What to Do When You’re Laid Off

“Help, I’ve lost my job.” Bob often stopped in between sales calls, and we would chat briefly. Today he looked scared.

“I’m so sorry to hear that,” I started to say.

“Be quiet! I don’t want anyone to know. Can you recommend something?” Personally, I thought he should tell all his connections and then the world, but he was clearly ashamed.

Although hiring is up, men and women in their mid-fifties and beyond struggle to find a new job after being laid off. They usually end up working as independent contractors or frantically start a new business.

My first resource is usually “ What Color Is Your Parachute? 2018: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers,” by Richard N. Bolles. Recently, I came across “Moving Forward in Mid-Career: A Guide to Rebuilding Your Career after Being Fired or Laid Off,” by John Henry Weiss.

Like most job-hunting titles, “Moving Forward” discusses recovering from job loss, moving forward, and finding your new position, whether it be in your previous field or something new. Weiss, an executive recruiter, includes tips such as starting with a Google search, looking at Federal job openings, and most of all, identifying decision-makers and hiring managers. Each chapter ended with a summary and additional resources. Bob wasn’t keen on reading books, so the chapter summaries got him started immediately. The book is targeted at white-collar workers in mid-career, although new graduates will find it helpful as well.

Since Bob used to attend trade shows as a sales rep in manufacturing, I described Weiss’s suggestion to attend these same events with the goal of chatting up exhibitors or vendors. “You’re a salesperson. Get out there.”

As I usually do with people looking for books, I also refer them to local job clubs and not-for-profits that will help them update their resumes. Most job seekers don’t realize that although they graduated from their alma mater more than thirty years ago, they are usually still eligible for assistance in their school’s career center. Their alumni associations can help them meet people in their field who attended their school, and establishes that first connection, if nothing else.

Where do you send people for resources besides books?

How do you help people who are laid off later in life, or with minimal job skills?

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