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Job Layoff and 5 What To Do Next Tips

Well I have been out of commission for a little while and haven’t posted much lately.  My summer hiatus is over now and back to connecting with you all once again.  Today’s topic is centered around what are the first things you should do after you are laid off from your job.  I am not going to suggest you not panic or going to tell you “maybe it is for the better” or some catch phrase like that.  Instead I am going to share with you the realities of what to do first and why.

Here are five things you should focus your efforts on:

1. Start learning how to conduct an online job search.  I don’t advocate this approach as your only approach to finding a new job BUT it should be the place you start to explore the “low hanging fruit” opportunities.  This is where many (not all) employers go to start their own search for new employees.  This is also where many recruiters go to start looking for potential candidates in tough markets.

Learning how to conduct an online job search is a bit different and for another post.  But start adding this activity to your daily to-do list when the hint of job layoffs are in the air.

2. Get your resume up-to-date.  Don’t wait too long on this one.  Find someone who can help you craft a new resume.  Always keep in mind a new resume needs to have flexibility built into it so you can tailor it to meet the needs of online job postings you find or connections you make in the near future.  Tweaking resume content for EVERY job opportunity is very important…so start thinking that way about your resume.

3. Commit to an amount of time each day you will be job searching.  I personally don’t think you should search eight or 10 hours a day.  That is an easy way to get burned out.  Searching for three to five hours, five to six days a week is plenty.  You will be searching when you meet people in other activities so don’t worry, you will get a lot of time in.

4. Find a new hobby or activity.  After a job layoff it is important to make sure you are accomplishing things along the way.  Volunteering once or twice a week in virtually any capacity will help you stay “connected” to the world in general.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t help you find a job.  Instead think of it as your investment time into other people.  You will benefit from it every time you do it.

5. Start thinking about your financial future.  This is a great time for you and your spouse (if you have one) to start prioritizing your bills and how you are going to try to pay them all.  You might come to realize you need to find a part time job to bring in some income while you are searching.  That is also why I don’t think job searching should be done all day, every day.  You can find time to make some additional money along the way.  Your finances will help dictate how much and for how long.  Having those talks along the way will help keep the “monkey on your back” in check.

There are a lot of thing to consider when your job is eliminated by a layoff.  These top five will help you focus some of your efforts in the right direction.  A new job can be found with consistency…do a little each day and it will pay off for you eventually.  These things to keep in mine will help you stay in the job search game for the long haul if it goes that way.  There is a pretty good chance it will turn into a marathon job search.  You can do it.  You just need to be consistent.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

 

Top 10 Tips On How To Find A Job 2012

Ok…here is my best shot at the most important tips on how to find a job in 2012:

1. Know Thyself – understand what you are looking for in your next job BEFORE you start searching.  You don’t have to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life.  Pick one direction, plan it out and stick with it.

2. Don’t get bogged down by social media stuff – I hear a lot of buzz around should I use Twitter or Facebook to find a job?  What is LinkedIn and how can I find a job with it?  If you don’t understand these tools don’t waste your time on them until you do.  Don’t let them be a distraction to your job search thinking they are the “magic bullet”.  They can help but they are not for everyone.  A successful job search means you connect with hiring managers and they want you.  Social media tools can help these interactions get started but I have also seen people spend so much time trying to make it work for them they miss great opportunities.  Don’t go down this “rabbit hole” if you get easily distracted.

3. Be genuine.  Be yourself – whether you are meeting someone to help you with your job search or a potential employer, don’t oversell yourself and your accomplishments.  You are who you are.  We like you as you are.  Don’t be someone or something you are not.  You have gifts and talents just like everyone else and you deserve what you are looking for.  Focus your efforts on who you are not who you want others to think you are.

4. Be a dream seeker - it is ok to be looking for the dream job or the right situation for your next job.  Dreaming and seeing those dreams become reality is such a wonderful experience, everyone should be striving for it.  I am a big proponent of you trying to find an opportunity that is over your head or out of your comfort zone.  “Stretch jobs” can be one of the most exciting times in your working life.  There are so many companies and so many types of hiring manager.  Look for the ones who believe in your and willing to give you a shot at your dream.  They are out there.  You just need to find one.

5. Your attitude is everything – I can’t tell you how important your attitude is.  Be happy, optimistic and positive no matter what is going on around you.  It will seep into your conversations and make your presentations most fruitful.  A bad attitude will do the same but sour your chances.

6. Don’t be too proud – being too proud is actually a form of fear.  Pride forces you to not let others into your life.  Pride puts up walls that might not be able to be seen by the other person but are felt at a deeper level.  Try “humbleness” on for size and see how it feels.  It is actually very comfortable and opens more doors.

7. Don’t give “canned” ANYTHING – no canned responses, no canned resumes, no canned cover letters, and no canned tuna (jk on the tuna).  If you look or act or sound like everyone else you are going to be perceived to be like everyone else…B-O-R-I-N-G.  Don’t be boring.  Instead be bold in order to stand out in someone’s mind.  Don’t be cocky but be bold and look for ways to make an impression.

8. The details will kill you – if you have never heard the old saying about the “devil in the details” you might want to think about this one.  Spending your time on making sure your resume doesn’t have errors or your “elevator pitch” sounds comfortable or whatever you are doing is done well, is very important.  Employers don’t want people who can churn out calls or data, they want people who take pride in their work (and maybe churn out the calls and data).  Make sure you are taking the necessary time to proof your work.

9. Slow down – if you are always feeling like you are rushing to get that resume to that lady or hurry up and push out that blog post or trying to hurry through coffee with a friend because your “schedule” is waiting, then slow down.  Slowing down allows you to focus on one project at a time and pour your whole self into it.  That means being a little flexible with your schedule and not putting so many deadlines on your time.  Have a plan but give it room to breath and take shape.

10. Have fun – now this one can be taken the wrong way if I am not careful.  I don’t want you to think of your job search as a party, necessarily.  I do want you to be excited about what direction your next job is going to take you in.  Thinking about the excitement for what is next in your working life can really get you pumped up.  Finding a job is no easy task most of the time, you might as well try to find ways to make it fun.  Adding a little fun to the work can make the work not seem so difficult.

I love the 10 tips here and hope you do too.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

What Do You Need?

It is a new year for you and me.  I have been writing this blog for over four years now.  I just realized one very important thing.  I have never asked you what you need.  I have never asked you to let me know what interests you right now, where you are.

So this is not really a post but more of a question to find out what is the one thing you need right now in your job search?  Now maybe your first answer is:  “A job” which is a good one.  I think that one is obvious…hopefully.  Dig just a little deeper and tell me what you need right now in your job or your job search.  If you need help with your search, what specific help do you need?  If you need support in your search, what specific type of support do you need?  What one thing is dragging you down where you can’t figure out what to do next?

Think about it and let me know.  All job seekers are welcome.  You can comment here or send an email to me at:  jeffonjobs at gmail dot com.  I will respond (or not if you prefer) to each message I receive.  I want to hear from you.

Let’s Get Started!

I Don’t Feel Like Job Searching

How many times do you find something else to do other than job search?  Do you tweak your resume one more time or check your email or Facebook account?  This type of p-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-o-n hits everyone at one time or another.  You just don’t feel like doing what you know you should be doing no matter how much it can help you.

Many times I don’t feel like doing things either.  Like now…right now.  I don’t really feel like writing this post.  I just had a small surgical procedure done yesterday and I have sit still to stop any swelling.  My computer is in my lap and I am feeling some pain.  I don’t feel like writing…I don’t feel like doing much of anything.  But I know my obligation is to you all and myself to keep writing posts so you can find a job…a great job. We don’t always feel like doing but it is important to make sure we keep doing what we know we are supposed to do.

I have learned three thing when the  “not feeling like it” seeps in.  If you don’t feel like job searching right now, see if any of these can help you get the pep back in your step:

1. Feelings come and go like the wind.  Because feelings are on the emotional level, they can feel really strong for a period of time.  The key is they are only there for a period of time.  When my mom died a few years ago, the feelings of loss and sadness stayed for many weeks.  Now it has been a few years and those feelings are still there but not quite so strongly.  Even strong feelings from a loss can come and go.

Because feelings come and go that means you can sort of manipulate them.  I don’t mean for your own sneaky needs but you can and should push through those type of feelings by doing.  Going ahead and doing something else can help you get your mind off the feeling and many times they quickly subside.  Those strong feelings go away pretty quickly when you get engrossed in what you are doing.  So do the actions first and the feelings will follow.

2. Feelings should always be a clue to you that something is going on.  When you are choosing to do that which you don’t want to do, then many times there is an underlying issue you have not dealt with.  Dealing with an “issue” when you spot it can be the most important thing you can do.  Issues have a way of cropping up in your life when you least want them AND they continue to pop their ugly heads up again and again until you deal with them.

For example, I hated public speaking about 14 years ago.  I hated, hated and hated it so bad I would hide when I had to do it.  I hated it in high school.  I hated it in college.  I hated it in my first job outside of college.  It was weird because it would pop up again and again in my life.  I knew I had to get a handle on myself or I would never deal with it and it would rule my life.  Eventually I stated doing small presentations to get myself comfortable with it.  Now, after all these year, I can honestly say I love public speaking.  It is a far cry from the guy who for years could not do it.  If I didn’t deal with that fear it would never have let me live in peace.

3. You feelings should be respected.  If you have a funny or bad feeling about a person or situation, you should trust that feeling.  Some people call it “instinct”.  I think of it more like a gut feeling that is created by your experience.  Respect that feeling and make sure you understand what you might be getting yourself into.

Now if you are just scared to do a certain job search technique, I don’t think you should respect it.  But if you are in a situation you know something is not right then you need to make the tough decision to get out.

Feelings can be both good and others can be destructive.  Learning to recognize them more clearly will really help you in your life on many different levels.  During a job search you will have a number of different feeling come and go from loss to frustration to even depression.  Recognizing what is going on in your head will help you uncover who you are and where you fit into this world.

Let’s Get Started!

Short Job Search Poem

One of my obsessive compulsive activities I do consciously and unconsciously is to rhyme or riddle.  It is something I have done for as long as I can remember.  This can be viewed as both a negative or a positive.  Maybe I should have been a rapper because I can insert most any word into what I am saying or find something that rhymes with it.  My kids think I am a bit strange but fun.

So here is a little diddle about job searching:

Every day is a struggle
Getting out of my bubble
I roll over once again
Ignoring the need-to-do.
I do like to do and do and do
I feel like I accomplished
Not a big thing today
But I did accomplish.
 
I look back on my week
And wonder where the time has gone
I should have done X
I REALLY wanted to do Y
Instead I accomplished
What I got done.
I will do better next week
When I am fresh again.
 
No one knows
Just me, myself and I.
Maybe others know
But do they care?
Do they care about what I hide
Or do they keep passing by
Without a nod or wink.
Why should they help me think?
Why should they volunteer?
I am hidden, in my own world
Far away because I like it that way.
Maybe I should not…or maybe I should just try and speak.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Expose Yourself

A job search is very competitive isn’t it?  You apply for a position you are clearly qualified for and they hire someone else who is probably more overqualified.  You send your resume to a posting and later hear they had over 250 resumes sent.  Now that is competition…1 out of 250.  That’s tough.

So how do you get noticed?  I think you should EXPOSE yourself.  Now I don’t mean buy a long trench coat, remove your skibbies (like the guy here) and go to a company you want to work for with a funny grin on your face.  What I mean by exposing yourself is to do something most job seekers won’t do.  If you can confront and overcome your anxiety to connecting with the right people at the right time, you will find what you are looking for.

Confronting and overcoming anxiety is the challenge.  If you can put yourself in situations where you have to ask for help or “sell yourself” this is what I mean by exposing yourself.  Exposing yourself to probable failure and embarrassment is what is at stake.  Failure and embarrassment are what keep most people in line.  It is what keeps them from doing and being great.  Our own insecurities keep us back from really reaching deep within ourselves to pull out what makes us tick.

One way to overcome this fear and anxiety of failure and embarrassment is to go out and do something that will embarrass yourself.  Do it intentionally and see what it feels like.  Maybe it won’t really feel as bad as you think it was going to.  Maybe you might even get a rush from it.  Doing the things that make us feel nervous, anxious or embarrassed might be the one way to get it out of our systems in a healthy way.

Go do something embarrassing today and then go find a new way to job search.  It will make all the difference in the world.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Career Planning 1, 2, 3

Career planning comes in many forms and fashions.  Let’s first discuss what makes a great career.  A great career provides you with the right mix of pieces that make your working life perfect for you.  Not perfect for your mother or your spouse or your situation, but perfect for Y-O-U.  You are what matters here pretty much not anyone else.  You are going to be spending over one-quarter to one-third of your life (120,000 hours) doing “it” (your job/career) so you better make sure “it” is centered on what you want out of your life and not someone else.

I have been hearing a great song lately that I think you should read one of the main lines.  It states:  “…don’t close your eyes.  This is your life.  Are you who you want to be?”  It is by a group named Switchfoot and it really hits home to remind you that yesterday is over and you are determining your own path.  You should not close your eyes and just let life happen to you.

I am not suggesting you should go ahead and quit a job or make a drastic change if you are not in the right situation now.  I am suggesting if you are not in the right situation for Y-O-U then you need to start planning your steps to change your career and start experiencing the life you dreamed of.  Here are three easy steps to help you get started with planning your career no matter where you are at with it:

Step 1:  Pick one career path you want to explore and go explore it.  You can only do one thing at a time anyways so just pick one path and start learning if it is right for you.  So maybe you have three or four or even ten areas you want to explore.  So what?  You better get started now otherwise you will never do it.  One at a time now…

Step 2:  Learn and experience everything you can about that new direction.  This is the easy part because you can find people who are doing what you want to do, visit them, ask good questions and learn from what they did right and what they did wrong.  Take classes, visit businesses or places where you can see this job being done.  This is where you research if this is the right choice for you.  Take as much time as you need.

Step 3:  Once you find a new career path, find a way to transfer your current skill set to this new path.  Most of the time there is a way to do it but you might have to take a pay cut or move down a rung or two on the ladder.  That is ok.  This is normal and most of the time a temporary situation.  Take on a second job or sell some stuff on Craigslist part-time.  Find a way to make it work.

These three easy steps will help you determine if a particular job path is right for you.  This is career planning 101 and should not require too much thought.  Your fears and current living situation might try to get in the way and create a roadblock to your success.  That is normal too.  Roll with each of the roadblocks that come up and smash through them.  In career planning, I think of roadblocks as things put in the way to determine if you are serious about your decisions.  Everything has a good and a bad component.  The roadblocks will help you decide if you are willing to handle the tough part of this new career.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

What Career Should I Do?

This is a great question for both young and old.  My guess is if this is a question that is swirling around in your head, you are probably early on in your job search.  You are contemplating where you should go with your working life.  It can be both exciting and a not-so-exciting time depending on how you look at it.

So if you are in the beginning of your career and trying to figure out what direction to go in, my first words of advice are:  “DON’T GO INTO DEBT”.  This is not a financial blog…I know.  It is a blog for job search and how to build a career that you can enjoy and pay you dividends throughout your life.  The reason I start with the debt-free-phrase is because if you get too far in the hole (too much debt) your career decisions will be pushed aside so you can make enough money to “live on” or to “make ends meet”.

Debt can really alter how you answer the question:  “What Career Should I Do?” because it reduces your choices down to instead:  “I have to make X amount of money to pay for my __________________ (fill in the blank with car, school, house, rent, lifestyle, etc.).  Se how it works?  Your debt will start making decisions for you instead of you making them yourself.  It is like the guy (or gal) at the bank (where you loaned your money) is telling you what career you should do.  Yikes…don’t let them do that to you, ever!

So instead when you are starting out your working life Or if you have gotten yourself into a pickle as you have gotten older), spend a few years at home or sharing an apartment with others or whatever you can do to pay off all your debts first.  Once you do then the noose around your neck that tells you what direction to go in will be gone.  You will be free to roam out there in the world and explore career options to your heart’s content.

It is really a great feeling and truly one of the most important things you can do to help you decide what career should to do.  Once you are free from any financial pressure, you can start to explore your options by starting low in a company to see if it is right for you.  Try to start a small business and make a difference in people’s lives.  You can travel the globe and explore what is beyond.  You can stop and smell the roses a lot more than the average worker.  You decide and not anyone else.

If you don’t know what career you should do, then unpack why you are unsure.  If it is because of the pressure you have created, then get rid of it.  Finding the best career for you to do is a life long exploration.  Explore without anything tying you down.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

The Perfect Resume – Five Tips on How to Write One.

A perfect resume is not written about you.  A perfect resume is meant to find you a job right?  If it is perfect then it will help you find a job fast.  The reason I say a perfect resume is not about you is because a resume done the right way, connects with the reader in a way that the reader says:  “Hey, I need to give this lady a call and see if she is a good fit for the opening I have.”  That is what a perfect resume is supposed to do.

So here are five tips on how to write a perfect resume every time:

1. No more than two pages.  If you have too many jobs or too much text about each one, shorten it.  I personally think a resume that is one and a half to one and three-quarters of a page is the perfect length.  Less than 1.5 is too short and 2.0 means you tried to squeeze in as much as you can.  Shoot for 1.75 pages for your resume.  It will be perfect.

2. You better not create and send the same “general resume” to all job postings you find.  This is a very easy way to get sent into file 13 (the trash) pretty quickly.  You must, must and MUST tailor EVERY RESUME to the job posting you are applying to.  Otherwise stop wasting yours and the hiring manager’s time.   General resumes don’t get read.  Your perfect resume must be focused on the job title you are applying for.

3. If you don’t meet 75% of the requirements of an online job posting, don’t even send a resume.  A perfect resume gets read every time.  If you don’t qualify with real world experience and FACTS to back it up then don’t even bother sending your resume.  It is not perfect because the hiring manager will get 50 to 500+ resumes and some of them will be perfect and push your wimpy resume off “the desk of follow-up.”

4. A perfect resume tells your story in a way that is interesting.   Anyone can list things like:  “I typed letters and documents” or “I cold called prospects to locate appointment opportunities”.  Those are boring and don’t tell your story.  There are facts to everyone’s job (well most everyone) so dig deep and state the facts, man.  Facts such as:  “Type 67 words per minute” or “juggled three attorney’s letter styles and completed most projects two hours ahead of time” or “averaged 22 cold calls per hour and uncovered 4 sales of over $1000 every day.” Those facts start to tell the kind of person you are and could be if they decide to hire you.  Facts = sizzle.

5. Stop being a wimp on your resume.  You are a fantastic employee and you deserve every job you are applying for (well most of you).  Show that strong attitude on your resume and then back it up when you get the face to face interview.  Your resume details should have some weight and power behind them.  Don’t write like you are back in high school (unless you are).  Don’t tell me you are not a good writer.  Who cares.  You better start practicing otherwise the good writers will get all the jobs.  Excuses are for wimps.  Stop making them especially with your writing skills.

A perfect resume starts with you feeling confident in yourself and finding ways to demonstrate that on paper.  List all your job functions and accomplishments at each company.  List them.  Read them again.  If they are not exciting to you, then find some new ones.  Don’t leave your desk until you have two or three for each job you have had.  They are there.  Go find them.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Take A Survey

Don’t take my word on some of these things.  Go find out for yourself if this information is correct.  Taking a survey of your friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers, and people you run into is a great way to learn more about what has worked for them and how you can apply it to yourself.

Job opportunities for most people are not easy to find.  Job searching is not an easy activity to do.  It requires a little bit of sales, marketing, guts, and determination to accomplish successfully in the time you want it.  Instead of giving you a laundry list of things you should or should not do to find opportunities, you are empowered to ask others how they did it.

The following list of questions will help you uncover some of the keys to finding the right job for you.

1. Ask those who you know enjoy the work they do how they found what they love to do? 

The answer to this question will help you think about how you are going about finding the career path that is right for you.  Don’t go asking people who hate their jobs or those who are just ok about what they do.  That’s stupid.  Find people who love what they do and ask them how they found it or figured it out.

2. Ask people who you run into how they found their current (and maybe even their previous job) job.  Ask them to tell you the whole story from
start to finish. 

The answers you receive to this question will surprise you.  Expect to hear that most people who found their last one or two jobs found them by either casual relationships or from people who know them.  Securing a job is easiest when you have someone on the inside advocating for you.  This “foot in the door” assistance will help you in ways you could never have imagined.

3. Take this test…select a famous person who you would like to meet.  Contact all of your friends, family members, acquaintances, co-workers and everyone in between and ask them these two questions:

Do you know _______________ (famous person)?  If they say yes, you are done.  If they say no, then go on to the next question.

Do you know someone who might know how to get in touch with ______________(famous person)?

These two questions are critical to understanding how interconnected we really are and how to best build your network.

Those main three question groups will greatly enhance your ability to learn from the inside about successful career information most job seekers will never learn about.  Answers to these questions will not only change your career direction but also change you personally from the inside out.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff