Laid Off? Find a New Job and Career Through Skill Repurposing and Retraining


Laid Off? Find a New Job and Career Through Skill Repurposing and Retraining 

Whether it comes as a complete and horrifying surprise or you see the writing on the wall, being laid off triggers a rampage of emotions, a rush of imagined consequences, and a feeling of desperation. In today's economy, jobs are disappearing like snowflakes in a sauna. You want to be prepared, but you need help learning how. It is never too soon to dust off that resume and update it. You never know, your soon-to-be-former employer may be doing you a big favor.

Time to Assess Your Profession

Certain segments of the job force are being eliminated faster than others, and some seem to be weathering the storm and even thriving. Companies that were just scraping by may not survive, even in apparently healthy industries. It is time to assess the job market and your skills and find a new way of matching the two.

If (When) That Day Comes

Make sure to obtain documentation stating that you were laid off rather than being fired to enable you to apply for unemployment compensation as soon as possible. The Employment Development Department (EDD) can be helpful in getting you on the right track with resume writing, job hunting, and retraining.

Networking Works

It is common for a company to lay off more than one employee to exercise "downsizing" or to reorganize. If that is true, you may want to connect with those people to learn how they are adapting and maybe impart some of your experiences to help them. Websites such as are online to do just that.

Repurpose Your Skill Set

Inventory your talents and aptitudes as you would a collection of valuable tools. You can arrange the list as a set of descriptive paragraphs or a list of concisely worded terms.

Relocation a Benefit?

Forbes top 10 List of cities

  1. Madison, Wisc. has a wide range of companies and industries plus the University of Wisconsin.
  2. Washington D.C. is a center for government jobs, defense contractors, humanitarian organizations, and universities.
  3. Baltimore, Md, like Washington supports numerous government and defense contractors.
  4. Boston, Mass. is home to many health and medical research and educational facilities. Financial institutions, including banks and investment corporations have found a home there.
  5. Pittsburg, Pa. is another area where there is a strong market in the health field, where the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is a major employer.
  6. Richmond, Va. Supports a diverse mix of industries and the military.
  7. Seattle, Wash. bio tech and health care opportunities are plentiful.
  8. Houston, Tex. is where oil, gas, energy and government are hiring.
  9. Milwaukee, Wisc. Supports jobs in health, energy, environment.
  10. Dallas, Tex. Has technology and IT industries and government contractors.

Careers Which Are Still Growing

  • Government is hiring.
  • There is an steadily increasing demand for workers in the healthcare field.
  • Math, Science, and Special Ed teachers will be in greater demand.
  • Law Enforcement is actively recruiting, with grants given to hire entry-level officers.
  • Retail Sales, Cashiers and Waiters have the largest number of openings.
  • Positions as Office Clerks and Personal Aids are seeking to fill openings.

The Role of Distance Learning in Getting a Job

Having been laid off from a career for which you studied, trained for, and developed expertise in can cause you to wonder if it is worth looking for the same job or to vector off in some new direction. If time is a factor, and you need to get back into the workforce as soon as possible, you may find that jobs are available that can use some of your talents in a different field. For example, a person who is unsuccessful finding a job dealing with data entry may use those skills in the medical field as a medical biller, a profession which is currently in great demand.

If you supplant your existing skills in database administration with courses in medical terminology, anatomy, and medical office coding, you can find a job in medical billing that uses your existing skills and requires only a couple of popular courses that are available through many online education facilities.

Handling Stress

The direction that the economy seems to be heading can be a bit unnerving, with all of the bad news flashing across television and monitor screens. Sometimes it is better to ignore the negative slant that the news injects, and consider the statement made by Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's Chief of Staff, about the economic meltdown when he said, "It would be a shame to waste a good crisis." By adopting a positive attitude, you will at least be preventing your body from manufacturing and releasing flight or fight chemicals into your system which impair the brain's problem-solving ability.

Above All, Stay Healthy

The most important thing you can do to maximize your state of mind is to remain active. Action neutralizes anxiety. In that vein, walk, ride your bike, swim to improve your mental function. 30 minutes of exercise can radically improve problem-solving, memory and attention span. A healthy body supports a healthy mind.

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