Losing a job–whether it happens suddenly or is an expected transition–is an overwhelming experience. Whatever the reasoning behind a job loss, the effects can feel emotionally, financially and professionally devastating. Below, you’ll find several key unemployment do’s and don’ts from Patrick Ferraro, employer relations coordinator with our Career Development Center (CDC). And remember, all of our career counselors at the CDC can help you get back on the career track when experiencing a job loss.
- DON’T panic: The initial realization or shock of a job loss is stressful and can cause people to act in a panic, but keep a clear head to ensure you don’t jeopardize future job search efforts. “Before you start immediately sending out resumes, get some professional guidance on how to best proceed,” says Patrick. “You’ll do more harm than good if you just start applying to jobs en masse. Don’t set yourself back before you have a chance to start a serious job search.”
- DO take stock of your career goals: “Take this as an opportunity to do some soul-searching,” Patrick says. “Reflect on your previous job and career path, and identify if there is something you may want to change. ” A CDC career counselor can help you mine through this process and identify and execute your goals.
- DO reach out to the Career Development Center for help: The career counselors at the CDC are experts at working with individuals experiencing layoffs, unemployment and career transitions. Our career counselors help jobseekers navigate the job search process by providing extensive resources and support, such as workshops, career fairs, one-on-one resume and interview help, as well as connecting jobseekers to job leads and networking opportunities. Additionally, the CDC offers a multitude of workshops and support groups to ensure jobseekers are both emotionally and professionally supported.
- DON’T let anger or sadness get the best of you: “Remember that it’s important–and okay–to vent, if it’s done in an appropriate setting. Gather your friends and family members and build a support system for releasing your anger, sadness and frustration,” Patrick says. “Not only will it help you feel better, but it will ensure you avoid inappropriately sharing those emotions in professional settings.”
- DON’T isolate yourself: Being unemployed can be a lonely and isolating experience, but you have to force yourself out of your comfort zone. “Our first inclination when we’re vulnerable is to withdraw from others, but this process forces you to let people know your circumstances,” Patrick says. “You never know who can be a resource to you, so it doesn’t help you at all to keep your situation hidden.
“Experiencing unemployment can be extremely draining, but it’s almost always temporary,” Patrick says. “Take care of yourself and don’t wait to access the resources and support you need to conduct a productive and successful job search.”
If you are looking for a new job, or know someone who is, the Career Development Center can help. For more information about services and programs available at the CDC, call 412.422.5627 or visit www.careerdevelopmentcenter.org.