CareerTOOLBOX #26: It’s a New Year & You’re Unemployed


5 Steps to a Fresh Start

By Alex Sukhoy

Lots of people lost their jobs this December. It’s a cruel month to be let go. And yet it’s when firms, focused on making their numbers, are most likely to do so.

I know too many individuals — talented, educated, proven — that had to face their families during the holidays and share the bad news. These lay off seasons aren’t easy. They are frustrating. And they can be very long. Playing victim won’t help.

So here’s 5 steps you can take that can position you to towards professional success.

1. “It’s Not Personal. It’s Business.” Yes, The Godfather was right. So many decisions that happen in Corporate America have nothing to do with whether people like you or even what your contribution is. Companies don’t exist to hire and keep employees. Instead, these cut and dry decisions have everything to do with keeping shareholders happy.

2. Breathe. Losing your job may feel suffocating. Right now it’s important to take the time to breathe. Get fresh air. Eat right. Work out. Sleep well. Mental and physical strength go hand in hand and you’ll need every ounce of all of it as you run the job hunt marathon.

3. Assess Your Assets. Not just your bank account. Take stock of your skills, your accomplishments and your education and update your resume and your LinkedIn profile. You have a lot to offer to a new firm. Time to show, not tell.

4. Use Your Network. Whether via LinkedIn, email, phone, Facebook or even in person, each week, let at least 10 people know that you’ve lost your job and what kind of professional opportunity you are seeking. Keep the message simple, something your immediate network can then share with their people. Mass emails reach a wide net, but aren’t as personal.

5. Give Back. Volunteer at a new non-profit. Help a friend with their resume. Donate items that someone else may need even more than you. Giving back results in two benefits: it boosts your inner worth and it introduces you to new people that can then help connect you with just the right open door.

This is also a great time to re-evaluate your professional direction. Granted, finances, timing, responsibilities and even geography may determine your risk scale. Only you can decide that.

But, as corporate leaders play chess games with their employees, as my good friend Brad Fellows likes to say, “You are the CEO of your career.”




Alexsandra (Alex) Sukhoy, a globally-networked creative and business professional, is CEO of Creative Cadence LLC. Her Career Coaching skills have resulted in numerous success stories for her clients.

Her third novella, The ’90s: Diary of a Mess, reached #14 on the Kindle Poetry & Anthologies Best Sellers List.

Alex is currently completing her new book: The Dating GPS™, with childhood friend and Relationship Coach Anita Myers.

Follow Alex on Twitter: @creativecadence

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