A former co-worker wrote this post about managing your career after he was laid off. To his credit, he landed another job (and started an entrepreneurial venture to boot), and, landed incredibly well. If you find yourself in a vulnerable career position, here are six actions to take courtesy of someone who never expected a lay off to happen to him:

6 Steps When You're Laid Off by Anonymous

Pink-SlipAt some point in everyone’s life you will either know someone who is laid off or you yourself will be laid off.

Let me describe the feeling of the moment  you hear the words, "Your position has been eliminated.”

And to make matters worse, imagine it’s Christmas, Uncle Sam is calling, and your wife informs you she is pregnant with your second child. Numbness sets in, and you think to yourself, "What the heck am I going to do now?"

I don’t care how much you think you knew it was coming, the finality of it still has a sting to it.

For me, it’s a good thing the feeling only lasted a day, or as soon as I mustered up enough strength to tell my wife. Up until this point in my career, I had either gone from assignment to assignment or from job to job with no more than a few days off in between jobs. Heck, I had never taken more than five days off for a vacation. What am I going to do? I don’t have a job. The answer . . . anything I want.

This was the first time in my life I could completely chart my own path from scratch. I could move anywhere, explore anything and truly seek to understand my true passion in life. I tried to think big and without boundaries about titles, prestige, or perceptions. I started with a real honest look at myself. What was I good at? What wasn’t I good at? What did I enjoy, and what didn’t I enjoy?

Think about it.

If you are not ready to start your own company, there are hundreds of thousands of companies out there making all kinds of widgets and providing thousands of services. The opportunities are endless, so why limit myself?

Six Steps When You're Laid Off

Here is my advice when it comes to career success strategies. These six steps are for anyone laid off by an employer:

  1. Be thankful to your previous employer. Trust me on this; they did you a favor. Either you brought no perceived value or the company is really struggling financially. Either way, it is not a good long term situation for you. This will also begin to prepare your mind to take control of your own destiny and not succumb to a victim mindset.
  2. Take an honest look at yourself - truly understand your strengths, weaknesses, and your passions.  There are many great resources in this area focused on personal branding strategies, and What Color Is Your Parachute? can go a long way to getting you headed in the right direction.
  3. Be able to articulate areas of interest, but no more than three. If there are more than three, you really don’t know what you want to do.
  4. Do the basics: update your resume and your LinkedIn profile, find a good headhunter, get involved, and continue to challenge yourself. Stay sharp.
  5. Let people know your situation. Connect with old friends. Share your areas of interest. You will be surprised how many people are willing to help.
  6. Take time to pursue your hobbies; if you don’t have one, now is the time to get one.

Good luck, but luck is not required. You are in control. - An Anonymous Guest Blogger

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