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How To Restart After Being Let Go

digital job hunting working moms May 26, 2021
How To Restart After Being Let Go

I know how tough it feels to be let go. I had this experience years ago when worked for a large corporation. I will tell you my perspective of what happened on that day and how that event drove a major mindset and career shift to me to help you to how to restart after being let go.

I went back to work after my second maternity leave and on the very first day, at the very first hour, BOOM... “we’re sorry to say but the projects are frozen and since we managed things here without you, we have to let you go.”

What happened after was a period of depression, a deep sadness for not feeling enough. I felt rejected and incompetent. I cursed my former bosses and digested that news very slowly in the following weeks.

From that experience, I can tell exactly what worked out well and what didn’t help at all. The negative thoughts that populated my mind made me really sad. It was like breaking up a relationship. 

I thought I was a terrible professional, that no other company would hire me. I cried when I saw the news showing the unemployment rates were high. I suffered anxiety and concern for my daughters, 2 babies by that time. I feared I’d not be a good role model for them as a woman, a mother, and a professional.

Those thoughts and reactions are called overgeneralization. Dr. David Burns explains in his book Feeling Good:

“You generalize from some specific flaw or failure to your “Self.” So, instead of telling your self that you failed at this or that, you tell yourself that you are “a failure” or “a loser.” You generalize from right now to the future, using words like “always” or “never.” 

Things started to change when I accepted what happened. That was the moment I understood that life is imperfectly perfect and the more aware I was, the easiest it would be to be grateful and learn with difficult times.

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I realized I had received an opportunity to restart. That resignation compensated me with enough financial income for one year. I finally had more time to spend with my baby girls. I even managed to donate breast milk to 32 newborns for 3 months. 

Then I understood I could finally do what I wanted and decided to take action. I have taken out 10 milestones from my own recovery process, hoping those actions can help those who need to restart. 

Straight-to-the point advice:

1. Engage in Self-care. 

Do not neglect your mental health and look for help. It can be a friend, a colleague, a therapist. Seeking help and verbalizing what you’re thinking will help you re-order your thoughts by neutralizing the negative ones.

2. Gratitude.

Be grateful for 3 things every day. There will be tougher days when apparently there is no reason to be grateful for. Change the focus, be grateful for breathing, seeing, and being alive.

3. Forgiveness.

It’s the hardest part of the whole process. I know how difficult it is to forgive the person who fired you. It can take several years. Start today by forgiving yourself. Self-compassion for your own life will clean up the road to forgiving others.

4. SWOT Yourself

Just like a company makes its own strategic plans, you should make them for your career. A great starting point is the SWOT analysis. Find your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Then choose where to focus:

  1. Leverage strengths by upskilling.
  2. Improve your weaknesses by accepting them and figuring out which should be re-skilled according to your career goals.
  3. Create scenarios and action plans for surfing the opportunities.
  4. Map the threats and use fear and anxiety to build opportunities for growth.

All of those points can be combined to a roadmap in short, mid and long-terms. It’s up to you to decide and DO SOMETHING to take the lead instead of being paralyzed by fear and anxiety.

5. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Be aware that it is a combination of keywords and of course, your experience that is making your profile shine and stand out in the crowd.

Start with the winning triad:

  • HEADLINE: at least 3 of them, your profession, field, or target job title. Never use only “open to opportunities” as a title.
  • ABOUT: combine who you are to what you do, main achievements, and top skills.
  • SKILLS: select 50. Research for the most appealing ones to your field. Add those you have.

Move to your EXPERIENCE and add bullets to core competencies and achievements, but without revealing everything that is in your CV. The idea is to make the recruiter curious and ask for your CV.

Then you turn on the “open to recruiters” button. 

6. Re-shape your CV

A modern and smart CV is not a boring catalog of your working life. It must be well-written, making the reader enjoy the reading and want to call you for more. The key to having it done are keyword optimization (use the site tagcrowd) and measurable results. Yes, a smart CV* has a lot of numbers on it.

Run this checklist:

  1. Use a headline that matches the job post.
  2. Write a compelling summary showing your expertise (hard skills) and your 5 biggest strengths (behavior skills).
  3. List 6-10 of your key competencies and tie them out with measurable results. Anything that can be measured is a great choice. For example, time, money, percentages, headcount, number of tasks, projects, etc. 
  4. Long CVs are not read. Cut it off to 2 pages maximum.
  5. Eliminate the details of your educational background. For example, hiring managers may be more interested in your professional results, other than in your college grades.
  6. Use numbers to show your past results. If you can’t disclose details, try percentages. A good number of results is 2 by work experience and 1 by competence.

The most common appraisal form in HR is by performance. It’s a matter of competencies and deliveries. Remember that and tailor your CV by competence, not tasks!!

*Download my free Smart CV Builder at 

7. Record a Video CV

Write a script similar to an elevator pitch not longer than 5 minutes with the following components:

  1. Who you are.
  2. What your goal is.
  3. Your professional and educational background, mentioning at least 2 results.
  4. Why you are great.

Record the video using daylight. Place yourself in front of a window, it’s the best light you can get! You can host your video for free on 

8. Write a Cover Letter That Sells You

There are several templates if you google for cover letters or you can try Job Hero. I vote for a very simple frame.

  1. Open the letter addressing the name of the recipient.
  2. Explain who you are and why you’re interested in their company.
  3. Mention at least 5 of your hard skills and experiences and tie them out to the value you could add to their company.
  4. Include at least 3 of your behavioral skills and educational background that match the company requirements.
  5. Mention the same words they use as their mission and values. Explain why their company resonates with your personal values. 

The cover letter is a perfect introduction to your CV. Make them work together by complementing each other.

9. Activate Your Network

After your LinkedIn profile, CV and cover letter are done it’s time to activate your network. If you have a dream job, it’s your time to go for it. Remember this:


“In today’s world, the person who gets hired is not necessarily the one who can do that job best; rather, it’s the one who knows the most about how to get hired.” - from What Color Is Your Parachute 2021.

When hiring managers decide to open a position, the first thing they do is to search inside their companies for a match. The second thing is getting referrals. If you stay quiet, your connections will never know you’re job seeking. 

10. Make Job Seeking Your Full-Time Job

Job Seeking is your full-time job until you get a job. This is your new mantra. Use Excel, Trello, or any other project management tool to get your process organized. The most assertive strategies are from those who get very specific in their job search. It’s not the amount of sent job applications that matters, but what further actions you can do to call hiring managers and recruiters’ attention to you.

I really hope you are inspired and start taking action by this framework. It's a tough moment in life, but you're not alone!



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