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Series 4113 Number 2 - First things you need to do and think about upon losing your job!

When we meet candidates for the first time, in general it is not their happiest moment. However, after discussing all the circumstances of leaving their former employer, we often detect a sense of relief. While the job was providing an income, all was not right. In reality, the company made the decision for the candidate. So, instead of bereaving the loss, you might think that this is really a great opportunity to get into a better situation, in a more collaborative environment, and with new people for a fresh start. We take time with each client to make sure that he understands the dynamics of what happened and, more importantly, see that door ahead is one that leads to even better possibilities. Of course, there are financial considerations, which can impose pressure, demanding that the candidate rise to the occasion to get placed as quickly as possible. So let's roll up our sleeves to get started. If you have been just let go from your former job, here are the very first things you need to do!

Action items - things you need to do first Strategic planning - things you need to think about first
1. If you are eligible - apply immediately for unemployment insurance. If you have an extended salary, you might try to have it paid in one lump now so you can collect insurance payments sooner. Check with your accountant which is best for you. 1. What would you like to do in your next position? Does the job exist? You would be amazed at the number of people who waste months of job search looking for a job that is no longer available to them.
2. Prepare a budget for the duration of your search. We always advise clients to prepare for a long search, while working towards a short one. 2. Are you going for a job or a career move? A job would be to survive this recession, while waiting for an opportunity to move forward with your career. A career move would be a deliberate plan in approaching companies where you could advance while your income grows. Both alternatives are good, depending on your needs.
3. Your healthcare needs should be covered. COBRA will be immediately available to you. Check for any government-backed stimulus program that will give you a discount on COBRA. It is worthwhile to compare the cost of COBRA with local insurers like Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Kaiser. Do this before you need it, as it takes time to get accepted into any of these plans. If you have another member of your family in a plan, check that possibility as well. 3. Get your mind clear as to your objectives. Initially, it will be to prepare your best list of accomplishments that demonstrate all your job-search skills. Next will be to research the kinds of jobs available. Take note of what companies are looking for in the way of experience and skills. If your skills are not up to par, now is the time to consider going back to school to bring your skills up-to-date. The better your skills, the better the job will be and its rewards.
4. Prepare your home office where you can work quietly, make phone calls, prepare letters, maintain your database of contacts and file important documents. If it is not possible for you to work at home, consider working at a relative or friend's office or home or a public library. Add the tools you will need: your PC, a reliable printer, a scanner would be helpful, an online fax service , and your cell phone. Obtain a calendar to keep your appointments. 4. Before starting your search, learn what it takes to go about a thorough job search in today's market. The most qualified candidates do not always get the best offers, BUT outstanding candidates always get the best offers. Become an outstanding candidate before you begin your search. It will make your campaign less stressful and shorten your time.
5. The backbone of any job-search campaign is your list of accomplishments. Accomplishments demonstrate skills. Accomplishments will be used in your resume, cover letters, interviewing and salary negotiations. 5. Keep your social life intact. Do not become a hermit. It is important that you get out and meet people, and it is no shame being unemployed. Your attitude determines the attitude of others you meet, so be positive in your approach as you network. Be prepared to use job-search networking skills so you get everyone on board with your campaign.
6. Prepare your resume. The best resumes tell people what you have done, not what you do. Avoid writing lengthy paragraphs. Keep each thought or accomplishment unique so the reader can easily absorb your message. 6. You will need contacts that will help you with your campaign. Make a list of everyone you know.
7. Prepare your list of references and arrange one-on-one meetings with each whenever you can. Be prepared to review your resume with each, and make sure you understand how to manage your references to maximize their contribution to your campaign. One bad reference or innuendo, can kill the best offer. 7. While studying job listings, you should also have a list of target companies. These are companies or organizations you will want to explore for potential opportunities (whether posted on job lists or not). There are many resources on our site to help you with this, including the Standard and Poor's 500 Top Companies and Fortune Magazine's Top 500.
8. If you itemize your expenses, keep a record of your job-related expenses. Using a spiral book, tape in your receipts, mileage driven and other expenses each day. It will be easier than a full shoe box at the end of the year. 8. Remember, success is not an accident. The more prepared you are for your search, the easier it will be and the faster you will obtain your next position.
  • Faxing from your PC can be very useful and an inexpensive means to reach people. Check out

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