I lost my job. What can I do?
In addition to the counseling services and job listings available to alums through the Center for Career Services and Cooperative Education, what follows are some strategies for dealing with job loss as well as some links that identify sources of support and information that we hope will be of additional help during this difficult economic period.
1. Give yourself some time to grieve what you have lost. You have every right to be "thrown" by this situation. Spend time with your family and those who will support you. Do assess your financial situation but give yourself some "breathing space."
2. Once you have applied for unemployment compensation and health coverage (instructions in the links below) and handled your survival needs, it is time to start attempting to find a new position.
3. Call on your network for ideas and support. The network you have built throughout your career – something you should never stop doing, even while employed – can be an invaluable resource at this time. Start dialing everyone you know to ask for advice, referrals and assistance. Talk to your religious leader. Some congregations have joined together to help members find employment. Your hair stylist, coach, dentist, doctor – all know lots of people. Let them know what has happened and ask for their help.
4.Take advantage of this period of your life to assess where you are in your career. Do you like your work? Would you prefer something else? Do you want a different career that requires another degree? (Check out our graduate programs.) What would you really love to be doing? You are welcome to talk this over with a Center counselor but it's also a good idea to find a source of ongoing support through a group such as the Job Seekers of Montclair.
5. Be sure that your resume is updated. Use Optimal Resume to create a new document and if you haven't written a resume in a long time, go to our Workshops page to listen to an online tutorial. Practice your interviewing skills using InterviewPrep to actually see and hear yourself being interviewed.
6. Start looking at the want ads in professional journals as well as visiting niche job listing sites, specific to your own profession. (Use Riley Guide to identify those websites.) Be sure to register with our online job listing system, Career Directions. Employers do look to us for experienced personnel.
7. Try to keep a positive attitude. Be with people who cheer you, who nourish you. While some depression is certainly understandable from time to time, if you find yourself continually sad, do get help. Even the bad times pass – we are hopeful that the economy will improve and with it the job market. Try to take care and maintain a positive attitude.
8. Really helpful websites: