Nobody tells you this, but there’s a quiz.
The questions ebb and flow depending on the circumstances of your layoff, and there’s no one with a master answer sheet saying whether you got it right or wrong. But the way you answer the questions will have a direct impact on your job search.
Here are some starter questions:
1. Did I like what I was doing?
2. Do I want to find a job in the same field?
3. Are there jobs locally in this field?
4. Do I have the qualifications for jobs in this field?
5. Do I have contacts to help me find jobs locally in this field?
Depending on the answers to this question, some of the next questions would be:
6. Are there good jobs in my field somewhere else?
7. Do I want to move?
8. Can I move if I have to?
9. Do I have the contacts/skills to find a job somewhere else?
10. Does it make sense to take a lesser job and stay because my spouse has a good job?
Seriously, this question of moving/not moving is an important one, especially if your spouse is employed, your children are in a good school program, or you own a house in a slow housing market. And even if you’re single and don’t own your home, leaving behind your social safety net — family, good friends, places you’re familiar with — can be traumatic and empowering in equal measure, depending on where and why and how you go. If you were holding on to a bad job because you were afraid to step outside your geographic or social comfort zone, you could be pleasantly surprised if you land in a friendly spot with good money and the opportunity for new experiences. Or you could be homesick and never really fit in, I’m not going to lie. I’ve done both and you never know what you’ve got until you get there.
If you decide you can move, and you start applying for jobs outside your area, here are some other questions:
12. Do I want to look from here, or can I move there and look on-site?
13. Do I need to upgrade my skills before I start looking elsewhere?
14. Is there some place I’ve always wanted to live and are there jobs available there in my field?
15. Do I know anyone there?
There are some other questions the homeowner has to answer:
16. If I sold my house, would I lose money?
17. Is my house ready to sell? (Does it need paint/repairs?) — A married couple I used to work with bought paint almost immediately after hearing about our layoff, on the assumption they’d have to move. And it’s a good thing — they did move out of the province and were able to sell their house fairly quickly for a good price.
18. Do I know a realtor?
19. Am I prepared to pack and leave?
20. Can I afford to pay my mortgage and keep the house going if I stay here and take a pay cut?
You will not be graded on this quiz, but it will be counted against your final mark…