Unfortunately, consecutive recent layoffs or settling for a lower income is becoming more common nowadays. Many Americans have lost two jobs in the past two years. This includes more high-level executives and management.
Those who have experienced multiple layoffs are usually willing to settle for less. With more executive-level employees losing their jobs, people with repeated layoffs have a harder time proving their worth to hiring managers. Many businesses view such individuals as lacking capability and integrity, rather than as victims of a recession.
Remedies for Repeat Job Loss
• Attend training to refresh outdated skills
• Consider a new location, industry or profession
• Keep your best contacts in the loop about your job hunt and make sure they have the latest version of your resume
• Send expert tips, information and newsletters on topics you know well to potential employers. Offer to take questions or give advice as a virtual consultant.
• Create a personal website focused on potential employers*
• Use an outplacement service or career coach, like you are now!
*A customized Web page (on your Website) highlighting your relevance to a specific company is a great way to attract attention. Give hiring managers a private link to this Web page, (for that company’s eyes only!). Describe how your experience would benefit their particular business and the issues they face.
Fighting the Stigma
You can fight the stigma of back-to-back layoffs by giving a sincere explanation during interviews: "I have been laid off twice in the worst economy in 50 years."
Before starting your job hunt, you must overcome any anger about your recurring joblessness. If you have negative feelings, those emotions are reflected in your job interviews. Do not sound desperate, but be positive and enthusiastic!
Try helping the less fortunate to neutralize such negative feelings during your job search. Charity efforts can tap into your key skills (e.g., project management, networking, marketing, organizing, etc.) and rebuild confidence. They are a great resume builder too! It shows you are doing something productive (in addition to other job hunting tasks) during your time out of work.
Find a volunteer activity involving a company where you want to work. Your participation allows you to network with employees and a get a sense of whether you fit into their culture. In making this effort to understand a possible employer, talk with vendors, competitors and former employees. Use this research to discuss the company's challenges when interviewing.
Surviving Multiple Interviews
One challenge for victims of multiple recent layoffs is surviving multiple interviews. As the applicant pool gets smaller with each round, people with recent repeat layoffs may be at a disadvantage.
Tell them about your skills that are better than others or that others probably do not have! For example, emphasize your frequent international business trips. Supply details about work with various country managers and customized efforts based on culture and market conditions.
Have perseverance! Even if you are turned down, stay positive and keep pressing on with your job search. Stay in touch with all potential employers. Circumstances may change for the hiring manager (e.g., the person they did hire ended up not taking the job).
Getting laid off may require using state services that you have never used before. Here are some starting places for finding help. (Most of the websites below are for North Carolina. Go online for corresponding websites for your state.)
Am I eligible for unemployment insurance benefits? If you have lost your job through no fault of your own, you may be eligible. Visit your state’s Employment Security Commission website. For example, North Carolina’s is:
How do I file for unemployment insurance benefits?
There are three options:
• Online: https://www.ncesc.com/individual/webInitialClaims/applyBegin.asp?init=true
• By telephone: 1-877-841-9617 (toll free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week)
• In person: At your nearest Employment Security Commission (ESC) office http://www.ncesc1.com/locator/locatormain.asp
How do I start my search for a new job? While a newspaper provides lots of independent job-seeking ideas, your local ESC office and JobLink Career Center staff can help you locate new employment possibilities and prepare to apply for jobs.
Find your nearest JobLink location at:
I need training to move into a new career, but how can I pay for training without a job? Look for opportunities within your community and visit these websites:
Free Online Training:
Service Obligation Loans:
Trade Adjustment Act:
Workforce Investment Act: