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7 Benefits of Losing your Job?!

Last time I posted, I was concerned with copyright issues and Pinterest. But today, I had a conversation with a friend who inspired me to finally put down something that’s been on my mind: the benefits to losing your job.

When I started this post, at first I listed all the things you get to do with your new-found free time: like visiting museums and truly enjoying a cup of coffee. I listed a dozen amusing free-time things before I remembered why I was writing about this, and that I’d covered those things before.

Getting laid off can be good for you. Call me crazy if you like. I felt the same way when a guy at my first “real job” told me that he believed everyone should get laid off at least once in their career, but hear me out. The following are 7 opportunities that you can benefit from after a job loss:

1. Build your network.

Networking is the #1 way to get any job. Use every possible opportunity to meet new people and build your network. Attend local events, lectures, and volunteer days. Schedule informational interviews with local firms and get a feel for who might be hiring. You never know where a lead for a job or project could come from.

2. Working for another company (or yourself)

No two companies or employers are alike. Working for another firm gives you the opportunity to see how different companies operate, to work with new people, and to stretch your creativity. You also have an objective view into what works and what does not. (Knowing what not to do can be powerful stuff.)

If you choose to work for yourself. Well, then. The sky’s the limit! Though, I would always remember benefit #1.

3. Remember why you love being a Landscape Architect

Maybe your career has strayed from the original inspiration? Here’s your chance to re-evaluate the path you’re on. Try something else and see if you miss it. Nobody’s gonna question a departure from the field, especially when jobs are so hard to come by….and you don’t have to feel guilty for “leaving” Landscape Architecture for a little while if you need to!

Also, remember that the job you have today doesn’t define you!

4. An incentive to keep your portfolio and resume up-to-date.

You should probably update your resume and portfolio every six months. But… we seldom do, right? Losing your job will give you the time and added incentive to get it polished.

5. Get away from the negativity

Harsh, but true: sometimes you have to leave the building to get out from under a glass ceiling.

6. Get out of the Pigeon Hole

Go into your interviews saying ‘I did X, but what I really want to do is Y.’ Your previous learning experiences will help inform your value with the next employer, so make the most of it (this applies to project types, upward mobility, and whatever you need it to).

7. Re-define your terms

The next job can be negotiated. Go part time if you want; explain that you need to leave early one day a week for a class.

From what I’ve heard and observed, there are more projects popping up out there and things are improving, but not enough yet for employers to hire full time employees. Most are still reluctant and putting hiring off as long as they possibly can.

I hope this helped put a positive spin on difficult situation. Sometimes you need to make lemonade. Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments!

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