40 and laid off…What can you do about it?

Published by rudy Date posted on March 22, 2009

Have you been laid off recently because of your age? Lay-offs are an unfortunate event that come with little or no notice and are out of your control. Experiencing a lay-off is much like being the victim in an accident, or a victim of a crime; we are deeply affected, and yet there is little or nothing we can do to change the outcome.

What steps can you take if you have been laid off because of your age? Well, below are some tips if you are thinking of looking for another job and also tips on what you can do to move on despite being laid off.

Looking for another job

1. Job seekers that contact companies directly will find jobs first.
Make contact with various companies and sell yourself. Use multiple ways to contact companies, such as posting a Resume to an employers’ web site, attending job fairs, and by giving informational interviews via phone or in person. Contact companies even when they aren’t hiring so that when they are hiring, they will contact you.

Do not allow your age to be a barrier to what you can contribute to a company. Be sure to exude a confident demeanor and clearly state what you can contribute to the company and how you can be an asset.

It’s up to you research companies that need people with your skills and convince them to hire you.

2. Know the company.
It is always impressive if the potential candidate knows the company, its history and its culture. Granted, it takes more work, but these tips will help make the difference…

a) Research
Check out the company’s web site.

Study competitive analysis reports to learn about their competition on investment sites.

Run a search on the company name to read articles and press releases.

Talk with someone you know who works or has worked for them. If you don’t know anyone, ask the question in a chatroom.

Ask for a job description.

b) Prepare your strategy to show how you are the person who can provide the solution they are looking for.

c) Presentation is important. Be on time. Dress professionally. Treat the receptionist with respect. Stand and sit up straight.

3. Be open to temporary, contract and consulting work.
Contract, consulting or temporary work is a great way to improve your odds of getting hired. When a position is created, you’re already trained and have proven what you have to offer. Think of it as a paid and very long interview process.

4. Work from home.
More workers are working independently or from home these days. This option gives the worker the flexibility to work at the times and as much as they want (pay is consequential). Employers don’t need to provide office space and most of the time, they pay only for accomplished work, which doesn’t commit them to a salary. When you look into your future, see yourself succeeding. Embrace change. It can be the most exhilarating challenge you face in the next few years!

Moving Forward

No matter how much you suffer it doesn’t hurt the person who laid you off one iota. Your anger and frustration are valid, but how can you move forward?

If you are convinced that you were the victim of unlawful termination, see a lawyer and get it over with.

Talk with others who are in the same situation. By the time you finish hearing about their story, you will be encouraging them to move on!

Be positive about yourself! If someone you meet asks what you do, tell him or her what your profession is (not that you are laid off). If they ask who you work for, you can let them know that you are looking for a new opportunity. Focus on the future and they will be excited about the prospect of you joining their organisation.

Create a positive environment around you. Read about successful people. Listen to upbeat and inspiring music. Watch movies and read books that make you feel excited about the future. Sometimes negative thoughts can take over. It’s OK to talk with a counselor or psychologist. Your spiritual leader would also be a positive influence.

Spend time with successful people. You’ll understand that nobody is perfect, everyone meets with life’s challenges, and you can still succeed regardless of what comes your way.

The best way to overcome a negative experience is to learn from the experience and focus on the future. In many cases, there isn’t much you could have done to avoid being laid off, and there isn’t much you could do to avoid it in the future. Imagine what it would be like to be in your dream job and then make it happen! –Sophia Su, Jobstreet.com

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