energy and is often told he looks at least 15 years younger than his age.
* Monitor your Internet use. Internet job searches are helpful and should be part of your job campaign. But keep focused; it’s easy to get sidetracked.
* Be aggressive. The aggressive person gets the job.
MONEY MANAGEMENT TIPS
One big change that comes with being unemployed is a lack of income. Try to save two to three months’ salary in a money market or savings account that will let you withdraw cash at any time.
1. Ask your company about sever-ance pay.
2. Consider your severance pay as salary for your current job ― find-ing a new gig. You might need tobuy a new suit for interviews or pay for further education. Don’t spend it all at once. If you buy a new car or go abroad for a monthlong vacation without making progress on your job search, chances are you’ll have no money left.
3. Eliminate unnecessary expenses.
by Joe Yong-hee