Being let go from a job without fair warning or time to make financial preparations is no easy feat, but it’s an obstacle many professionals face today as companies continue to scale back on their budget and technology continues to have an effect on the labor market. While data from the Pew Research Center shows an almost even 50/50 split of experts who believe the advancements of technology will destroy job openings and those who believe it will create more opportunities, the one thing that’s clear is that professionals should continuously be willing to brush up on both their hard and soft skills.
Matt Durfee, who is an HR expert and CEO of Navigator Executive Advisors, Inc., has hired thousands of employees for companies such as Pepsi, Marriott, and Bank One. As the author of the book The Job Search Navigator: An Expert’s Guide to Getting Hired, Surviving Layoffs, and Building Your Career, Durfee uses his professional experience to offer tips for helping 21st century professionals survive today’s job market.
“A driving force behind writing this book was my own frustrations earlier in my career, when I was out of work and unable to find a credible and effective guide for helping me secure employment,” Durfee tells BlackEnterprise.com. “Without exception, the subject matter experts I encountered could only muster one-dimensional opinions as job givers—without much, if any, experience as job seekers. The latter is important to me, as there are a ton of emotions that people have to confront during a job search, and I wanted some advice on how to stay focused, positive, and to avoid falling into the grasp of despair.”
As someone who has been laid off nine times himself, Durfee knows first-hand what it’s like to bounce back from a job loss. Interviewing over 90 human resource professionals, search firm recruiters, and executives for his book, The Job Search Navigator offers the following three tips and more for job-seeking professionals.
1. Set goals: When going through the job-searching process, Durfee advises professionals to set clear and specific goals for what they want to accomplish each week. Make a detailed list asking yourself how much time you want to set aside for connecting with friends, family members, and colleagues in regards to possible job openings; how much time you want to spend researching job-board websites; and how much time you want to spend looking at alternative career options if you’re thinking about a career change or going the self-employment route.
2. Engage in stress-relieving activities: With the process of looking for a job being stressful at times, it’s important to have a healthy engagement with the activities that bring you peace and joy. Whether it’s meditating, exercising, reading, or attending a volunteer event, be sure to step away from your job search to do the things that serve as a stress reliever for you.
3. Take the proper steps for financial survival: While a job loss often gives you little time to prepare for your future financially, there are a few steps professionals can take during the job hunt that will help them keep their finances intact. For example, make a detailed list of your spending habits and make a solid decision on the purchases and non-essential things you can do without. Also, keep any receipts from the expenses you incur during your job search such as travel-related fees, résumé-writing services, or fees for job boards, as they may be tax deductible.