“Fear, uncertainty, and discomfort are your compasses toward growth…”

– Celestine Chua

Have you checked the news recently?

With all the layoffs happening across the globe, it’s a real challenge to not be concerned every time I check on my social media. What’s even more concerning is that I’ve find out some of the layoffs were in effect as soon as the news was shared.

Driven by curiosity, I read pretty much all the layoff news I could find in the past weeks and most sources simply cited that the phenomenon is caused by a bad turn in the economy. And while that may be true, we can’t really turn a blind eye on the fact that the number of employees impacted amounted to hundreds of thousands across the globe. 

On the bright side, if you happen to be among those affected by this situation, keep in mind that being let go can often present a fresh beginning or steer you off to a new career journey. 

Below are some tips that may help you make the best out of an unfortunate situation and navigate this uncertainty in a mindful way. Let’s dive in! 

Think of your next steps carefully

Think of the next steps mindfully

When initially assessing your situation, you’re likely to feel confused and sad, and maybe even question yourself why it happened to you. 

Know that it’s OK to feel these emotions. It’s recommended to take your time in order to digest and process your feelings properly. But don’t ‘pity yourself’ for too long. 

Once you’ve got more clarity, you can start by figuring out your next move by listing out:

  • Your skills, knowledge/expertise (those that you have educational and/or professional experience on)
  • Your passions – interests and/or hobbies that you actually enjoy doing

Read more: Finding Your Passion: What Sets Your Soul on Fire?

As you gain your answers, you should be able to find at least a few overlaps that’ll enable you to have a better understanding on what type of new roles/jobs you may want to look for. 

If you already know the type of role/job you want or you’d like to continue the career path that you’re already one, you can start searching for similar roles in other companies. 

While thinking it through, you’d want to have the intention that your next role/job should offer a sense of contentment or fulfillment

In order to do this, you’d want to ensure that the role and the company itself align with your values.

Some examples on how you can do this is to do your research on the details of the role’s tasks & responsibilities but also the company’s culture, the opportunity for growth, and benefits.

If you happen to be among those who were not laid off, it’s also a good time to also evaluate your employment situation. You can do this by assessing whether you are happy with your role and your career journey thus far. Ask yourself questions such as:  Are you excited to go to work every day? Or do you find yourself wishing that you can do something else?

If you find yourself unhappy/unsatisfied with your existing role, the answer can serve as signs that it does not fulfil your needs. If that’s the case, then you may want to consider using it as motivation to switch roles/careers.

Read more: How to Decide Whether to Quit or Recommit

Be honest about your skills and experience

Be honest about your skills and experience

Assessing your skills and experience needs honesty and acceptance. You need to be honest about what you are good at and what you are lacking. 

It’s not a rare occurrence that candidates try to impress potential employers by ‘padding’ their resume/CV. They do this by listing out achievements or expertise that aren’t true.

This is definitely not recommended because even if you end up getting the job, you won’t be able to keep up the facade for long. Sooner or later, you will run into issues that will lead you to get fired or even blacklisted from getting similar jobs in the future.

If you’re dishonest about your level of expertise, the employer can overestimate your capabilities at work and it may give you a bigger burden as you’ll need to live up to your employer’s expectations. 

On the other hand, when you’re honest with what you’re able to deliver, you’re likely to be able to get the training that you need in order to grow into the role. Having a role that aligns with your skills & experience will also likely help you in feeling fulfilled and less stressed & anxious at your job.

Level up by taking courses & gaining certifications

Level up your skills

Let‘s say you opted to look for a role that is quite different from the one you have or previously had. It is likely that you’d need to have additional skills/qualifications to land the job. 

Depending on the role, you may need to get an additional degree or take courses that’ll enable you to gain the required certification(s). 

There are plenty of websites that provide certifications for professionals. Many of them are paid programs, but there are also quality programs that are free-of-charge. Here are some examples of platforms where you can find both:

1. Google

Google Digital Garage provides free learning programs for your career and business which you can tailor to your needs. Compared to other platforms, their choice of programs is quite limited to marketing and business. If this is the sector you want to master, then Google Digital Garage makes a good option.

2. Skillshare

If you’re a creative or seeking to uplevel your creativity, Skillshare is likely to be the best platform for courses. It’s an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people, on topics including illustration, design, photography, video, freelancing, and much more.

Skillshare is also the place to be if you’re looking for a new fun hobby or interest to take up on your spare time. The great news is that they offer a 1 month free trial so you can try it out before committing. If you found it useful and would like to get on board for their annual membership, you can get 30% off by using our special code: aff30d21

3. Coursera

Coursera is also an online course provider. In my experience, Coursera can be on the more pricey side. But, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you can get an online degree from world-class universities through this website.

If you’re working your way to become a head of a department or even a C-level suite one day, Coursera is a great option. They offer professional certifications provided by big institutions like IBM and Meta. 

4. MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Certificate programs at MIT are leaning toward the Science and Technology sectors.  These prestigious programs are mostly paid but they will provide you with the knowledge presented by industry expertise and advanced networking which are useful for your career journey.

The MIT programs are so well known in many industries that many of their alumni end up giving references to and/or start businesses together!

5. Harvard 

Harvard’s certification program is similar to MIT’s. What makes it even more outstanding is the range of departments you can find in this program as they are not limited to Science and Technology only. You can find Art & Design, Business, and even Health & Medicine offered by the institution. And best of all, some of their courses are free. 

Levelling up your skills and expertise is not only useful when you want to change careers. If you want to do the same role as your previous experience, it’ll help you to excel at your role. Wherever you are at your career journey, there is always room for improvement. 

Expand your network and get references

Expand your network

Whether you believe it or not, 85% of job vacancies are filled through networking. 

This means that your connections and the people you know play an important role in your career journey. 

Don’t hesitate to ask your manager, supervisor, and your teammates for references that’ll enable you to land your next opportunity. 

If you want to ask people from your previous jobs, based on my experience, the best approach is to contact them via LinkedIn and ask them if they are open to giving you a public reference.

This way, any potential employer or even headhunters, can see them without having to make a request for it. ‘Glowing’ recommendations or references will certainly help in making you stand out from other candidates.

Keep your eyes out for opportunities

actively look for opportunities

Once you’ve done the above, it’s time for the actual job hunt. 

Start by actively letting your friends and family know of the type of roles you’re looking for. As mentioned prior, there’s a big chance that your next job will be coming from someone you know. Whether it’s a friend whose company is hiring or an acquaintance who knows of a headhunter who is looking for candidates just like you, the possibilities are endless. 

That said, don’t just rely on your network. Above all, you must do the bulk of the work. 

If you already have a list of companies that you want to work for, don’t be afraid to reach out to the hiring managers. Note that many vacancies are actually not listed externally. This way, you’ll be able to be among the first candidates to know about them and potentially be considered for the roles.

Alternatively, you can also reach out to recruitment companies or headhunters. If you’re looking for a remote job, don’t hesitate to check out Trust Remote. We list only legitimate & quality remote job opportunities mainly at US & EU based companies. 

The best part is, the jobs published at Trust Remote are often not published on other job-hunting platforms. 

This means that you’ll increase your chances of being considered as a potential candidate instead of being dismissed as just another CV.

I hope these tips will help you in confidently taking the next steps in your career/ professional journey. But if you’re still at a loss on what your first step should be, working with a coach may help you to gain clarity & insights you need to move ahead. 

Read more: How to Land Your Ideal Job

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This post was contributed by Anita Noor. The Founder of Trust Remote, she’s passionate in creating a better environment for remote workers & companies as well as assisting companies in operating their business efficiently with remote teams.