Executive Careers Blog

How to Move Forward After a Layoff, Part 2


So the dreaded event has happened: you’ve been laid off. In my last CNBC blog,I outlined some of the things you should consider immediately following your layoff notice. As a reminder, they include:

Don’t get emotionally devastated. Instead, put all of your energy and determination into what you need to do next, which includes:

• Preparing your story regarding why you were laid off,

• Maintain contacts for future opportunities,

• Take time to assess and reflect on what has happened,

• And lastly, launch a proactive, thoughtful job search.

So how do you launch a proactive, thoughtful job search?

The first thing you need to do is to organize the current state of your finances. The less financial pressure you feel the better your job search will progress. Calculate your monthly expenses and your available resources. What cash do you have on hand? What unemployment benefits are available to you? Is severance included? If you need to decrease your variable expenses, do so. Consider temporary employment. If possible, transition benefits to your spouse or your significant other. Lastly, if needed, tap into a home equity line of credit.

The second thing you must do is stay positive. Keep a daily schedule to ensure you work steadily on your job search. Exercise every day – even if it’s a 30 minute walk. Read constantly and stay current because that will show during your interviews. Network like mad and connect with as many people as possible. Volunteer because it makes you feel good about yourself. Lastly, pick up a hobby because again, it expands your horizons and learning new things is always fun.

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  • Ensure you schedule time every day for your job search. Make it a priority and don’t let anything interfere with this time. Master your job search skills which include writing a spectacular resume and having incredible interview skills. Practice with a friend or a coach if possible instead of with your dream employer. In this economy, you cannot afford to blow one lead.

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    Create a tracking system for all the contacts you’ll meet and find a way to organize business cards and leads. We recommend having a spiral notebook so all the information is in one place. Set specific goals and deadlines for accomplishments. Lastly, cultivate a mentor and support system. This is not an easy time, but you can manage through it with a little help.

    In conclusion, aim for 10 target companies and there will be little doubt that you’ll soon be getting an offer of employment. We wish you the best!


    Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio is a career coach and co-founder of  and has worked for the bluest of blue chips for the past 25 years. Her companies include Citigroup, Pfizer, and most recently as the COO of Campus Recruiting for Merrill Lynch. Connie also co-authors a career blog for Vault.com.

    Comments?  Send them to executivecareers@cnbc.com