“If Opportunity Doesn’t Knock, Build a Door.”
At the moment of publication of this post, over 95,508 tech employees from 308 companies were laid off since the beginning of 2023 according to Layoffs.fyi. And it’s only February. In Israel, the market I actively invest in, the number stands on 2,000.
Layoffs are unfortunately likely to continue as funding for later stage companies continues to contract. It is important to remember that being laid off does not define you, and there are still plenty of opportunities available for those willing to put in the effort and take initiative.
Here are 10 pieces of advice for job seekers in 2023 who have been laid off:
1. Be a hedgehog
The “Hedgehog Concept,” is a business strategy that originated from the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. It suggests that organizations, and individuals, should focus on what they are truly passionate about, what they can be the best in the world at, and what drives their economic engine.
For job seekers, this framework can be applied to finding a job that not only meets their skills and requirements but also aligns with their passions, values, and career goals. By focusing on what you are truly passionate about, what you can be the best in the world at, and what drives your economic engine, you increase the chances of finding a job that not only meets your needs, but also allows you to thrive and excel in your career.
To apply the Hedgehog Concept to your job search, start by asking yourself:
- What are you truly passionate about?
- What are your core strengths and skills that set you apart?
- What kind of job would drive your economic engine, or provide you with financial stability?
2. Utilise technology:
With advancements in technology, there are now numerous tools and resources available to job seekers. Chatbots like ChatGPT can help answer your questions about the job search process, and AI-powered job search engines like Hired can match you with relevant job openings based on your skills and experience. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of these tools to make your job search more efficient and effective.
3. Leverage weak ties
Research has shown that individuals are more likely to find job opportunities through their “weak ties” or acquaintances rather than their close friends and family. So don’t be afraid to reach out to former coworkers, classmates, or individuals you’ve met at networking events. They may have information about job openings or connections to individuals who can help you in your job search. So, make an effort to expand and strengthen your professional network, as you never know who might have an opportunity for you.
4. Seek referrals
In the tech industry, referrals are a highly valued way for companies to identify top talent. If you have a friend or acquaintance who works at a company you’re interested in, reach out to them and see if they would be willing to refer you for a role. Not only does this increase your chances of getting hired, but it also shows that someone within the company is vouching for your skills and experience. So don’t hesitate to utilize your network and ask for referrals when applying for tech jobs.
5. Keep yourself active
Don’t let yourself fall into a lull while you’re job searching. Instead, make an effort to keep yourself active and engaged in your field. Consider writing blog posts, articles, or creating content related to your expertise. Not only will this help you stay current and relevant, but it also shows potential employers your passion and dedication to your field. Additionally, you can use these pieces of content to showcase your skills and knowledge on your LinkedIn profile or personal website. What have you learned in your last role that would be interesting for most people?
6. Effectively research companies and positions
When researching companies and positions, it’s important to go beyond just reading job descriptions and company websites. Here are some non-obvious hacks and shortcuts to help you get a more in-depth understanding of the company and the role:
- Look at the company’s Glassdoor page for insider information from current and former employees
- Research the company’s news and press releases to get a sense of recent events and initiatives
- Connect with employees at the company on LinkedIn and ask them about their experiences and what the company culture is like
- Check the company’s social media pages to get a feel for their tone and values
- Read industry reports and analyst reports to get a sense of the company’s position in the market.
7. Prepare thoroughly
Once you’ve identified an opportunity you’re interested in, it’s crucial to prepare thoroughly for the application process. This includes reviewing the job description and requirements, researching the company, and practicing for any potential interviews. Additionally, it’s a good idea to reach out to your network and see if anyone has any insights or advice about the company or role. By putting in the effort to prepare, you increase your chances of standing out as a strong candidate and landing the job.
8. Embrace a learning mindset
In a competitive job market, it’s important to continuously develop your skills and knowledge. By embracing a learning mindset, you can increase your marketability and make yourself a more attractive candidate to potential employers. Consider taking online courses or obtaining certifications related to your field. For example, if you’re a software developer, consider taking courses on emerging technologies like artificial intelligence or blockchain. If you’re in marketing, consider obtaining a certification in digital marketing. By investing in yourself and your skills, you can give yourself an edge in the job market.
Here’s a list of thousands of free certificates and courses to get you started.
9. Create opportunities instead of over-filtering
In a competitive job market, it can be tempting to over-filter job opportunities and only apply to positions that meet all of your requirements. However, this can limit your options and prevent you from finding a job that might be a great fit. Instead, consider taking a proactive approach and creating opportunities for yourself. This could mean reaching out to companies that you’re interested in even if they don’t have any advertised openings, or networking with individuals in your desired field. By taking the initiative to create opportunities, you increase your chances of finding a job that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations.
Additionally, once you have an opportunity, go through the process and see if you can get an offer before you rule it out. Even if a job might not seem like the perfect fit on paper, you never know how it will feel until you actually go through the interview process and get a feel for the company culture and the role. By being open to different opportunities and not over-filtering, you increase your chances of finding a job that is a great fit for you.
10. Take care of yourself
Job searching can be emotionally and mentally draining, so it’s important to prioritise self-care and make time for exercise, hobbies, and spending time with loved ones. While it can be stressful to find a job, the time we get between jobs can also be an opportunity for self-reflection and renewal.
The job search process can be long and gruelling, but it’s important to remain patient and stay positive. Landing your next job is not just about being in the right place at the right time, but also about having the right mindset and putting in the effort to make it happen. Stay foolish and hungry!