Workplace Wednesdays: You got the pink slip. Now what?

May 23, 2012

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With unemployment at almost 8 percent it's become all too routine for workers to get the pink slip. Friends and colleagues facing the same fate can offer a shoulder to lean on, but that only goes so far. After the wallowing subsides, there comes a point when it's time to jump back on the horse. That's an equally daunting task for someone who's been at one job for his entire career or for a young worker just starting out. After the tears (sometimes tears of joy leaving a miserable job) what are some good steps to get back into the game?

Career coach and HR professional Harriet Di Cerbo says it's all about balance. A little time off may be good to clear your head and set some priorities, but a six month hiatus won't be great on the pocketbook if your next paycheck isn't coming anytime soon. However, Di Cerbo warns against spending 20 hours a day in front of the computer trolling Careerbuilder and the classifieds. Di Cerbo remembers clients who have felt guilty stepping away from the computer even after applying for every available position. She also encourages clients to join "Job Clubs." These are groups that meet at spots around the community to share advice and tips on how to get back on the market. Di Cerbo points to the accountability factor in these clubs; you're forced to take a more active role in the job search because you know you can share the experience with the group.

A basic rule still applies with the hunt for employment-be prepared. Get your resume up to speed, but more importantly, really think about what you want to do. If you hated your last job, chances are you'll be unhappy at a new position in the same field. Di Cerbo has been a job recruiter in the past, and says interviewers can always sense when an applicant is suppressing something. If it's a position they don't really want, that will show. Be honest and sincere about your goals and what you're really seeking with the position.

One important part of Di Cerbo's advice: Be wary about all the advice! There is a lot of it out there, but you have to figure out what works for you. She offers helpful pointers, but is quick to say that there are HR consultants and career coaches who may take a different approach. Try to find the key points that suit your job seeking needs.

Harriet Di Cerbo joins Steve Edwards on Afternoon Shift to offer more advice to workers who need to get back in the game.

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