The notion of being blindsided just weeks before the holidays, with travel plans booked and shopping lists checked off, is a terrible and unfortunate situation for any professional to endure. Company layoffs during the holiday season are more common than we realize, especially since company founders are pushing to reach year-end numbers, reflecting on annual budget needs, as well as looking at ways to reduce costs.
Losing your job at the end of the year may seem like the worst possible time — no one really wants to go to a holiday gathering and have the probing career questions asked. However, getting laid off during the holidays can be the greatest blessing in disguise for your long-term career. The job market is ripe with opportunities right now — the holidays are the perfect time to update your resume and LinkedIn profile, re-engage your LinkedIn network by letting them know you’re looking for work, and conduct deep insights into potential companies and their executives when you interview.
Spend time crafting your elevator pitch and refining that 30-second introduction. You will bounce back, and the layoff will make for a great story of how it led to an even better career opportunity (pun intended).
Though a layoff might make you feel anti-social and eager to avoid the “what do you do” question at parties, it’s important to rally and get out and socialize. People help people get jobs, not computers — networking helped 83 percent of my clients get new jobs last year. Instead of spending hours online and randomly posting a resume on a bunch of online job aggregators, get out of the house and connect with human beings. Good things happen when you get out of the house.
Use quiet days to prep for the new year by updating your resume, online portfolio (if you have one) and LinkedIn profile, so you’re ready for any opportunities that might come your way. Last but not least, though it’s really hard to do, a positive attitude can only help you move forward.