Tag Archives: layoff

4 Easy Ways To Help The Jobseeker In Your Life

1) Show interest
When a job seeker is feeling discouraged or “less than,” a simple question about how they are doing with their search can make a big difference.  Don’t dismiss or minimize their progress. Get across that you know that they are more than their occupation/employment status.

2) Offer assistance, not advice (unless asked)
It’s a fine line between being helpful and being aggressive. You may have great job search suggestions to offer, but if they are presented in a way that is perceived as being pushy, they won’t be taken into consideration. Pressuring someone never works. For spouses – this isn’t to say you can’t say something if they are obviously slacking, but find out first WHY they are not focusing on their search and make a plan together going forward. For friends – besides being there to listen, communicate to them that you care, have had success with a certain resume format in the past (for example) and are there to lend a hand.

3) Play a part in their search
This can take many forms:
– help with a mock interview or phone screen – you ask the questions
– proofread their resume/cover letter
– see if you have any social media connections at their target company

4) Provide a break 
Make this time a “no job search talk” zone. Seek out low cost activities:
– take a walk
– rent a funny movie
– play a board game
– try a new recipe
– go to the library

While these may seem like common sense tips, it can be easy to overlook the obvious – especially during such a stressful time. Looking for a job is an emotional journey for everyone – not just the job seeker. It impacts the spouse/partner, children, siblings, friends, and so on down the line.

What about you? Have you ever helped a loved one during their job search? What worked? What didn’t?

Looking for more job search advice? Check out this post: 4 Ways To Rise Above Job Search Rejection.

A version of this post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Photo credit: mrpruen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

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Light at the end of a layoff – 5 life lessons learned

tunnel

Have you ever experienced a layoff? Did it make you stronger? Sometimes, it can help to hear what others have gone through to know that you are not alone. Below, one of the members of our recruiting office shares her story and insights that may help you as a job seeker, even if you’ve never experienced a lay off.

“Back in 2000, I finally got the courage to go for what I thought was my dream job – as a copywriter at a web development firm. At first, it was. They had cool clients like Jolt Cola (which meant FREE, super caffeinated soda for all employees), creative people to work with, a modern office with up-to-date equipment, higher salaries and stock options. Nine months later, as the dot.com boom crashed, 20% of us were let go – most in the marketing department. The company had hired too many people (and kept on hiring) without enough clients. The stock options I negotiated – worthless. My fun, new job? Gone in what seemed like an instant. It was a crushing blow. 

Two months later, I landed a contract job as a communications specialist for a global telecommunications firm. It wasn’t my ideal gig, but, if it went permanent, would lead to a 20% bump in pay. Unfortunately, three months later, all contracts were let go. At that point, I was just numb – here we go again! I actually felt worse for the non contract employees at the same company who I knew would be losing their jobs within that next year. 

Don’t get me wrong, I never want to be laid off again. But, being laid off did teach me valuable life lessons that I still carry with me to this day:” 

1) The Grass is not always greener
Before being laid off in 2001, I worked at a not for profit. Back then, I bemoaned the lower pay and lack of more exciting clients. However, more excitement, “cool clients” and other superficial perks don’t mean a thing when you’re out of a job. At the time, I was so eager to start a new job that I ignored red flags. Taking a new job is always a risk. Don’t let your excitement to jump ship cloud your judgment.

2) Having a 6 month emergency fund is not optional
During my brief period of unemployment, money was tight. I got very little severance from the web firm and none from the contract job. Between those two layoffs, I was only out of work for about four months. Even with unemployment (which, let’s be real, is not much), it was rough. Start off by saving fifty bucks a month if you have to – whatever it takes to have cash on hand for the unexpected. You really will need that cushion.

3) Keep your network growing – not just when you’re out of work
LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media didn’t even exist in 2001. All I had was email to keep in touch with my other unemployed colleagues. I also met up with people face-to-face. You can’t always hide behind a computer screen. Force yourself to get out there. Networking is not just for when you lose your job. By keeping a healthy network, those people will be there when you need them the most. Remember, it’s a give and take, so be willing to help them out as well.

4) Pay vs Potential – keep an open mind
When I saw a job for a freelance copywriter at a catalog company in our local circular, I was skeptical and dismissive. Why bother? It’s only part time, no benefits and who is even advertising jobs in such a small paper anyway? I decided to take a chance and send in my resume. I was called in, met with the owners, explained that I was looking for full time (with benefits!) and proved my case by taking home products that day to write about – as a test. They hired me as a full time contractor – at a rate that was $3/hour LESS than what I had been making at the contract job I had just been laid off from. Yet, I stuck it out, was hired permanently, worked hard, got raises, branched into Public Relations/Social Media and moved forward in my career. Don’t let your ego or a sole focus on money deter you from what might be a good thing down the line.

5) Keep learning
When I was laid off, I researched to see if there were any funds, grants or scholarships available to displaced workers for training programs. Turns out there were! One of our local colleges offered 60% off tuition for certain certificate programs. I applied right away and was accepted. I also received a grant for computer classes. It does take time to find, apply and write essays for these programs, but the rewards are well worth it. When you land a new job, see if they offer tuition reimbursement or other training opportunities. This is especially true for marketing and design professionals. Current college students have access to the latest programs and are up on the trends. Don’t be left behind. There are also many free webinars online you can take to keep your skill set up to date.

I’m not going to lie – being laid off was awful and scary. These are normal emotions for that situation. It tests your character. I was lucky to find a new position in the relatively short time that I did. Most unemployed job seekers face a much longer job search in today’s marketplace.

Being laid off taught me to understand what unemployed people go through and how strong I was. It gave me an empathy and understanding that I would not have otherwise had. It’s been almost 15 years, but I will never forget that dark time period in my life. It’s part of the reason why I love my current role here at the Oldcastle Recruiting Office – because I now get to help people on their career and job search journeys every day! – Kyra M.

Trees

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Looking for more job search advice? Check out this post: “How to write a better resume – the Top 10 Tips from our Recruiters”

A version of this post, by our Social Media Specialist, also appears on LinkedIn.

Photo credits: Unsplash – forest, K. Mancine – tunnel

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on: TwitterLinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook for jobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

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If you were laid off tomorrow, would you be prepared to find a new job?

UnsplashSuccess depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure. 
-Confucius

Whether you’ve been at your job two years or twenty, there is always the possibility of being let go. So, what steps can you take to be prepared?

1) Have an updated resume on hand at all times
 A layoff is a traumatic life event. It takes time to process the shock and emotions and start your search. If you have your resume complete, that means you are at least initially prepared for the job search journey. Not only that, if you happen to be a part of a mass layoff, you’ll be one step ahead of your competition. Need some help on starting or updating your resume? Check out this article.

2) Make it a priority to check in on LinkedIn a few times a week.
It doesn’t take much time to post a status update and like or comment on what your connections are up to. Recruiters often see a flurry of activity on LinkedIn from people who have just been let go. It makes sense that you spend more time on LinkedIn when you have the day to job search. BUT, connections are better made before you need them. Networking is a give and take, and desperation never comes off as appealing. Bonus points if you get or give recommendations before you need them.  Note – don’t go overboard with this one. When you’re actually updating your page, keep the privacy settings on so people can’t see what updates you’re making. You don’t want to make your current employer suspicious.

3) Scan the online job postings at least once a week
Make it a habit to know what’s out there. You’ll start to see hiring trends. Are there certain companies who seem to be  on the upswing? The job listings will reflect that. You’ll also see some companies post the same job within the same year. Is this a clue they experience high turnover? If you hadn’t been monitoring the job search sites on a frequent basis, you would never know that position had just recently been filled.

4)  Stay current on local business news 
It doesn’t take much time to scan the business section of the local paper (online or hard copy) or catch the local news to stay informed on what businesses are growing in your community.

5) Commit to one networking event a quarter
Every field/industry has meetings and other events. The event doesn’t have to be networking focused. A training or speaking event can also provide opportunities to meet people. Don’t like to network? Read this article for some networking tips.

6) Start thinking about who you would use for references
While submitting references is usually the last part of the job search process, there are certain applications that require them upfront. Tread carefully on this step. You don’t want to ask anyone from your current job yet. You could approach a boss from a prior position to be one of your references. The point of this step is just to get you thinking about who you could use if needed. This article gives additional advice on making the most of your references.

7) Be smart about that safety cushion
The common sentiment is to have 6 months of readily available cash for emergencies. A layoff clearly counts as an emergency. You may or may not get a severance package, and unemployment only goes so far. Yes, the discipline and sacrifice to have this monetary reserve is not easy. Child rearing expenses, car/home repairs and life necessities come first. Start by setting aside twenty dollars  a week. Small amounts add up over time. Here’s an article on creating a financial safety net if you need a little nudge in the right direction.

Being job search ready at all times does not really take that much additional time or effort. While you may be fortunate enough to never experience a layoff,  this proactive approach will give you peace of mind and the tools you need to land on your feet.

Photo credit: Unsplash

This post, by our Social Media Specialist, originally appeared on LinkedIn.

P.S. Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: How To Write A Better Resume: The Top 10 Tips From Our Recruiters.

taglineOldcastle

Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook for jobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

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Filed under Careers, Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice, job search tips, LinkedIn Advice, resume, Resumes

Out of Luck? 5 Signs To Watch Out For At Work

Be wary if you experience any of these things:
1) You’re left out of meetings
If you are no longer invited to meetings that you used to attend, or find yourself not being invited to as many meetings as before, this is cause for concern. You can ask your boss or manager why you are no longer required to attend, but make sure your tone/manner is not defensive or panicked. If you are still invited to meetings, but not called upon or asked to contribute, this can be another red flag.
2) Your formerly-friendly boss/managers and colleagues are now distant
If coworkers or management are now aloof or indifferent towards you, this can be a warning sign. Try to initiate conversations and keep the dialogue open.
3) You’re not kept in the loop on current/upcoming projects
Being shut out of important initiatives is a big clue that something is up. Attempt to become involved again, but don’t be pushy about it.
4) Things just seem “off”
Listen to your intuition. Do you get a funny feeling in the pit of your stomach that things are not as they should be? 9 times out of 10, that gut feeling is correct. Don’t do anything drastic (like quitting), but start to formulate a plan going forward. In the long term, this may involve leaving, but remember – you also need a plan for the short term. How are you going to handle the day-to-day differences you are experiencing?
5) Business has been down
If your organization or industry is facing tough times, you better get your game face on and put a plan into action.Don’t be in denial. Always be proactive and prepared. Start working on your resume, update your LinkedIn profile (keep your activity settings private for now in order to keep your search in stealth mode) and reconnect with former colleagues and other people in your network.

Have you ever experienced any of these warning signs? What did you do when you felt the “writing was on the wall”? We would love to hear about it!

Looking for more career advice? Check out this post on Twitter Career Chats.

As always, thank you for reading!

This post, by our Social Media Specialist (Recruiting Office), originally appeared on LinkedIn. Please share it if you found it to be helpful!

taglineOldcastle

Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and  for jobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

 

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