Job hunting after a layoff, part 3: The hunt begins

alone can save you a fortune in commuting costs. Most people don't look for local jobs. They assume the good jobs are in the big cities, even if there are streets full of businesses two blocks away.

Income is another highly deceptive concept. Which is better, a job that pays ,000 and costs ,000 just to go to and park and eat, or two part-timer jobs that cost nothing and make ,000 between them, with a couple of days off a week? Answer, you're ,000 better off with the part-timers.

Despite the New Economy and the new ways of earning a living, many people remain stuck in the 'job' concept, where everyone is part of a rigid machine. That machine no longer exists, and what's left doesn't work too well, so the advice is remodel the lifestyle to the work style, and vice versa.

Skill sets, and other industries

It's a very basic mistake to stick to searching for the same job after a layoff. The jobs aren't there any more. If you've been laid off, you also know the condition of your industry better than most people. You'll need to look outside the comfort zone, and that doesn't make things much easier.

Ironically, being laid off, your credibility as a potential employee is actually pretty good. You didn't leave the job, it left you. You have a good record, and you're looking for work for a good reason.

To get the odds even more in your favor, you need to search for jobs in forms where your current skills and experience can be used effectively. Search for combinations of your best skill sets.

Important: It's usually a much better approach to search based on your skills than on basic job titles. If you're searching qualifications, certificates, or other good identifiers, you can utilize your strongest skill sets.

Search criteria

Now, let's put these pieces together.

The search criteria you need are:

Location: Always somewhere you can reach easily and at an acceptable cost.

Income: Always in the bandwidth or above.

Skills: Strong match with your best skills (if you search your qualifications in combinations, you'll usually find good matches).

Times: The work hours should be rational and doable. Always remember shifts can be moved around on you.

Other considerations: Security, good areas, fits with school runs, day care, etc, all equate to potential hazards. You have to think about these things.

Get your job search right, and being laid off could be a blessing.