For executives who become unemployed, there can be feelings of shock and fear, along with the sense of losing a sense of security prior taken for granted.
When we have a job, we have a place to go, and opportunity to achieve, and people to work with. Even in those cases where people resign, their initial feelings of self-confidence can quickly give way to concern and doubt if they don’t land a new job quickly. Obviously, loss of income can also cause significant anxiety.
Reframe your perspective.
Being fired or asked to leave doesn’t mean failure in the eyes of everyone else, although you may feel the sentiment yourself. Don’t let it give you a complex and, even more importantly, don’t feel sorry for yourself. If you lose a job, there are steps to take.
Schedule your time.
If you have a decent severance, take a short break, perhaps a couple of weeks. But don’t do an extended vacation and don’t retreat socially. The best psychological boost you can get will come from having a schedule full of activity: revamping your resume, LinkedIn profile and other career communications; breakfast meetings; lunches; interviews; using the internet; letter writing; calls; and follow-ups. The key is to get into action and give your search top priority.
Get your ducks in a row.
Outplacement Assistance. In addition to negotiating any outplacement assistance offered you, get agreement on the reason for your separation. If there are negatives, work out an explanation that the termination was due to factors beyond your control, such as a cutback, merger, or reorganization. Don’t make the mistake of implying legal threats. If you are in a position to harm your employer, they will know it, and they’ll it into account in dealing with you.
Career Coaching. If you are not offered a company-sponsored assistance, then invest some money into speeding up your search with a professional career coach. Sometimes fear regarding financial matters can create a burden. But there are compelling reasons for investing in your search.
Financial Implications. First of all, any expenses you incur while getting back to earning a living are normally tax deductible. Second, chances area as an executive, you typically earn $8,000, $16,000, or $20,000 more each month, and this is exactly what you will lose each month when you find yourself between positions. If you can save just one month, chances are any investment you make in your search will be recovered. For executives earning $250,000 or more, the consequences are major.
Many of my executive clients faced with unemployment have expressed their feelings that their careers may be at a crossroads, and they place a high value on both their satisfaction and the cash flow that comes from having a job where they are paid what they are worth. You want to recognize that potential cost of not maximizing your effort can be great, and this is a major risk that needs to be minimized.
May unemployed executives are men and women who have invested generously in giving their families a certain lifestyle, and often have put a number of children through college. Your ability to do the same may be in doubt without help. With few exceptions, you should view your career as still appreciating and not allow it to depreciate.
If you are out of work, your first goal should be to invest wisely to decrease your search time and therefore, any financial loss. Getting busy is also good for your mental health. Second, you should be optimizing the number of positions you can explore. Budget for the search, pick at least five strategies beyond applying to applying to advertised openings. And land back in a great fit!
Do you have ideas about ways to maximize executive unemployment? I love to hear from you. Please comment below.