In the past few weeks, I’ve received several phone calls from professionals facing unexpected layoffs and restructuring. The question on everyone’s mind is, “How do I navigate this career change?”

Here’s my advice: Own the process. Own the outcome.

Career transitions are challenging but present a unique opportunity to redefine your path and elevate your career. It’s not enough to sit back and wait for opportunities to come to you. You need to attack them head-on.

Don’t Just Apply, Participate

The job market is competitive. If you’re merely applying for positions online, you’re essentially crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Good luck with that. Instead, be a participator, not a spectator. Engage actively in your job search. Show up at industry events, join professional groups, and contribute to discussions on platforms like LinkedIn. Your active participation demonstrates your commitment and keeps you on the radar of potential employers.

Leverage Your Connections

Your network is one of your most valuable assets. Reach out to former colleagues, mentors, and industry contacts. Pick up the phone and have real conversations. Inform them about your situation and ask for advice, referrals, or even just a listening ear. Connections often lead to opportunities that aren’t advertised publicly. It’s about who knows you and what you bring to the table.

Get to Work

Now is not the time to be passive. Update your resume, refresh your LinkedIn profile, and start writing recommendations on LinkedIn for people who have influenced your career. Give to get. Research companies you admire and identify how your skills align with their needs. Proactively reach out to hiring managers and decision-makers. Show them why you’re an excellent fit for their team. This proactive approach sets you apart from the countless others waiting for opportunities to appear in their inbox. Google the 800 number of companies you applied to and ask for the job poster by name. The switchboard will connect you, and then you can introduce yourself personally. Game changer.

Make It Happen

At the end of the day, your career is in your hands. It’s up to you to make things happen. Stay positive, stay focused, and keep pushing forward. Good things are on the horizon for those who take control of their journey.

Remember, navigating a career change isn’t just about finding a new job. It’s about seizing the opportunity to grow, to challenge yourself, and to ultimately find a role that not only fits but excites and fulfills you.