The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 2.6 million jobs were lost in 2008, with 524,000 axed in December alone. And it isn't projected to be any better in 2009. People who invested years of hard work, loyalty, and dedication have been shown the door. Now they're left wondering what their futures hold, not to mention their retirement plans.
[ Read InfoWorld's feature: "Surprise! Tech is a safe career choice today" | Tom Kaneshige looks at life after layoffs. | Get sage advice on IT careers and management from Bob Lewis in InfoWorld's Advice Line blog and newsletter. ]
But while some will react like deer in the headlights to being laid off, smart job seekers will get tough. They'll brush up their resumes, hit the job boards, work their social networks, and polish their interview skills. I've put together five tips to help the jobless remain calm, collected, and focused on finding the next opportunity.
Make finding a job your full-time job
Right now, you might not be employed, but you do have a job: Your job is to find a new one. Don't consider a layoff your time off.
I've spoken to many people who feel they have enough savings to live off of for a month or two before they throw themselves back in the market. But if you let yourself slip into the "break" mentality, you seriously risk losing your edge. And when you do decide to actively pursue a job, it'll be harder to get back into the swing of things.
By immediately pursuing a new position, you'll be much more prepared when the right opportunity comes along. Your readiness will show in your interviews -- from the way you present your resume to the way you conduct yourself while under scrutiny, as well as your ability to negotiate.