Tips To Survive A Layoff

canstockphoto18208501Don’t let a layoff throw your life off track.  Use these tips and successfully manage thrive not just survive after you get laid off.

FACT

Losing a job is one of the most stressful life events.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  With this in mind, you will need a good action plan in order to recover as quickly as possible from a job loss.

The following eight tips will help make sure that recover from a layoff sooner than you think.

Tips You Must Know To Survive A Layoff

#1 – DON’T PANIC:
You may have lost your job but you have not lost everything. You are a skilled individual and will work again.   Do not ever lose sight of these two simple sentences.   Do not let yourself fall into a spiral of negative thinking.   Think back to all the other people that you know of that have lost jobs in the past and are now successfully employed.

#2 – REFLECT AND RECOVER:
Step back and clear your head.  Anger and fear are two of the most common emotions experienced after a job-loss.  Neither is conducive to clear thinking or good decision-making.  Take some time to talk through your feelings of loss with friends and family members.  If this does not help, consider the services of a professional counselor.  Sort through your emotional baggage or else risk dragging it with you on your job-search.

#3 – ORGANIZE YOUR FINANCES:
Take a serious look at your spending habits.  List out your monthly expenses into 2 groups- absolutely necessary and optional.  If you have already been laid off you should limit your spending to the first category.  If you are still employed but fearing what the future may hold, start cutting back in the second category.   A general rule of thumb is to keep the enough cash to cover at least two months worth of expenses in the bank for emergencies.  If you have not had a chance to do so as of the time of termination, you still have options. Don’t forget that most companies offer a severance package to laid off employees.  In addition you can also contact your local un-employment agency regarding unemployment benefits.

#4 – INSURANCE:
Just because you have lost your job does not mean that you and your family have immediately lost all insurance coverage that you had while you were employed.  It just means that now you are responsible for paying for it all by yourself. Under COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) generally you can remain on your former employer’s plan for up to 18 months as long as you pay the premiums. Remember that there are time limits for signing up for COBRA.  You can get more COBRA information from the human resources department of your former employer.

#5 – UPDATE YOUR RESUME:
Take account of all the skills and responsibilities that you acquired on your last job.  Make sure that you include these on your updated resume.    And remember this is not the time to be modest; be proud of your accomplishments.  If you are unsure on how to lay out or word your resume, then you can find many examples of successful resumes on the Internet or in your local bookstore.  Definitely have a friend or family member review your resume.  Remember that a good resume can often make the difference between being granted an interview or not. Take the time to make your resume shine.

#6 – ACTIVATE YOUR NETWORK:
Do not be ashamed that you have been laid off.  Tell everyone that you think can help that you are looking for work.  This does not mean that you should cry on the shoulder of anyone that will listen. What this does mean is that you should be prepared to tell friends, family and even acquaintances that you are looking for work, what types of skills you have and the types of jobs that you would be interested in.

#7 – CONSIDER USING A RECRUITER:
Consider using a recruiter.  Recruiters a.k.a. headhunters can help you to better manage and improve the results of your job search. Using a recruiter has many advantages. These advantages include their having already established relationships with many employers and their having access to hidden job opportunities.  In addition many recruiters will offer tips on how to improve your resume and interviewing skills.  Best of all most recruiters are completely free to the job seeker.  They collect their fees directly from the employer.

#8 – GO BACK TO SCHOOL:
Take advantage of the time provided by being laid off to better yourself both professionally and personally.  Some people choose to go back to school and pursue an entirely different trade.  Others will attend a few classes at the local community college to sharpen their skills in their chosen profession.  Still others will pursue 6 or 12 month programs in a trade school.  And don’t think that your study must be directly career related.  This may be the perfect opportunity to study a foreign language or learn to roller blade. Layoffs provide people who are used to being busy with a lot of free time.  Make the most of this time by improving yourself.

In conclusion, remember that getting laid off is not the end of the world.

Whether you are recently unemployed or are just feeling a bit uncertain about your job security in these tough economic times, the eight survival tips above can help you to get back on your feet quickly in the event of a layoff.

Mastering The Lunch Interview

Businesspeople having lunch indoors.Make sure you don’t have food between your teeth when talking!   The lunch interview is much more than just “lunch”.   The interviewer is watching is everything.
Interviews can be nerve-racking, brain-draining, headache-inducing experiences. These days, recruiters have found a way to make the interview even more difficult by combining the experience with a meal. This means that in addition to listening to the interviewer,formulating intelligent responses, and trying your hardest to be confident, you now have pay attention to how you look while eating.

1. MIND YOUR MANNERS  It may seem unnecessary to mention, but those basic table manners you were taught as a child still matter. In casual settings, poor manners are not always corrected. Therefore, you could have picked up some habits that your mother would be ashamed of and more likely than not,your interviewer probably will not be too be impressed.

Here are just a few of the habits you should be mindful of during a meal interview:

– BE POLITE. In addition to evaluating your answers to questions, an   interviewer is also assessing your personality. Be courteous and   respectful to everyone, especially the wait staff. Words such    as “please” and “thank you” speak worlds about your character. – BE AWARE. Keeping you elbows on the table, chewing with your mouth   open, talking with your mouth full all convey a negative   impression. Pay attention to even your smallest actions. – BE PREPARED. If you feel uncertain about your table manners,   consult the experts. Emily Post’s books on etiquette are   considered to be among the definitive works on etiquette. There is   no shame in doing research; after all, this is an interview.

2. THE DISH DILEMMA  Even though you are being treated to a nice meal, you are not free to order any dish you like. You are in an interview, and therefore, you have the duty of maintaining a certain level of professionalism and formality throughout the meal.

There are no definitive rules of food selection, and you may have to make a game-time decision. However, following these rules will help you steer clear of trouble:

– AVOID MESSES. Steer clear of foods that have to be eaten with your   hands or have a tendency to splatter. It is hard to recover from   the embarrassment of splashing your interviewer with spaghetti   sauce, nor do you want to inadvertently adorn yourself with gravy   or cream sauce. So stick to foods that can be cut into small   pieces with a knife and fork. – NO STENCHES. Avoid foods that have a strong or unpleasant order.   You are better off having an interviewer not remember you at all   rather than as the candidate with bad breath. So no matter how   much you love onions and garlic, lay off the stinkers for one   meal. – KEEP IT QUIET. You need to be able to conduct a civil   conversation. Avoid foods that are crunchy and noisy to eat. In a   public setting there is a lot of noise that could drown out the   voice of a person sitting across from you so try not to order food   that would add to the problem. – FOLLOW THE LEADER. You may be wondering if a menu item is priced   too high or if to order an appetizer first, etc. The answer is to   follow your interviewer’s lead. Try to order food in the same   price range as the interviewer and order the same number of   courses. You do not want to be sitting idle while the recruiter is   still eating.

3. CONSUME AND CONVERSE  You are at an interview and also dining out. This means you need to not only be talking, but also eating. It can sometimes be difficult to do both.

Try and keep these issues in mind when posed with the challenge of eating and talking at the same time:

– YOU ARE IN CONTROL. Don’t feel so pressured to talk that you don’t   eat at all. This can be interpreted as nervousness. – ASK QUESTIONS. When going to an interview, it is always a good   idea to have questions. This will allow you get more information   on the company and show that you have done your homework. During   the meal interview, it will also give you the opportunity to   actually eat as your interviewer responds to your questions.

4. FINISHING WITH A BANG  Unlike that of a standard interview, the end of a meal interview does not just end with a handshake and a “Thank You”. There are other things to keep in mind including:

– DON’T OFFER TO PAY. It’s never expected of a job candidate, and   you don’t need to do it. – NEVER ASK FOR A DOGGY BAG. No matter how delicious the meal was,   requesting to take a portion of it home is not appropriate for the   setting. – REAFFIRM YOUR INTEREST. Let the interviewer know how much you   would like to work for his/her company. – A “Thank You” AND HANDSHAKE CAN’T HURT. As in any interview, don’t   forget to thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with   you. In addition, be sure to be gracious and say that you enjoyed   the meal and end the interview with a firm handshake. Make sure to   follow up with a thank you letter in the morning.

The meal interview is tricky, but not impossible. With a little guidance and a lot of confidence, you can sail through them with flying colors. Just try to keep these helpful hints in mind. Good luck and bon appétit!

5 Skills You MUST Convey During A Job Interview

interview-2-1024x438The job interview is your chance to show how qualified you are for the job.  If you can convince the interviewer that you possess these 5 skills, then you increase your chances of getting the job offer tremendously.

No, it’s not time to throw your resume in the trash and start a “new age job search”. But one thing that any job seeker must understand is that the showcase of talents does not begin and end with the resume. There are many “secret” abstract, often called “soft”, skills that employers keep an eye out for.

This article discusses the five key “secret skills” that interviewers examine and how to demonstrate them in an interview situation.

These five skills are:

1. Organizational
2. Critical Thinking
3. Communication
4. Interpersonal
5. Multi-Tasking

1. ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS
Unless you are applying for a job as a mad scientist, organization is an essential skill for any job. Employers can get sense of how an individual will handle large workloads by how organized that person is during the interview. Moreover, a person that makes a sincere effort to stay organized is an employee that will take a job seriously and make a sincere effort to get things done.

The best way to display these skills:

Dress professionally and neatly for an interview.
Keep supplies or materials on hand if you think they might be pertinent to the interview. This can go beyond pen, paper, resumes, and business cards depending on the position you apply for.
Organize your thoughts before the interview. Preparation for typical interview questions will reflect a sense of general readiness.

2. CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS
Nobody wants a mindless drone for an employee. If they did, they would buy a robot. Employers want people that can think on their feet and respond. They are looking for people that won’t come crying with every little setback. They are looking for problem solvers. Having critical thinking skills means that you can come through in the clutch.

The best way to display these skills:

Prior to the interview, prepare of a list of anecdotes or previous jobs that required critical thinking to solve a problem. When applicable, bring these examples up in the interview.
Talk your way through the answers. Let the interviewer understand your train of thought when responding to questions. This can also buy you a little extra time if you are unsure of how to answer.

3. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, is the number one fear in America, but making an impact requires these skills. Unless you can communicate ideas to others effectively, you may not come across as very confident. This is precisely why so many employers ask for individuals with good communication skills, often including public speaking.

The best way to display these skills:

Practice speaking, or answering interview questions in a mirror. This will get you used to speaking aloud and let you see the things you may be doing wrong.
Practice interviews with another person, so you can learn to keep cool when reacting to another person’s comments.
Stay calm and ALWAYS MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT. It’s hard to disagree with a confident person. Once you SEEM confident, you hold all the cards.

4. INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
Along with being able to communicate your own ideas well, you have to be receptive to other ideas and work constructively with them. Companies need versatile team players: people that will work hard on their own and increase the depth and effectiveness of a group effort.

The best way to display these skills:

As in the case of critical thinking, it is a good idea to prepare a list of examples in which you were part of a successful team effort. These items may not be on your resume, but could come up in an interview.
When possible, reflect back on cases where you coordinated a team effort. It is one thing to work well in a group, but it is even better when you show that you can also lead and take charge of a group.
Don’t be afraid to mention troubles within a team that you had to overcome. A group of people will not agree on everything 100% of the time. Being able to work through problems and succeed is paramount.

5. MULTI-TASKING SKILLS
Businesses are always happy to drive down costs, and the best way to do this is by hiring fewer individuals who can multi-task. It is often the case that one efficient employee can do the work of two typical employees. Employees are paid for the hours they work, and employers want to get the most out of what they pay. An employee that can complete multiple tasks at once is the solution.

The best way to display these skills:

When discussing previous positions held, include situations where you worked on multiple tasks at the same time.
Prepare a list of projects that required you to separate tasks into clusters that could be addressed simultaneously. Be ready to explain the thinking behind your separation system.
Show a willingness to take on many responsibilities. Any worker can pick up one or two, but if you can pick up more without getting spread to thin, you become a valuable asset.

The resume will always be around and serve as your primary means of communicating skills with a prospective employer. But remember that you are more than just a list of skills on a piece of paper. The interview lets the employer see whats not easily determined from a resume and also your chance to shine. Mastering the art of showcasing your “secret skills” will let an interviewer know you are person they need to hire.

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