You’ve just been laid off, so what happens now? In today’s tough economy, losing your job can feel overwhelmingly stressful, but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience in the long term. Even if you’re feeling discouraged, the key to getting back on track is to immediately jump into planning a brighter professional future. Instead of panicking, treat your firing as an opportunity to invest in your skills and move on to a more fulfilling and higher-paying position. Here’s a three-step guide to unlocking your career potential.

1. Focus on the future

In most cases, layoffs happen when companies fail to meet their budget goals, but being told that you’re out of a job can still feel extremely personal. Because negative thinking can sap your self-confidence, take a moment to acknowledge that getting fired is a completely normal and common fact of life. The vast majority of people will lose a job at least once in their lifetime, and many will go on to bigger and better opportunities. Feel free to take a day off to unwind, but don’t let getting fired slow you down. After the initial shock wears off, start making concrete plans and setting new goals for the next stage of your professional life.

2. Invest in yourself with professional training programs

Now that your schedule is wide open, there’s no better time to get back in the classroom. Whether you want to break into a whole new industry or land a great job in your current field, education is the best way to make your dreams possible. Remember that you don’t need to commit to an expensive four-year degree to see results. Signing up for short-term programs and certification courses can open up a world of new opportunities at a price you can afford.

3. Market your skills and experience

With resources that range from business-oriented social networks to employment websites and industry message boards, promoting your skills today is easier than ever before. Connecting with industry insiders on social media, building your own website, sending your resume to multiple recruiters and attaching personalized cover letters to applications are all smart ways to stand out from the crowd. Before you get started, make your resume a winner. For ways to polish it to perfection, follow the resume-building guide from the Wall Street Journal.

Want to know more about workforce development in Virginia? Contact TCC Workforce Solutions today to find out how our career services, specialized classes and custom training programs can help move your career in the right direction.

 

 

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