3 Tips for Thriving After a Layoff

Congratulations! If you are one of the quarter of a million professionals experience layoffs so far in 2024, you now have the opportunity to find the best job of your life. Sound crazy? Stick with me.

In the last year alone, I’ve worked with over 500+ recruiting and talent acquisition professionals at all levels who have experienced the dreaded layoff. While it hasn’t been easy (or quick in some cases), the majority of professionals I’ve worked with are thriving and have landed at an even better position than the role they lost. As someone who’s spent their entire career in talent acquisition and executive leadership, here are three tips to help guide anyone who’s experienced a layoff.

Take a breath – This may seem out of place to have as the first tip to experience the dreaded layoff but hear me out. It’s human nature to have the first reaction to sudden change be one of either panic or a manic need for activity. That being said, there’s power in stillness. Remember this is an opportunity for a new beginning. Often professionals immediately rush into taking another job out of fear without fully processing what has happened. I’ve seen it happen where the same person is looking for a new job a few months later. My advice is whether it’s a weekend or a week or a sabbatical, make sure you take time to process what’s happened. Use the time to reflect on what you love, your skills, and what you want to do next. You’ll find your clarity improved substantially a week later compared to a day later from being laid off.

Embrace Your Network (and Export your LinkedIn Connections)On a recent poll, over 70% of recruiters and recruiting leaders stated the most important factor in reviewing a potential candidate wasn’t their resume or LinkedIn profile; it was if they were referred from another employee. With that in mind, know that your professional network is your most powerful asset to finding your next company and role. The first step to your dream job is exporting your LinkedIn connections (request the full download of all info). It’s pretty painless and takes about 30 seconds to set up the initial download (link on how to do this here) into an Excel or Google Sheets file. I recommend sorting by company (target any companies on your wish list to work for and start with a common connection). and then creating filters by hiring managers and recruiters. For senior leadership roles, I recommend reaching out directly to any C-Suite contacts. You never know. A former boss, colleague, or college roommate could be your path to the career and company at the top of your list.

Great resource from the link provided about exporting your LinkedIn Connections

Have a (Project) Plan

The best way to handle uncertainty is to plan with certainty. I wrote briefly about the importance of having a project plan as an executive in my last article (link here) but this is even more important when finding (and landing) your dream job. The plan starts with a high-level focus on three stages.

  • Stabilize
  • Prepare
  • Execute

I’ve shared this plan with former colleagues, friends, and additional professionals who have been impacted, and feel free to use and make your own.

Sample project plan I recommend to professionals impacted by layoffs.

In closing, Mike Tyson’s famous quote: “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face” comes to mind. Now, I’ve never been punched in the face by Iron Mike but I can tell you from talking to thousands of professionals experiencing the dreaded layoff unexpectedly is the closest professional equivalent to this.

That being said, what I love about this quote is the reality that life will take an amazing plan and throw it out the window. When that happens, it’s how you respond that will determine your future. I hope this article gives hope, guidance, and a plan for finding an even better career for the thousands around the world.

As always, thanks for reading, liking this post, and sharing with anyone in your network you think could help them during a tough time. The purpose of, “The Lighthouse” is to provide content to shine light on solutions to challenges facing all levels of professionals. I’m happy to keep this conversation going with anyone seeking to level up to the next stage in their career and please connect and follow me with the links below.

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Remember, you’re not alone. We are #inthistogether.

Andre J. Boulais

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