Dr. Claus

In the first of this two-part series, CSU Global Career Coach Dr. Vanessa Claus shared how to negotiate severance benefits, ask for letters of recommendation, and define your mission after being laid off. 

Read on for additional advice on navigating an unexpected job search, utilizing your network, sharing your experiences, and investing in yourself through education.

Put Your Network to Use

Many people have an aversion to networking. I was one of those individuals! But, networking is exceptionally important and I have seen its benefits demonstrated. Your network can help connect you to contacts in organizations that might not even have posted a job yet. I cannot tell you how many discussions I’ve had with students about the importance of networking. 

During COVID-19, I believe the true benefits of networking were realized. According to Zamora (n.d.), “In just three weeks, more than 16 million Americans have lost their jobs, and before the coronavirus pandemic fades, many millions more will become unemployed. But, COVID-19 didn’t stop people from networking, even while socially distanced from the comfort of their own homes. In fact, many individuals took to social media websites to note that they were actively looking for work. Thus, connections were made, relationships were built, and new doors were opened. 

One of the best features on LinkedIn is the #opentowork feature. Using this hashtag lets your network know you are looking for a job. But don’t stop there – post a message to your network about what you’re looking for, and join groups in your industry to share that you’re interested in finding a role in X, etc. Put yourself out there. Your posts can be detailed or brief. Be you! While being unemployed might not be easy, your network will try to support you.

Compile Information on Past Projects, Tasks, and Assignments

Most likely, your hard work was acknowledged at some point throughout your employment. Keeping a list of awards, recognitions, and tasks you completed is important. This list should be specific and include qualitative and quantitative information that can be added to your resume. One of the biggest mistakes I have observed is that people don’t note what they’ve completed in their careers. Plugging your accomplishments into your resume will be easy if you keep a running list.

Invest In Yourself Through Education 

We live in a world where we must update our competencies and continuously improve. Harry Patrinos noted, “Education is truly one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality and it sets the foundation for sustained economic growth.” Education can be an expensive but worthy investment. 

Growing your knowledge and skills doesn’t necessarily mean that you must go back to school for years to obtain a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. You can complete a certificate program or invest in one of the CSU Global Direct courses. Let’s say, for example, you are interested in becoming a nurse, but your understanding of organic chemistry is lacking. CSU Global Direct provides students access to biology, chemistry, health, mathematics, physics, and psychology courses they can take à la carte. These courses are affordable and count towards college credit. Furthermore, these courses are eight weeks long and 100% online. 

In addition to CSU Global Direct, CSU Global offers bachelor’s and master’s certificate programs. Maybe you’re interested in entering the field of human resource management but aren’t sure if you want to commit to obtaining a master’s degree. Enrolling in the online Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management program, a 12-credit-hour standalone program, might be advantageous. During your program, you likely will know if obtaining a master’s degree is a good idea or if earning a certificate is enough to elevate your career. 

Believe in What’s Next

Many individuals associate their worth with their titles. I hear so many individuals say, “What am I supposed to do without my job?” or “My job is who I am.” While I understand the financial implications of job loss, you are more than your job; this is a crucial point to remember. And, whether sooner or later, things will likely work out for the best regarding your job search. CSU Global is rooting for your success!