A recession can negatively impact all of us – when times are tough economically, people and businesses cut back on expenses in every way they can. That leads to reduced spending, smaller annual budgets and fewer jobs.
People all over the country are being affected by layoffs. Many companies have stopped hiring and cut their work force drastically, leaving thousands of people suddenly unemployed. That, in turn, makes for a much more aggressive job market. Fewer jobs and more people applying for them means that it’s more important than ever to get an edge over the competition.
One of the best advantages a job seeker can have during a recession is a recommendation from someone who is well established in a company that is hiring. Sometimes a positive reference from the right person is the fastest way to get your foot in the door. This often presents a big problem – what if you haven’t kept up with the people you used to work with or for over the years?
Don’t panic. Remember that people often lose touch for the same reasons, life gets too busy and time is scarce, but others will be just as happy to reconnect with you as you are with them. Your former colleagues are also likely to be interested in building up their professional network, so finding them again can be mutually beneficial.
You can start to reestablish old connections by finding people online. Reach out to them on both a personal and professional level. Chances are you shared a common bond in the past, and a little bit of nostalgia can help restart a friendship in the present. Bring up old memories, and don’t be afraid to let people know your current situation. If you’ve been laid off, tell others about it and ask if they have any tips or suggestions. Getting laid off is not related to your performance and doesn’t come with the same negative connotations as being fired, and during a recession a large number of people lose their jobs.
Former colleagues probably won’t have access to the perfect job, but they may be able to offer advice and help you connect with others who are in their professional network. These days many people are branching out on business networking sites like LinkedIn, and using their friends’ list to gain even more contacts.
With a little luck and a lot of effort, a friend or former colleague may help with your job search, and you could reestablish a bond that has been missing from both of your lives. If someone is able to help you, don’t forget to thank them; people will appreciate your taking the time to express gratitude. Some day you may even be able to return the favor. That’s one of the powerful benefits of staying connected in any economy – when people work together they help each other achieve their goals.
Did you lose your job due to poor economic conditions? Then get out there and do everything you can to find a new one. Hit the want ads, get your resume posted on job sites and turn to the people you know for suggestions, tips and potential leads. Stay connected with the people who share your world.