The movies make getting laid off look like a vacation. They would show people in their underwear covered in empty snack containers while they binge watch movies. Even their dog would be depressed.
But it wasn’t like that at all for me. First of all, my dog always got up early and joyfully. I wish I could bottle that. Even more depressing? I always felt pressured to be “doing something.” In most cases, that meant opening up the internet and endlessly typing in job titles and my location. Waiting. Sorting by “recently posted” only to get disappointed when I’d see the the same 12 jobs I didn’t want over and over again.
I know now that I was filling that space with work to run from the emotion that comes up after big, unexpected change I didn’t plan for. I was disassociating to avoid a suspicion that maybe I just wasn’t good at my job. That I “deserved” to be laid off. That I wasn’t going to get the same money at my next role. That I’d never be happy.
Don’t Be Ashamed To Use Social Media To Find A Job
I wanted help from my friends on social media but it felt weird to say “I’ve been laid off.” It felt strange to let them into this moment that made me feel so bad about myself. What I didn’t realize is that social media is exactly where I should have gone if I wanted to find a job, not looking at some job board twice in the same week.
I was made to believe that social media would stop me from getting hired in 2010 because I would post some picture they didn’t like. In the 2020s, you’ll need social media to help secure your next role. According to research from Monster.com, over 84 percent of organizations are recruiting via social media with another 9% planning to do so that haven’t already.
However, your profile is one in a billion. There are 900 million+ profiles on LinkedIn. 170k+ people laid off since 2023 started. How are you supposed to be found in a search of a sea of people?
Be Clear About Your Skills On Your LinkedIn
Truth: Getting found by the magical recruiter for the perfect role is mostly a fantasy. Sure, there are plenty of highly niche, highly technical roles where recruiters are out sending pleas and incredible offers just to get someone to interview. But that’s not the case for most of us, especially those of us that work in talent acquisition.
That’s why you need to be clear with the network you have about the role you want. Don’t just sit there with your fingers crossed. First, update that About section. Here’s what needs to be clear:
- Describe the work you love. Do not say “I want to be a marketing manager.” I want you to talk about the actual work. For example, “I enjoy working on consumer marketing teams where I can focus on SEM.”
- Be clear about deal breakers like location or duties. For example, “I am looking for remote only.”
Tell the truth. I know so many people who get really mad at employers about not being clear about the details. Do your part. Be honest.
Networking That Doesn’t Feel Awkward
Now, you need to do more than post that you’re looking once a week on LinkedIn. Instead, try warm outreach. Create a Calendly account and set your availability. Send the link so it’s easy for people to find a time to talk. Start with folks that you have worked with before and would work with again. Next, people you haven’t worked with but want to. Finally, the rest of your connections. Do at least 3 per day.
When you book time, don’t spend every minute talking about yourself. Ask what they’re working on. How their real life is. Have a conversation. When people ask for what you’re looking for, don’t you dare say “anything.” It’s too vague and an easy way for people to forget you. You can say “I’m looking for a role where I can work on PROJECTS HERE. If you hear of anything, let me know.” Talk about what’s written in your LinkedIn profile.
Keep reaching out to people and don’t be shy about asking for introductions. Most importantly, don’t be shy about what’s really happening in your life. It’s ok to tell the world on social media that you were laid off.
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.