Rebounding from a layoff, Chances are it's nothing personal

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Getting a pink slip can be emotionally devastating and sometimes even psychologically crippling – even if the layoff had nothing to do with your job performance.

But it doesn’t have to be.

“It's natural after a layoff to think that nobody will ever hire you again,” Sherri Thomas, author of The Bounce Back - personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster from a layoff, re-org or career setback, tells eFinancialCareers. “But being laid-off is not a certificate of death. There actually is life after a layoff.”

Here are some strategies to keep that life flowing and to rebound from a layoff.

Let the dust settle

“The path to hell is paved with good intentions,” says George Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide. “When you jump back in immediately, there is always the potential that unresolved anger and resentment will cloud your good judgment and your ability to present yourself in the very best possible light.”

Get rid of the shame

“Recognize that a layoff is not a reason for personal or
 professional shame,” says Marti Benjamin, a certified career management coach. “Layoffs have affected many people who thought they had
 complete career security, that the implication that you must have been doing
 something wrong has long since died.”

Prepare your story

“How you explain the separation will go a long way in helping to establish your credibility and in getting the right people to share their time and insights with you,” says Cohen. “Be clear on your goal, on your qualifications, and how it all makes sense from both their perspective and yours.”

Customize your resume

“Showcase only those skills and talents you have that are featured in the job description,” says Thomas. “If you had a job for three months or less, put it in a section called, Freelance, Consulting and Short-term Positions. Also, focus on results instead of responsibilities. You can build even more credibility on your resume by quantifying your results with dollars, numbers or percentages.”

Don’t bad mouth former employers

“Try to remain as positive as possible about the company and the people you worked for and if you can't be positive, at least don't be negative,” says Lynne Sarikas, director of Northeastern University’s MBA Career Center. “There is nothing to be gained by bashing a former company or manager and to many hiring managers it is a red flag that you don't get along well with others.”

Seek out contract work

“There is a misconception among job seekers that taking contract work can
be looked at as a negative by future employers,” says David Sanford, executive
 vice president for client relations at Winter Wyman & Company, a staffing and recruiting firm. “In fact, accepting
 contract assignments can only help you. Taking temporary work demonstrates to prospective hiring managers that you're making an effort 
to stay employed and up-to-date on your skills. Many times, contract
 positions can lead to permanent ones. And it doesn't hurt to be putting
 money in your pocket as you continue your job search.”

Take advantage of social media networks

“Develop and use your social media networks by contributing your expertise,” says Benjamin. “Join discussion groups that align
 with your skills and interests and make comments and start discussions that
add to the value of the group.”

Stay in Shape

Adds Benjamin: “Exercise regularly, eat wisely and sleep well to keep your body and
mind in work-ready condition.”

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