James Hu


James Hu

That is an unprecedented time. I gained’t go into particulars about the virus, social distancing, or bathroom paper insanity, however about how this financial affect might have an effect on our employment and earnings.

Some economists are noting we’re heading right into a deep recession, if we aren’t already. To not be pessimistic — I’m usually an excessively optimistic man — however I assume it’s clever to be ready with out being anxious. I name it “optimistically pessimistic.”

Even should you’re in tech you should still not be immune. If the general financial system continues to gradual, the demand on your firm’s services and products will even gradual. It is vitally probably your administration already had conferences getting ready for finances cuts. Simply right here in Seattle, startup Leafly already laid off 91 workers, Expedia 3,000 workers, and coworking house Riveter 24 workers. 

Whether or not or not we’re getting into one other extended downturn, I’d wish to share my expertise and learnings from the 2008 recession.

I was laid off on January 22nd, 2009 from Microsoft, the proudest job I’d ever had as much as that time. I had additionally simply purchased a home a 12 months prior. I was left excessive and dry with a $2,500/mo mortgage at age 24. 

I by no means instructed my household I was laid off as a result of I was embarrassed. I pretended to “go to work” every single day, as an alternative driving 30 minutes to the outplacement service to work on my resume and job search. Some days I simply wished to remain house. However I instructed myself “I should hold a routine” as a result of I knew falling behind might find yourself in a downhill spiral. 

I by no means thought this might occur. Microsoft, certainly one of most secure and most profitable large techs in the world, by no means had a layoff that measurement earlier than. Why me??

After a great deal of interviews and 17 rejections, I landed a contractor gig again at Microsoft Bing with a 30% pay reduce doing information assortment and cleansing. My work life was inside the grids of Excel. However I had a blast. I was engaged on a consumer-facing product I actually loved. I even labored extra time with out requesting extra time pay. 

I want that nobody has to undergo what I went by means of. Sarcastically, now my job is to assist others get jobs. Right here’s what I’d counsel doing instantly:

1) Discover out your efficiency at work

Schedule a gathering together with your supervisor and ask. “How am I doing?”, even should you don’t need to hear it. Higher to be ready than caught off guard. In case you’re doing nicely, work even tougher. If the reply isn’t one thing alongside the strains of “You’re doing nice,” work tougher but in addition begin updating your resume.

2) Assessment your profession achievements

Considered one of my challenges of updating my resume was remembering what I did. I want I had recorded all my achievements. Do you keep in mind…

  • What had been the prime 1-2 achievements at your current Three jobs?
  • What had been the metrics? Income earned, {dollars} saved, efficiencies gained?
  • Do you will have the tales of these achievements mapped out?

It’s simpler to gather this info when you’re nonetheless employed.

3) Optimize your resume

Browse for jobs you discover intriguing and evaluate your resume towards them. Tailor your resume for every job to see the place the gaps are.

In fact, you’re welcome to make use of Jobscan (I wager you didn’t see this coming). However you’re welcome to search for different instruments. In case you discover one thing else higher, I’d wish to know.

4) Replace your LinkedIn profile

As soon as your resume is up to date, transfer on to your LinkedIn profile. Over 90% recruiters use LinkedIn. In case you’re a premium consumer, you should utilize Jobscan’s LinkedIn Optimization device to see how nicely your LinkedIn profile scores for jobs you want.

5) Begin reaching out to your mates and acquaintances

Attain out to these mates you haven’t talked to for some time. Verify in on them to see in the event that they’re doing OK. Catch up over a name. Supply them your bathroom paper or hand sanitizer. You by no means know while you would possibly want them.

6) Tighten your belt


When I bought laid off I began a finances spreadsheet and recorded each expense I made. I set a finances for every class corresponding to “meals, leisure, studying, and so on.” and made positive I might nonetheless save 15-20% of my earnings per 30 days. You need to hang around with me? Come have tea at my place.

Hire out a part of your residence/home:

I rented out my basement, which helped cowl half of my mortgage. Studying discover the proper tenant can also be a ability. The wanting it’s: set a brilliant excessive bar.

Assessment your payments:

I reviewed all my payments and in the reduction of on EVERYTHING. I diminished my rubbish can sizes from a 32 gallon to a micro-can of 12 gallon. I diminished my broadband pace, lowered my cellular phone plan, and even put a concrete block in my bathroom tank to avoid wasting flushing water.

7) It’s an excellent time to alter profession monitor

In case you’ve been eager to do one thing new, consolation has probably been your greatest enemy. Welcome to discomfort. That is the greatest time to start out studying these new abilities. I taught myself code and constructed Jobscan’s first model. You may too. A lot could be realized free of charge. It’s a matter of motivation and the way resourceful you might be.

8) Turn out to be a digital employee? Now could also be an excellent time

I’ve met many digital employees throughout my travels. The truth is, there’s a digital lawyer sitting subsequent to me proper now. Different varieties embrace software program engineers, designers, content material writers, analysts, digital entrepreneurs, health coaches, profession coaches, courting coaches, and way more. The truth is, greater than you assume. See on-line job websites like www.upwork.com for inspiration. Jobscan additionally hires from this web page.

Additionally take a look at Craigslist’s gig or jobs sections. We discovered our first rent on Craigslist additionally. 

Having been laid off from Microsoft was the neatest thing that has ever occurred to me. That have catapulted me into chaos of soul-searching and diving into the ocean of fears. The years following the layoff accelerated my learnings by 10x.

With out the layoff, there can be no Jobscan.

In different phrases, don’t have any worry. Maybe the greatest is but to return. Embrace no matter is coming your approach with agility and open arms, as a result of it would come. This may occasionally simply be the neatest thing that ever occurred to you, prefer it did for me.

Take care. Keep protected. Keep house should you can.

James Hu

CEO of Jobscan


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