How To Navigate Showcasing Your Value After Being Laid Off

Even individuals with the most prolific and impressive careers are likely to be job seekers at least once in their life.

Businessmen use mobile phones

If you're a higher-level manager or executive, you may be more used to figuring out who to fire or how to deliver the blow than being on the receiving end of a redundancy. This can make it a daunting experience, especially if you've climbed the ladder at one company and haven't been on the job search for a long time (maybe never). It's easy to fall into negativity under these circumstances, but there's one thing you should be focusing on: Showcasing your value.

Here's how to navigate the process — inside your own head, in the physical world and online.

Take Some Time To Reflect

A job search is a marathon and not a sprint. The average length of unemployment in the U.S. is over 20 weeks, which is around five months. You might think being at a more senior point in your career would accelerate this process, but having a specific set of skills and interests can make things more complex and, therefore, more time-consuming.

Since you can't expect to fire out a few applications and instantly land the role of your dreams, you may as well take a moment to reflect first.

In general, advice for jobseekers focuses on identifying your greatest strengths. As a higher-level manager or executive, you likely already have an idea of where you stand here. However, it's worth thinking about whether you're truly satisfied with the direction of your career. Are there certain skills you'd like to develop and use in your job? Is there an industry you'd be interested in working in?

If so, now's the time to set that goal for yourself and reorient your career accordingly. Only once you know what you really want can you reorient your values and demonstrate your value.

Sell Yourself Online

Once you've figured out where your value lies, it's time to showcase it to the world. That's easier than ever, thanks to the internet. If you've been too busy with your job to update your LinkedIn profile in a while, now is your chance to give it some much-needed love and optimization. The chance of getting a callback is 71% higher for those with an extensive profile (compared to those without a profile on the network).

This is where the reflection work you've been doing comes into its own, as you can highlight your ambitions on your profile and how your previous experience is connected. In your profile summary, aim to strike the right balance of keywords (which recruiters use to search) and selling your value in a human way.

But don't just leave things there. Many business leaders have the experience and knowledge needed to become "thought leaders" who can share their insights on the workspace and their industry through content. LinkedIn makes it easy to share articles and status updates, which are a great way to get your profile in front of the eyeballs of more recruiters.

If you want to go the extra mile, you could even consider creating your own website or a Medium profile to showcase your articles. Maybe you'll realize that you'd be interested in becoming a coach, speaker, or writer on the side, in which case this process will help you get everything in place.

Tell People How They Can Help You

Although the internet and social media are powerful tools for showcasing your value, even in 2023, the "real world" may be able to help too. The issue is that most people tell their loved ones they're looking for a job and leave things there — and some may not even go that far.

Many people would be willing to help you with your job search if you'd demonstrate your value to them and be specific about the kind of opportunity you're looking for, which is something most jobseekers won't do.

Whenever someone asks you what you're doing for work or how you're doing, tell them you're looking for an opportunity to (for example) leverage two decades of experience in the financial industry after working as a CFO for Company A. This will likely get much better results than just saying you're "between jobs" and leaving things there.

Consider Coaching or Guidance

You might assume seeking guidance by hiring a career coach or similar is a "last resort" — something that they should only turn to after exhausting all other options and getting no results. However, it may make more sense to hire a coach from the get-go so they can advise you every step of the way and boost your chances of finding a better job more quickly.

Once you reach a higher level in your career, many people find it challenging to find someone who's at the same level or higher than them to offer advice and help them grow, which is why coaches are so invaluable. You can find someone one step ahead of you (or used to helping people at a similar stage to you), have your value affirmed by them and approach employers confidently.

They'll also be able to help you practice your interview skills and give you feedback on any cover letters or resumes, which will put your mind at rest that you're doing everything right.

Coaching may require more upfront investment, but coaches often pay for themselves through the results they generate.

Your Value Is There — Let It Shine

Even individuals with the most prolific and impressive careers are likely to be job seekers at least once in their life. After losing one job, your value is still intact — you need to polish it up and be ready to show it to the world (or, rather, recruiters).

Reflection, the internet, your network and even coaches can all play a role in that process.

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