It feels terrible to lose your job, no matter how it happens. It used to be that unemployment was shameful; it was a black mark on your record. In today’s job market, you’re likely to experience that “pink slip” moment multiple times over your career. Often, it says nothing about you as a professional. Your company may choose to downsize your department, shift focus, or move their facilities to take advantage of a city offering a more favourable tax rate. So, it’s wise to start changing your mindset about what unemployment says about you. This helps you adapt more easily and more confidently to those sudden changes that will come to all of us.
Here are the top 4 myths about unemployment:
- It’s all about performance. Many of my clients who find themselves in the job market again feel ashamed, as though they failed. In this age of corporate fluidity, there are dozens of factors that affect lay-offs. Date of hire, pay band, specialty, location, and even company politics can influence the way in which an organization downsizes. Shake off the shame, and recognize that pink slips can come to even the most effective and efficient among us.
- Search time equals value. You’ll hear this one again and again, but long job searches don’t mean a candidate has less value. Different industries and different markets mean that the same communications executive might be snapped up in days in Toronto, weeks in Seattle, and placement might take a few months in Vancouver. Do your best to update and improve your skills and experience throughout your career, but don’t equate the length of the search with your value as a professional. It’s a wise candidate who takes the time to find the right fit!
- Finding a job is finding a job. From resumes to networking, the job market changes quickly and moves with updates to technology and best practices all the time. If you haven’t been unemployed in a few years, it’s a good idea to consult a Professional Resume Writer and a Career Coach to get current on resume formats, job search tips, and even the latest interview expectations. A pro can help you make sure your resume is able to be scanned, help you get your social media in order, and prepare you for those behavioural questions that hiring influencers love.
It’s too late to network. It may feel like the beginning of your job search is way too late to build a network from scratch, but since networking is so vital, it’s never too late to start. Reach out to your former colleagues, bosses, instructors, and use your alumni directory and social media to help you connect with people you already know. Attend industry networking events, too, as the contacts you make there have current local connections. Let them know you’re searching, and ask for referrals or a heads-up about open positions.