What to Do When You’re Laid Off

The Wall Street Journal has an occasional column entitled “Laid Off and Looking,” and today’s column has some great insights by one of the guest columnists:

For one, I’ve had opportunities to reach out to several of my ‘dream companies.’ One of the first things I did when I was laid off was sit down and make a list of companies that I would love to work for. This list had little to do with the anything factual about the company–like open positions, the pay scale or benefits. Rather, was entirely based on an emotional connection I had to the company–I like their products, I enjoy their advertising, or have read great things about the culture.

With this list as a guide, I leveraged my network to see if I knew anyone employed at these companies who could help me get a foot in the door for an informational meeting. Or if I did not have a connection, I sent in a resume and cover letter inquiring about openings and selling myself. So far, this process has resulted in some great informational meetings and one interview.

Here’s my comment that I posted in the article’s comments section:

One of the choices several of the leaders in our book, Trust is Everything, do is to “renew themselves regularly,” which is one of the chapters in our book. Whether you do it proactively by taking time off for a mini-sabbatical, or do so in response to losing your job, we think it is critical to regularly reevaulate what you want do and what your talents are. The hectic pace of most people’s work lives prohibits that kind of self-reflection. Lack of self-reflection then makes burnout and increasingly poor fit between who you are and what you’re expected to do almost a forgone conclusion.

Aneil Mishra, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of Executive Education
School of Labor and Industrial Relations (as of 7-1-09)

For some good financial advice on what to do if you’re laid off, you may want to read this recent Wall Street Journal article.