Let’s face it – how to overcome unemployment is difficult – especially when you are in the middle of it. Confidence is low because you may have just gotten laid off or fired from your last job.

While it seems brutal and personal, being let go is the process that companies use to:

  • Right size their staffs
  • Let people go that are not a good fit with their culture
  • Move poorer performers out to bring in high performers

So what are the best strategies to overcome unemployment? The first and most obvious one is to avoid being laid off or fired in the first place. I realize if you are unemployed right now, this may smack you in the face a bit, however, the more you know about how things work; the better you can strategize and position yourself not to get laid off in the future.

Here are some things to remember. Companies keep employees:

  • With critical skills – If there is not some skill or ability that differentiates you from the person working next to you, you are at risk. Get the training you need in your industry or profession. The more specialized your skill is, the better.
  • That are high performers – Whatever it is you do – generate revenue or save the company money – do it better than anyone else. If you are looking for a job, make sure you highlight your accomplishments on your resume or in your cover letter. Give the employer are reason to want to talk to you!
  • Who get along with others – You don’t have to schmooze to get along with other people. Be known as the person who everyone wants on their team or is a go-to-person because of your contributions.  Extend that same philosophy with your outside networks – job hunting, social and professional groups.  Bottom line – people help people they like.

Now that you know how companies evaluate who to keep, use that information in the next set of strategies.

Other Strategies to Overcome Unemployment

  1. Make good decisions on the companies you want to work for. Don’t just accept any job – accept a job that has a good culture fit.
  2. In the interviewing process, are you being an active participant? Remember you are evaluating them as much as they are evaluating you.
  3. Get comfortable with networking. More often than not, it is who you know that opens the door to the job. If you are relying on online services for finding your next position, you are severely limiting your opportunities to find the perfect job.
  4. Let all your friends and family know you are looking for a job and what kind of job you want. Most people really don’t know what you do so it is up to you to educate them. Tell them about your specialized skills or your accomplishments.  Chances are if they don’t know they won’t ask because they don’t want to appear uninformed.

To summarize, the best way to overcome unemployment is for the company never to want to let you go…and if you are looking for a new company – let them know why they need to snatch you up.