So you’ve been laid off – welcome to the club.
This year alone, hundreds of thousands of startup workers have been let go from their jobs. So you may not be part of a company anymore, but you’re still in good company! Even the smartest and most successful people have lost work this year because it doesn’t have to do with them but, rather, the current state of the economy.
While getting laid off can feel like the end of the world, rest assured that it’s absolutely not – and not only are you not alone, but you’re also far from the only one worried about what being laid off entails.
Most Americans (a whopping 78 percent) are worried about losing their jobs right there along with you. It’s so bad, in fact, that “layoff anxiety,” as Harvard researchers call it, is leading to low motivation and diminishing employee engagement. It’s even causing depression, anxiety, and some physical ailments among workers.
For many who do indeed get laid off, the loss of work can take a mental and emotional toll. Plummeted self-esteem, irritability, frustration, feelings of worthlessness, and shame are only some of the side effects. Other physical symptoms like fatigue, headaches, nausea, weight loss or gain, sleep changes, and more can also hit some people hard.
But, if you’ve been laid off – however hard the pill is for you to swallow – it’s important to get back up on your feet and forge forward in the pursuit of your career goals. One surefire way to do that is by networking.
Here’s how to start building a network of people after being laid off, even if you don’t feel like you have a whole lot of contacts at the start of your journey.
☑️ Hop on social media.
Social media exists for you to be social, albeit virtually. So use your platforms—whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, or another social media site—to network with friends and friends of friends from all over the world.
There are tons of social groups you can leverage, as well. You’ll find thousands of other professionals in communities such as We Work Remotely or Remotely One, which both cater to location-independent workers seeking remote jobs. Plus, you can use Facebook’s “Explore” tab to find nearby job listings shared on the platform, as well as to find events in your area to meet locals with common interests.
☑️ Network on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is designed for networking.
After all, it’s the world’s largest online professional social networking site, with over 660 million users spanning over 200 countries and territories. Just make sure that you fully optimize your LinkedIn profile. This means getting yourself a professional headshot done, writing a catchy LinkedIn summary, and sharing your work and volunteer experiences.
Once you have all of that squared away, you can get to work building your network of friends, former colleagues, clients, classmates, and more connections you can create on LinkedIn. Hunt for jobs on the platform, or just join groups with like-minded professionals in your industry.
☑️ Engage with your community.
You don’t need to only network online.
Networking in the real world can be even more powerful. Look for opportunities to do it within your local community. For example, joining a club sports team or taking up a volunteering project can help introduce you to more people—and probably people who share your interests since you’re doing the same things.
There may even be local events for job openings, like career fairs or talks by experts in your industry. The first step to networking is showing up. So sign yourself up for the local events and strike up conversations with the people around you when you get there.
☑️ Reach out to companies in which you’re interested.
You don’t need to only network with people you know or your “people’s people.” You can also reach out to people who you want to know. This may include people who already work at the companies in which you’re interested in working.
You can easily ask for informational interviews to better get to know the company’s culture, needs, and any challenges. These kinds of connections are also nice to have if job openings crop up, so you have someone who may be able to help put you in touch with the right people or, at the very least, point you in the right direction.
Join a career networking platform like Ivy Exec
There are tons of career networking sites out there to help you connect with other professionals in your field—or professionals in fields of interest to you. Fairygodboss, for example, is just one example. Fairygodboss has a forum for women in the workplace where advice is regularly shared. FGBers, as they’re called, also share insights about their companies, swap inspirational stories about their successes, and more.
Ivy Exec is another example. At Ivy Exec, we share executive job openings as they become available, offer you C-suite career advice, and connect you with subject-matter experts with webinars tailored to executives.