6 Steps to Take Back Control of Your Career Post-Layoff

Whether it’s Meta, Twitter, Lyft or many other businesses, layoffs seem to be hitting the technology industry more frequently. While many businesses are struggling with staffing shortages and working to recruit as much valuable talent as possible, many others are undergoing major restructuring efforts, leaving many suddenly without work. 

A job loss has been ranked one of the top five most stressful events in a person’s life, especially when it comes with little-to-no warning. However, these six steps can help refocus a job search to quickly land a new position and rejoin the workforce.  

 Digest – Don’t React

While it may be tempting to become emotional and react when caught off guard by a layoff, pause and take a step back. Following layoffs at Peloton, some angry alumni, in a moment of stress and upset, decided to Zoom-bomb the new CEO’s meetings. While this may have temporarily allowed them to feel a sense of relief, nothing positive can come from this in the long term. Instead, they may have lost a valuable reference or perhaps the chance to be rehired if circumstances improved. How a person reacts in times of high stress speaks volumes about how they are as a professional. 

Consider What You Want Next

There may be a sense of fear and urgency in being thrown back into the jobs market, but don’t simply accept the first job offer out of desperation. Taking a few moments to breathe and reflect now could prevent further job changes and stress down the road. To ensure financial stability and prevent a rash decision, file for unemployment. 

Use this time to reflect on the positives and negatives of a previous role – what responsibilities would be worth looking for in a future role, and which would be better left behind? What areas of business would be most exciting or fulfilling to work in? Take time to reflect before pinpointing exactly what to target in the next role.

Update your Resume & LinkedIn

Post layoff, one of the most important things to do within the first few days of unemployment is update resumes and LinkedIn profiles to prepare for reentering the job search. Priorities include:  

  • Updating resumes with all recent professional experiences and accomplishments, quantifying when possible. Highlight contributions that helped the company cut costs or bring in revenue, such as specific sales goals achieved, percent growth of followers obtained on social media, customer satisfaction rates, etc.  
  • Update LinkedIn with recent roles, skills and accomplishments. Also ensure to toggle profile settings to display “open to opportunities” to be seen/contacted by recruiters.

Work your Network

It can be hard to be vulnerable to family and friends, and even more so to potential hiring managers or other professional connections; however, sharing about a layoff can actually be beneficial, as more people may pass along open opportunities or serve as a referral to hiring companies. Here’s how to maximize networking: 

  • Cast a wide net, connecting with as many people as possible to share about job searching and what is being targeted. This includes friends, family, and anyone in a similar industry or role who can provide an introduction. 
  • Consider conducting informational interviews with connections working in a targeted industry or role to learn more about potential opportunities while strengthening old connections. Be sure to share the types of targeted roles and companies. They can share certain skills to brush up on during the job-search that can create a more attractive candidate profile.  

Consider Contract Roles

Especially if wanting to rejoin the workforce quickly, contract or contract-to-hire positions are a strong option to consider. These roles, in addition to sometimes having a shorter interview and onboarding process than a traditional direct-hire position, can allow professionals to try something new. Contract roles are opportunities to test drive a company, an industry and responsibilities of a new role, and an opportunity to learn a new skillset.

Be Honest and Stay Positive

Especially while interviewing, a gap on a resume may cause a red flag to employers. This is where a strong reference and network comes into play, as they can vouch for work ethic and skillsets, and help get a foot in the door. Ensure that time spent unemployed is spent wisely, building valuable skillsets, learning, and networking, to be able to speak positively about the resume gap during an interview. In addition, speaking honestly about the layoff during the interview can help provide clarity and trust. 

At all costs, avoid speaking negatively about prior leadership and company decisions. Be honest about what happened and the disappointment in being laid off but know that trashing a former employer only reflects negatively on you. 


It can be intimidating to jump straight into a job search after being laid off. There may be some lingering feelings of doubt, sadness, or maybe even fear about not landing something similar or better. However, try to remember, especially in today’s job market, there are many new and exciting opportunities to grab hold of.  

Remember, don’t do it alone. Tap into resources to help aid the job-search process, one being partnering with a staffing firm. Our team is ready to support you – contact us today.  

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