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Navigating layoffs: Land a new job before your old one ends

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

I love hearing stories from friends and colleagues when they share how they landed a job BEFORE their layoff fully took effect. I have personally experienced this blessing as well. To get a new job before your current job ends, you must literally strike while the iron is hot. In other words, start seeking your next opportunity as soon as possible. Here are few tips to help you get started:

  • As soon as you get an inkling that layoffs might be coming, discreetly inform your network of friends, coworkers, family members and community members that you are open to changing positions. This is a very effective way to find out about new positions before they are even posted.

  • Begin checking job boards daily. You can supplement this process by signing up for “job alerts” on the sites that you visit. This simply means that your job search preferences (normally key words and search terms) will be saved by the site and jobs that meet those criteria will be emailed to you. If you have the option, choose the “daily” alerts, preferably for morning and afternoon delivery. When you receive a job alert, or if you visit the actual job board, view the entries carefully. Sometimes you’ll see a description of your ideal role but it may have a different title than what you’re expecting.

  • After scanning the job descriptions carefully, if you see something interesting, apply right away (i.e. the same day). This is because jobs can remain open for a few days all the way to several months. Waiting even one week can mean that 50 or more qualified candidates can get ahead of you in the HR system. And if you ask any recruiting manager, when they pull online applications, they normally start screening chronologically from the top of the list. They also tend to review applications after the first week that the position is posted. You want to make sure your name and resume are there when HR pulls that initial list!

  • If possible, after you apply, take the "old school" approach and call the hiring manager. Your goal is to express your interest in the position and inform the hiring manager that you recently submitted your resume. Depending on the position, the hiring manager is sometimes listed on the job description. You can also find the hiring manager by calling the department that is listed in the job description. Once you call, you can politely ask who the hiring manager is and if you may speak to him or her. Of course, there are no guarantees here, but it doesn’t hurt to try. If the person who answers the phones seems reluctant to transfer you to the hiring manager, ask to leave a message (with them, or ideally via voicemail). Again, if you're trying to land a new job before your old one ends, you may have to be bolder than you normally would be.

  • Finally, please don't sleep on the power of prayer. You'd be amazed at who you might connect with if you pray and ask the Lord to guide your job search.

I, along with many others, have personally benefited from these tips. and I hope you will too.

Always wishing you the very best,


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