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13 steps to help you deal with losing your IT job

Rich Hein | July 10, 2013
Even some of the most talented IT professionals have found themselves the victim of a downsizing or reorganization. You can never feel too safe regardless of how stable the environment seems. If you find yourself in your worst-case scenario, these tips will help you work your way out of it.

When it comes to social networking, says Ripaldi, you should act immediately. "Reach out to your network and let them know you're looking for a change or a new opportunity. If people ask what's causing the move, simply explain that the company is reorganizing and you're looking for your next contract position, your next full-time position or for the next opportunity."

Depending on the contact, you can go into more detail or not. Just make sure you're focusing on where you're going next. That is, focus on the next opportunity and what your skills are that can help that contact.

"How you frame it is very important. You don't want to appear like a charity case," says Van Vreede. "You don't want to put too much pressure on people and make them feel as if you're counting on them to get you a job."

You don't want to burn any bridges here, so again keep your messaging upbeat and when people ask, be prepared to articulate a solid answer. "People take job loss personally and because of this they speak poorly about their past employer, manager and/or co-workers. It is crucial to remain professional throughout the process. If you maintain a neutral relationship with your previous employer, this can provide the opportunity for a potential reference in the future," says Sampson.

Step 8: Use Tradeshows, Groups, Projects and User Groups to Network
IT pros can also reach out to the LinkedIn groups they participate in and any relevant developer groups that they are a member of. If possible, attend any relevant trade shows that are in your area.

Step 9: Create an Elevator Pitch
The other thing you want to work on, according to Ripaldi, is your elevator pitch—a short, well-articulated story that highlights what separates you from all the other people out there doing the same job. "When you tell people that story, they should know what you do and, if it's done the right way, they should remember you," says Ripaldi.

Step 10: Consider Contract Work
As an IT pro, taking a contract position can be a way to build new skills or fill the financial gap that losing your job causes. "You've got to pay your bills, but experts warn that the stopgap measure that gets the funds rolling in oftentimes turns into a situation where a year later you're asking yourself, "How did I get here?"

"You've got to ask yourself, what do I want to do moving forward?'" says Van Vreede. Remember taking a contract position is a stopgap measure unless you plan on remaining independent indefinitely; you still need to devote the proper amount of time to finding a new position that matches your skillset and needs.


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