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7 Ways to Turn a Layoff Into an Opportunity

March 20, 2023

7 Ways to Turn a Layoff Into an Opportunity

Being let go, or even leaving a career or long-time client voluntarily, can certainly feel like a challenging and uncertain time. But, it can also present opportunities for growth and change. For some, losing a job can provide the push they need to pursue a long-held passion or start their own business. It can act as an opportunity to explore new career paths and learn new skills.

While difficult to navigate the uncertainty that comes with great change, staying positive, flexible, and open to new possibilities can help transform this challenging experience into a stepping stone to a better future. Let’s explore seven ways to turn a layoff into a chance to create new career opportunities.

1. Redefine Your Career Goals

Before making your next move, make sure to have an idea of where you want to go. Were you happy with your career before you were laid off? Once you’ve had a moment to process a layoff, take some time to think about what you want next. Don’t be afraid to make a bold move to pursue a new path you may not have had the opportunity to seriously consider before.

If you weren’t happy with where your career was heading or if you were considering changing careers entirely, now could be the perfect time to make a switch. A lay off can come with a lot of uncertainty, and you can use this to your advantage instead of seeing it as something scary.

2. Give Your Resume and Online Presence a Makeover

Now is the perfect time to update your resume, LinkedIn, professional website, and any other career networking site you use after a layoff. Make sure your resume includes any new skills you’ve acquired, professional skills you’ve completed, and experience you’ve gained since its last refresh.

If you have a personal website you use to showcase your work, now is the time to get your most recent projects on there. This will help prospective hiring managers or clients see everything you're capable of.

Take the time to give your LinkedIn profile some love to help new opportunities come your way. Make sure your skills and work experience are all up to date. Browse the profiles of people who have job titles you plan to apply for so you know what kind of skills and experience to list on yours. Alert your network to the fact that you're seeking work—this could be done by changing your work status, or by creating a post talking about the change in your professional life.

3. Reconnect with Your Network

One of the greatest tools you have when seeking new opportunities after a layoff is your professional network. You may be surprised by how happy former supervisors, coworkers,  and mentors can help you find a new job. Many people have experience with layoffs and want to help others who have found themselves the victim of one.

Since these people work in your industry and already have a good idea of your skillset, they can provide you with quality leads during your job hunt. Reconnecting with your network could lead to opportunities you may never have considered before. With people sending job postings your way, you may find something totally new that changes the trajectory of your career. Try to keep an open mind to new ways to use your skills and work experience.

4. Level Up Your Skills

Consider learning a new skill—one that will help you advance in your current career or one that will help you start in a new industry. Potential employers like an employee who puts in the work to improve their skills and knowledge. Use some of your extra time to take an online course. You can complete simple competency tests on LinkedIn and earn professional development kudos.

If you have the financial stability, and the desire to start a new career, now could be the perfect time to go back to school. There are also many reputable websites where you can take a professional development course at no charge. Once you know what you want to learn about, finding the right college course, free online course, or certificate program is just a couple of Google searches away.

5. Nurture Your Side Hustle

Is there something you're passionate about that you use to make money on the side? Being laid off could present an amazing opportunity to put more time into your side hustle. When you're not updating your resume or interviewing, invest in expanding your passion project to be a more significant source of income. Now could be the time when you figure out how to get more clients, book more gigs, or fill more orders.

6. Leverage Job Boards

Job boards offer an excellent resource when you're looking for work after a layoff. On a job board, you can find everything from a single project to get you through until you land your next full-time gig to postings to fill a full-time seat at a company.

GYDE is one way to help marketing professionals find brands looking for talent, regularly posting full-time and freelance opportunities within its network.  Joining the GYDE professional marketing and design community is an excellent way to network and find new opportunities.

7. Start Your Own Business

Have you ever dreamed of being your own boss? Now might be the time to finally follow through on your plans of starting your own business and working for yourself. Take the time to sit down and create a detailed business plan that outlines your goals and the strategies you'll use to achieve them. Have a clear idea of the funding you'll need to get your business off the ground and some ideas about how you'll get it.

Though being laid off can be scary, it can also be a chance to make a huge change in your life and your career. A layoff could be what you’ve been waiting for to shift your career or finally make the plunge to start your own business. Take the time you need to reflect on what you want next for yourself professionally and reconnect with your network to find new opportunities that propel you forward.

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