A lot of stateside companies experienced layoffs in January. In fact, there were more than 82,000 job cuts (a 136% increase from December) according to this article. So naturally a fuckton of people have asked me what I'd do if I was laid off in this current job market.
Now obviously, every single scenario is different and your experience, as well as your safety net, are gonna determine what steps are most applicable to your personal situation. But these are the six steps I would personally take if I got laid off right now.
I would fucking rest. If you’ve ever dealt with the anxiety around potentially losing your job and the climate of fear around seeing people get laid off, you know how stressful it can be. And honestly, our brains don’t function well in chaos. They just don't. Honestly, trying to get a job when you’re desperate is why a lot of people wind up in shitty situations and roles in the first fucking place. If you’re attempting to consistently exist in chaos, it doesn't fucking work in the long run.
Seriously, think about it. When's the last time you took a rest? What did that rest look like? I’m not talking about sleeping or taking a nap either. I’m talking about taking time to decompress and simultaneously care for your mind and your body. I know that’s not something tangible, or even something that people want to hear. But it’s necessary. Even trees rest every winter before they bloom each spring. If fucking plants do it, then sis you need to as well.
I would stay in the same (or similar) role to whatever I was laid off from. I wouldn't focus on transitioning careers. Why? To make things easier on myself. I’d suggest the same for you too. Because if you’re stressed about money or making ends meet and you need a job quickly, right now is not the time to be like, fuck it, let me just transition careers. Not today. We don’t have time for that. Stick to what you know and what you already have the skillset for.
I would update and optimize my resume. If you've been a part of our community for any given length of time, you’ve probably heard me say this pretty frequently. But if you’re new to our little corner of the internet then optimizing your resume just means that everything in that document needs to point towards the job title that you’re going after.
Even if you've already been in that role for years, you probably missed this step the last time you updated your resume and you just happened to luck into your previous position. No shade, baby but it happens more often than you think. So let's take the time to make sure it's good now, okay?
Your professional summary, your skills, and your bullet points should all be updated so that they all point towards the job you're trying to get. Go ahead and remove all the other random shit. Things like being CPR certified? Take it off. No one fucking cares.
Also, here’s a pro tip: your bullet points should be impactful and you can use AI to draft them. I like ChatGPT for this part. I actually did another blog post about how to use it to rewrite your resume. You can access it here. But anyway, you can just copy and paste your current bullet points into ChatGPT and then follow those bullet points up with a prompt that sounds like this:
Rewrite my resume bullet points showcasing my expertise as a job title.
Then click enter and ChatGPT is gonna rewrite them for you. After that, I want you to prompt it again and say:
Make these bullet points more metric/impact driven.
Once that second round of info is generated, you need to read over each of the bullet points (because it's probably gonna say something kind of stupid or repetitive) and then adjust them as needed.
Next, I would update everything on my LinkedIn with everything that I just redid on my resume and you should too. Your LinkedIn and resume should be fucking twins. There should be nowhere on that web page where you list yourself as “aspiring” or “transitioning” into a new job role. We're not doing any of that shit. Take it off your resume and remove it from your LinkedIn. If you’re looking for project management roles then list yourself as a project manager. There’s no room for imposter syndrome here.
You also need to make sure you put those bullet points from your resume in the job description section under each of the roles you list on LinkedIn. A lot of people don't do that and they leave that area blank but that sets you up for failure because if people can’t easily see the impact that you’ve had, they’re more likely to leave your page without reaching out to you about the role they’re looking to fill. Spend a few minutes copying and pasting that info in from your resume. I promise it’s worth it.
I would make a post on my newly optimized page. Something simple and real chill. Not a sob story. Keep it short and sweet like this:
Hey, everyone. Unfortunately, I've been impacted by the layoffs at company name but I truly believe everything is going to work out in the end. I’m excited to begin looking for a new opportunity to continue making an impact as a your previous role. These are three ways I've consistently made an impact in my previous roles: example one, example two, example three. I'm ready to get back into the swing of things so if you're a recruiter, hiring manager of would like to talk about a job opportunity, don’t hesitate to DM me. And please feel free to comment, like or share for a reach. Thanks in advance to my community and my network. You’re amazing and I can't wait to share my new job here soon.
Obviously, tweak this so that it’s in your personal tone of voice, otherwise this is probably gonna sound super weird to your network if it doesn’t read like something you’d actually write. But, you get the point.
I would comment on four people's posts every single day. Not just fluffy, unnecessary comments but something impactful that’s going to expand my reach. The more you comment and make meaningful connections on LinkedIn, the more visibility you’ll have on the platform. This, in turn, will increase the probability of someone within your industry seeing your profile.
This may seem like a step that you can skip but please don’t. Do not skip this step. If you’re doing this consistently then you’re very likely to get a new job sooner rather than later. Obviously, I can't legally guarantee you shit. But our clients do a variation of this using our 30 day checklist and it has worked out for dozens of them so far. And actually, since you’ve read this far go ahead and grab a FREE copy of our 30 day checklist here.
With That Said …
I truly hope this is all theoretical and that you haven't been affected by layoffs. But, if you have, I hope this was helpful as you start to navigate this ever-changing job market. Got short form questions for me? Drop them in the comments below. And, as always, thanks for reading. Happy hunting!