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What to do when you lose your job?

More than 1 lakh tech employees were laid off so far in 2023. Some close associates of mine who got great academic credentials and stellar careers so far are part of the downsizing. This is particularly affecting mid-career IT professionals who spent a decade or two in the IT industry, built skills in a niche industry or technology areas, and are unable to look for alternative careers at this juncture of life. Moreover, such professionals are most likely married with kids, would have purchased a property or two under loan and also take care of their aging parents. 

Preparing for job loss can be a difficult and stressful experience. However, following steps, you can take to prepare yourself both financially and emotionally.

Build up your savings: Start saving as much money as you can to build up an emergency fund that can support you for at least a few months in case of job loss. This will help you cover your basic expenses until you can secure a new job.

Update your resume and profile: Keep your resume and Naukri/Linkedin profile updated with your most recent experience, accomplishments, and skills. This will help you quickly apply for new job opportunities and make a good impression on potential employers. I have seen many people who posted for help in Linkedin got positive results. 

Network: Start connecting with all your contacts old and new, Especially from your older organization who might have spread across different companies. Do not hesitate to reach out to people whom you have lost touch with. It is advisable to have a generic conversation first before you mention your job search. Attend industry events and try to meet potential employers and showcase yourself. Reach out to your professional network, and connect with people in your industry to increase your chances of finding a new job.

Prepare for interviews: This is a continuous process irrespective of which company you are in and how long you are in a company. It is wise to keep giving interviews once in 2-3 years just to make sure that you are relevant in the market. I know many people who are doing well in their current roles, got good promotions, comfortable with their position in their companies. But, most likely they may not do well in a different environment. Practice answering common interview questions and be prepared to discuss why you left your previous job. This will help you feel more confident during the interview process.

Consider new opportunities: Job loss can be an opportunity to explore new career paths or industries. Consider taking classes or online courses to learn new skills or pursue a new career path. See if you have a potential hobby that can be converted into full-time work. Do not restrict yourself to your resume. Keep an open mind to explore new areas/possibilities. 

Seek emotional support: This is one of the most underrated aspects of job loss. People are so worried about how society will treat them if they lose their jobs. Unfortunately in a society where our job defines our identity, this can be tough. But once you open up to the universe, you will be surprised at the kind of opportunities we can encounter. Losing a job can be a difficult and emotional experience. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to help you cope with the stress and uncertainty of job loss. Spend time on your favorite hobbies, hit the gym again, learn swimming, learn a new language, learn a new instrument, or go on a long pending trip with your family. Use this opportunity to rejuvenate. Remember, eventually, everything will work out. All you need is a bit of patience, faith that things will turn around, and consistent effort. 

These steps may not solve all your problems but will help you to get through the tough times with a plan. Remember to stay positive and focused on your goals, and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.


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