2020 has been something else — global pandemic, unemployment and people being laid off are high, an election year, and so much more. It’s been a year. There is no denying that this year will go down in the books.
Like many people, I was faced with a furlough that led to a notice of being laid off. To keep it short, I was devastated. This was my dream job — the job they ask you about in your five year plan. And, it was gone.
Honestly, it was a wake-up call. How?
First, it reset the purpose of my career for me. Truth be told, it led me down a path of what do I want to do with my career. Second, I re-strategize my interview and presentation process. Getting back into the game meant coming up with a game plan that would help me arrive at where I need to be.
When applying for your next role, you need to think of the bigger picture. What do you want to accomplish? What are your goals and how do you want to accomplish them? How do you envision your career path? These are all questions that you can consider as you start to get back into the game.
Over-prepare and over-perform
The best thing that you can do is over-prepare and over-perform. When I logged into those video conferences, I had researched the companies and looked at their marketing efforts. If I’m applying for their marketing roles, then I needed to share my thoughts on their current strategy. And, taking your time with answering questions is always ideal. Usually, I take a moment especially when two questions are presented at once.
In addition to preparation, you have to perform to the best of your ability. Without a doubt, you want to give your best performance. It’s okay to practice before an interview and google the typical interview questions. At the end of the day, you want to be the best person for the role. You want them to select you which means that you have to do the work.
Update the resume and portfolio
Crucial. Not only do you want to update your resume and portfolio, but you will want to add in the work that you’ve done. This past summer, a recruiter had me go the extra effort to pull numbers on performance and my effect on those brands. Undoubtedly, it’s amazing to see these numbers. Brands are trying to figure out how you’ll help them and maximize their efforts — show off the work that you do. Don’t be humble or modest, brag about it.
Moreover, I have an HR Director for a dad that has all the best resume tips and scans over my work. Your resume should reflect the position that you’re applying for. I have multiple resumes for different positions because I want that hiring manager to know that I’m trying to get hired for their job and here are my specifics on why I’m a great match.
Be open to learning opportunities
While being laid off and going through the interview process, I made it a task of mine to tackle learning new things. Mainly, I focused on my industry of marketing but in fields that I didn’t work in. So, we’re talking e-commerce, SEO/SEM, Google Ads — all things that fall outside of my social media manager or marketing strategist roles. It’s never too late to learn anything and I’m the type of person that wants to know it all so I used my time wisely.
If you see a job that you like with a handful of your skills and a few things that you don’t check the mark on, apply for it. It’s an opportunity to learn something new and bring what you already have to the table. Don’t let a list of skills deter you from a role, ever. That’s what training and onboarding is for.
Be specific in the role that I’m looking for
Like I was preaching at the beginning, this pandemic shifted my view of my career. As someone that’s always worked in a corporate office, I was starting to figure out what I wanted my imprint on the world could be. For me, I want a job that I can continue to learn in while growing into a leader. Being stagnant in one position with no opportunity to grow doesn’t excite me. I need to be able to find a role that allows me to grow, whether it’s in a position or with learning new things and supporting that venture.
Be specific with the roles that you’re applying for. Don’t just apply for everything because you might be disappointed where you end up. At times, it might seem like a good idea but focus on the industry you want to work in and the differences that you might want to make.
Honestly, being laid off helped me out.
It seemed awful, at first. And, I was very upset. But, I know what is meant for me always makes a way. That’s why I didn’t pout for too long and just did my own thing while I was interviewing and applying for jobs.
Being laid off led me down a path where I reevaluated my career goals and launched my freelance business. In the past, I have freelanced but something set off in me this year that has allowed me to build a roster of clients. And, I can thank COVID for that. It was the push I needed (more of a shove down a hill, but still…).
Ultimately, no one wants to ever be laid off. Or fired.
Just remember that you can flip any situation, if you want. Work on it, produce good energy, and manifest all the good vibes in your life.