When you’re let go, what’s the first thing you should do?
Most 50+ workers who find themselves out in the street, out of a job, don’t see it coming. Typically it comes as a real shock and, as such, they’ve done nothing to prepare for it.
It’s not unusual for the new 50+ job seekers to have not done (or updated) their resumes in 20-30 years. That alone can be a major undertaking.
But when you’re let go, as soon as the shock wears off, realistically what’s the first thing that you should do? For one thing, you’re not likely to back to your computer and begin working on your resume.
So what’s the smart move? What can you do right away that can pay big dividends once you begin your active job search?
Since very few people are immediately escorted out the door, even if it’s only a week, or even a few days, you should have some time on your hands with your soon-to-be-former employer. Why not use that time to approach your supervisors and significant co-workers to request letters of recommendation?
What better time to make such an ask? Only days earlier you were working with them so they are still quite familiar with you and your work. What’s more, logistically it’s a lot easier to ask when you’re right there on the premises rather than going back later when it might be a lot more awkward.
Unlike your resume, once you get your letters, you’re done. You can update your resume ten times a week, but you don’t have to go back and have your letters re-written. Unless someone has a change of heart (which could be good or bad), getting your letters of recommendation completed right away is a necessary activity you can immediately check off your job-seeking to-do list.
Taking advantage of situations as they present themselves is a good habit to get into once you’re out there in world of the 21st Century job search.