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Laid off in 2024? Here’s your career growth playbook

Losing your job can be a disorienting and stressful experience, affecting not just your financial stability but also your sense of identity and self-worth. It's a common experience, though, especially in today's rapidly changing job market. Here’s your playbook for career growth.

Alexandros Pantelakis
Alexandros Pantelakis

HR content specialist at Workable, delivering in-depth, data-driven articles to offer insights into industry and tech trends.

playbook for career growth

This article isn’t about dwelling on the negative but about moving forward with purpose and strategy. If you’ve recently been laid off, know that this isn’t the end of your professional story—it’s a challenging chapter that, with the right approach, can lead to new and exciting opportunities.

In November 2023, the job openings level was at 8,790,000 with a rate of 5.3%, and layoffs/discharge rate was at 1.0% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

The job market is constantly evolving, with certain industries expanding and others contracting. 

Understanding these trends is crucial to identifying where opportunities might lie and what skills are in demand. 

This is where keeping abreast of labor market reports and industry news becomes invaluable.

Your playbook for career growth

The initial days following a layoff are crucial for setting the tone for your job search. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions from sadness to anger. 

Start by understanding your severance package, if any, and applying for unemployment benefits. This will give you the financial buffer you need to focus on your next steps. 

Then, start tapping into your professional network. Networking is still one of the best ways to find a new job, as many job openings will never be posted because someone already has someone else in mind to hire. 

Playbook for career growth

Related: How to land a job in 2024 in four easy steps

Skill assessment and development

Post-layoff, take the time to assess your skills critically. Identify the areas where you excel and where you could improve or learn something new. 

The modern job market values continuous learning and adaptability, so consider online courses, workshops, or even further education to bolster your skill set.

According to a survey, 70% of employers believe that skills-based hiring is a more effective approach than relying solely on resumes. 

Skills-based hiring is more effective

Building your personal brand

In today’s digital world, your online presence is often the first impression you make on potential employers. 

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, engaging, and reflects your professional journey and aspirations.

Personal branding goes beyond just your online presence, though. It’s about how you present yourself in every interaction and the reputation you build within your industry.

Job searching strategies

A strategic approach to your job search can significantly reduce the time and effort it takes to land a new role. 

In 2023, it took job seekers an average of 44 days from the first application to the first job offer, with most hearing back about interviews within 4 to 15 days after applying​​​. 

Remember, it’s not just about the quantity of applications but the quality. 

On average, it took at least 7 strategic and targeted applications to land one interview and 21 curated applications to receive one job offer according to the same report​​​​.

Diversify your job search by leveraging job boards, reaching out to recruiters, and applying directly on company websites. 

However, don’t underestimate the power of networking. As mentioned earlier, a substantial portion of jobs are filled through connections. Engaging with your professional network can provide you with insider information and potential referrals that significantly boost your chances.

Being laid off is a significant life event that can lead to uncertainty and stress. However, with a strategic approach to your job search, thorough preparation for interviews, and savvy negotiation of your job offers, you can turn this challenging time into an opportunity for career growth and personal development. 

Remember, you’re not just looking for a job; you’re investing in your professional future. And this begins now while you’re reading this playbook for career growth. 

Stay resilient, adaptable, and proactive, and you’ll find the path that’s right for you.

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