Posted By Amanda Collins on March 5, 2010
It seems a common theme in my résumé practice that my clients have been laid off and are looking for their next opportunities. Often, these folks have so intermingled their identities with what they’ve done that they don’t know who they are without their jobs. They come to my office and have little self-worth, feeling as if they have nothing to offer another employer.
Much like a codependent relationship, when the relationship (with a person or firm) ends, there is a serious sense of loss. Of course, that is to be expected. You feel surprised, sad, angry, depressed – pretty much all of the feelings described so vividly in Kübler-Ross’ grief cycle, which Kerry Scott sums up as it relates to the topic at hand in “Five Stages of Grieving over a Job Loss.” This is all very normal and to be expected. However, just because you’ve lost your job doesn’t mean you’ve lost YOU. That talented, knowledgeable professional is still there under everything – and you need to muster up the confidence to present that person to your future employers.
Tap into what makes you able to do the job you’re seeking. How are you unique? What value can you provide? Present yourself not as “I’m unemployed,” but as “I’m your next [insert your targeted job title here].” At a networking event I attended regularly, a woman would say week after week, “I’m unemployable.” I’m not quite sure if she didn’t realize she’d chosen the wrong word or really felt that way, but no matter what she meant, I sure didn’t want to talk to her about a job potential. Imagine the difference if she had said, “I’m ready to become your next Sales Associate, bringing with me a depth of experience securing and managing million-dollar accounts and increasing revenue 25% year to year.” I want to talk to that person!
Give yourself time to grieve; you definitely deserve it. But remember that you continue to be you – valuable, employable, worthy – regardless of economic conditions. Surround yourself with positive people and keep plugging away. You’ll turn it around!