I really enjoyed and appreciate Bruce Kasanoff's 7/17/14 LinkedIn article, "The Human Side of Microsoft's Layoffs." Companies like Microsoft face such tough decisions as they struggle to remain viable and accountable to shareholders. Businesses are just that. The human aspect is sadly and too often far less of a factor when such decisions are made.
My heart and thoughts go out to these employees and their families. As a career coach and recruiter, I urge any of those affected to take a few days or a week or two to deal with their emotions, but as soon as they can reasonably get back on the horse, do the following:
1. Join laser-focused LinkedIn groups AND WORK THEM. Get a "weekly digest" of jobs and Discussions. Your chances are far better on these homogeneous groups to find, qualify for and land a suitable job. You may also be able to "reply privately" to those who post jobs and other discussions.
2. Those in engineering and other professional or management capacities can call a Reference Librarian and see if they have a "Recruiters Redbook." Pick 10-25 recruiters that service your job type and desired geography(ies), and send them your resume after warming up your email with a phone call introducing yourself.
3. If your library subscribes to "ReferenceUSA," a database of companies throughout the U.S., do a "custom search" and target companies by identifying their "SIC" code. Once you have that, go after similar companies within a comfortable radius of where you live or wish to work.
4. If your library carries a "Book of Lists" for your desired city(ies), copy some pages to identify the top 25 or 50 companies within your target industries. The Book of LIsts also compiles lists of top non-profits, top women-owned businesses, top minority-owned businesses, etc. (Some libraries also have a 2-volume set of the S& P Registry of Corporations and Executives.")
5. Grow your LinkedIn network by inviting those you know and/or those who have specifically asked you to LinkIn. Give yourself weekly quotas (e.g., reach out to 25 people per week).
6. Attend "career transition" and professional events as soon as possible and network, network, network. (This is the very best way of landing a job, provided that you attend with a positive attitude, a crisp elevator pitch and a pay-it-forward spirit.) Most studies cite networking success in landing jobs between 66-88%.
7. Feel free to reach out and LinkIn with me or access the many documents listed on my "Speaking /Other Events page: www.TheECC.com. One such tool each job seeker should have in their arsenal that has an 86% success rate according to "What Color is My Parachute," is the one-page Profile and Target List (aka, a Marketing plan). In general, the top portion is your resume and the lower portion are companies, industries, job titles and the geographies you are targeting.
After a job loss, it's understandable to feel lost and/or withdrawn and have diminished hope, especially given this tough job market, but there are many jobs out there and even more unpublished, so it's important to remain optimistic and vigilant. Someone will get these jobs, so why not you? It is imperative to put structure in your days. It will help give you a sense of purpose, help you make progress, and fend off depression. Most of all, be kind to yourself.
For now, I’m sending positive thoughts and support out to all, and my sincere wishes for resilience, hope and faith that this is just a bump in the road that you will get past.