When and How to Look for a Job (after a layoff) – 2024 New Edition


When and how to look for a job after getting laid off? It depends.

I was reading a post on LinkedIn a few weeks ago where someone announced getting laid off and asked:

After losing your job, how do you know when it’s time to look for something new? And how do you go about doing that?

The first question, how do you know when it is time to look for something new, depends on a lot of things. What’s your financial situation? Or, put another way, what is your financial runway? Are there other breadwinners in the house? Is the market hot right now for job seekers, or is it taking a while to land jobs?

When and how you look for a job depends on the answers to some of these things, but I’ll tell you something really important: Landing your job might take a lot longer to do than you could ever imagine.

Years ago I had someone reach out and say that they had worked at one of the massive tech companies you have surely heard of, got laid off with a massive severance, and took a year to sail the world before starting a job search. He was sure he’d get off his boat after a year and quickly find a job.

Quickly didn’t happen.

He should have been networking and working on his job search during his year-long sabbatical if he wanted to start working soon after getting off the boat.

I’m all for taking some time, a week or two, to rest, regroup, clear your head, etc. If you have a long financial runway, you can take more time. But if you are in jeopardy of losing your housing, transportation, etc., you need to start looking for a new job immediately.

When and How to Look for a Job After Getting Laid Off

ASAP. Sooner.

Maybe before you get laid off.

Wait, you didn’t know you were going to get laid off? Let me suggest that if we are doing proper career management we should always be looking for a job. That means you should always be networking, even with people outside of your team or organization.

There are many tactics that go into an effective job search. Some require some quiet, private, reflective time (to understand your personal branding, create your resume, etc.). Other tactics are what you might think a job search is… talking to people, going to networking breakfasts or lunches, etc. This can be one of the most frustrating parts of your job search because you don’t know what you are doing, and you are not sure if you are doing the right things.

That’s one reason I created the Job Search Program. I want you to be effective, and do the right things, without worrying about doing the wrong things.

In this JibberJobber blog there are plenty of posts about when and how to look for a job.

Take some time to get your mental state in a whole place, and then get to work. Work on the right things (networking) and avoid the wrong things (doing things that don’t get you closer to landing a job).

Here’s a blog post I wrote that can help you get started: How to Job Search in a Recession. Read that post and click through to the links.

When and how to look for a job? Right now… and strategically. This might be one of the hardest things you undertake but it might be one of the most defining moments of your career. I’m happy to help… reach out on social or in the comments and lets get you back to work.



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