As you may know, going through a layoff can be a very emotional experience. Most people do their best to overcome those negative emotions by trying to move on as quickly as possible. Besides, worries and anxiety about finances and being able to pay your bills will push you to move quicker. Unfortunately, many times another job may not be the answer to a bigger problem – a career pitfall we tend to fall into after a layoff.
What is a career pitfall?
First, let’s talk about what I mean by a career pitfall. A career pitfall can be a dead-end job that lacks growth prospects. It can be a job that pays you less than your market worth. It could be a temporary contract position you accept simply because it is better than not working and you need to fill in the employment gap. And then, before you know it, you end up in a permanent flow of one contract position after another. It could be any position you accept, despite all the red flags, because you believe this is the best you can do at this time.
When it comes to career pitfalls, most people are not even consciously aware they are falling into them. This happens because, as human beings, we tend to avoid negative emotions when we can help it. Which, of course later becomes a part of the bigger problem. In our attempts to avoid future disappointments, we go after less inspiring positions than the one we just lost. Perhaps, if we get laid off again, we will not be as upset by it. After all, it’s only a job.
Going after less than ideal jobs doesn’t usually solve the problem. First of all, you are no longer going after your full potential. Second, even if you didn’t like the company or your job, getting laid off still doesn’t feel good. It becomes one of those unpleasant days you would like to forget ever happened.
How do you avoid those pitfalls?
As a start, being aware of them can already make a difference. So, hopefully by reading this article you can look back at your career and start seeing some patterns. When you get laid off, don’t rush into a job search right away, take some time to reflect and process what happened. Get some closure and completion about what happened.
Finally, hiring a professional to help you get through this time can do miracles for you. Depending on where you’re at and what kind of support you need, it is available to you. You may go into a therapy, grief counseling or hire a career coach.
Some companies employ outplacement services to help affected employees find another job. They do this because this has been statistically proven to work and it really makes a difference in people’s lives more than the extra money. A good career coach will not only help you with your resume or effective job seeking strategies, he or she will be able to provide the emotional support that you need.
To learn more about what you can do to avoid career pitfalls after a layoff, please join me for this special free webinar on Tuesday, September 15, called “What To Do When You Get Laid Off.” We will talk more about the biggest mistakes people make after they get laid off, what to do about it and how to find the right career coach that will make a difference for you. Follow this link to RSVP.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who have recently lost their jobs and are looking for successful career transition. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.