I read an article on Information Week discussing the 5 things you should do if you’ve lost an IT job. Check it out here.
The list is great and can be summed up as:
- Learn new skills. Absolutely. Do not set in the house watching TV or watching video games.
- The one addition I would recommend is that you take the time to do a survey of your local recruiters. They can give you visibility into the key skills they are currently recruiting for. Once you know what’s hot in your area, focus your self-education process in this area.
- Jumpstart a new venture. If you are passionate about something and have the time and energy to begin moving the idea forward, this is a good time. I agree with them but I would caution folks against chasing long shots too far, splitting your time and focus between this and getting your next job.
- Yes, I’m proposing a more conservative approach. I think it’s a good idea to have a full-time paycheck while you’re trying to get your next project rolling.
- Get in shape. I agree. You are going to have a fair amount of stress during this time and staying in shape will help you weather the storm of the situation. It is a very tough time but you will get through it.
- Spend more time with family and friends. You probably never have enough time when you’re working. I know I don’t but I’m always fighting to ensure the time is built into my day. Take advantage of this time to catch up.
- Volunteer to help others. I like this one and it’s focuses on using those new skills as part of your volunteer program.
There are some additional items I would recommend:
- Get out there and network. The unemployment rate is high, make sure people know you’re looking, know the skills you bring to the table, and that you’re the person they’re going to call when they learn about a new job opening. Don’t be obnoxious but make sure people know who you are and what you bring to the table. Advertise.
- Use social tools to extend your networking. LinkedIn is great. Twitter is great as well. Facebook and Myspace are not nearly as useful, in my opinion. However, get the message out there. Check out this great post I came across that details this further.
- How does your resume look? I update mine every few months, not because I’m looking for new opportunities but because information is fresh and I can capture key items more easily.
- Share your resume with others and get their opinions of it’s quality. Don’t jump at every change people mention, but gather their input as it will open your eyes to how you are presenting yourself.
- Practice interviewing. Yes, this can be akward and embarrassing (if your kids walk in on you, for example). You don’t want to sound too rehearsed but prepare yourself for the technical, and non-technical, questions you’ll be asked when you get the interview.
- Make sure you have a good suit. While many places are casual you still want to look your best for the interview.
- Perform a self-assessment of how you did in your last job. This can be really hard to do as we all tend to overrate our abilities and we’re not always in tune with how others perceive us. Attempt to honestly review your own strengths and weaknesses and come up with a personal action plan.
If you’re still working, don’t forget to take the time to make yourself indispensable so you’re not looking for work in the first place.
What would others add to the list?