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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

 

Don’t Blame The Resume

So many times I hear job seekers say something like:  “If I only had a great resume, then…”  The … can be any number of things from “I would get the job”, “I would get noticed”, or “they would give me a call back”.  None of those statements are actually true.  Resumes don’t think, feel, talk or produce anything.  Resumes are just pieces of paper (wood or electronic) that many job seekers use as a crutch.  NEWS FLASH:  Resumes Don’t Get You A Job!

Blaming your resume is just an excuse to not finding a job.  You don’t need an excuse anymore.  What you need is a swift kick in the butt.  So what is a resume good for anyways?  Here are the top three things a resume can do for you:

1. Provide background information on your experience level AFTER you make initial contact.  This is one of the biggest things job seekers ignore.  A resume should be used after you speak with someone, after the initial call/discussion.  The reason it is used after is so it can support your conversation and support the goal you are trying to accomplish with that person.  If you are talking to a hiring manager about a particular job opportunity, you can tailor the resume for the requirements of the job.  This type of resume showcases your depth of experience in a particular area.  If you spoke with someone who is going to pass your resume along to a hiring manager at their company, you would need a more general resume to demonstrate your breath (wide/general) of experience.  The main reason is you don’t know what the hiring manager is looking for.

2. Resumes are good if there is no other way to introduce yourself.  Some online postings only allow you to submit a resume and there is no contact information.  This is a time to submit your resume that is very specific demonstrating your depth of experience based on (relevant to) the job description.  Never send a general resume to these postings otherwise you are wasting your time.  You might be wasting your time anyways because you should be out looking in-person or meeting people (networking) first.  Sending a general resume (the kind you always send) doesn’t get you noticed.  You need to demonstrate a reason for the person on the other end to contact you to talk.

3. Resumes are good for hiding behind if you are scared to get out and meet people.  Don’t ever use this excuse anymore.  I have called you out so you can stop hiding.  Go out and meet people doing things you like to do or want to learn.  Learn how to introduce yourself and ask good questions of other people.  Learn about what they have done to find a new job or their current one.  Ask what they like and hate about it.  Help them out if they need it.  Genuinely invest in other people and they will invest in you.

A resume is your experience packaged in a one or two page overview.  It is not what you are good at, what defines you or how you think and feel.  Resumes can only lay there and look pretty…you need more guts than that.

Stop blaming your resume on why you are not finding a job.  Go hunt for jobs with a big gun…your mouth.

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!

End of Year Job Search

ANYTIME is a good time to job search especially at the end of the year…ESPECIALLY around holidays….parties….get togethers…presents…volunteering…etc.

Of course things do slow down during the holidays including hiring.  That doesn’t mean there is no one hiring it just means the entire machine slows down.  That can mean good or even bad.  Let’s unwrap both.

The Good:

1. A slow down means both job seekers slow down and hiring slows down.  That also means there might be less competition for those open slots you find online.  If you are using online sources, this should be music to your ears.

2. Hiring managers are less bombarded by calls and emails about potential job openings.  That means you can probably get through for requesting an informational interview or to inquire about opportunities they might have opening in January.  Make the calls today.

3. January and February are very strong hiring months and this is the perfect time to get your name out there.  Contacting employers to get into their “tickler file” is an excellent idea.  The tickler file is one they use to save resumes and contacts for a future hiring need.

4. Parties, get-togethers and volunteering activities increase during this time of year.  It is a perfect time to get out into the community and with friends to explore if they know anyone in the field you are looking into.  Remember that ANYONE is a potential lead to finding a new job even people who are not in the industry you are looking at.  Anyone and everyone is a “target” for your conversation.  So go hit if off with people and see what you can help them with and what they can help you with.

The Bad:

1. Slow down…this is the only negative I can think of.  There is a slow down in the volume but always remember hiring managers are ALWAYS in search for good people.  That is one of their primary jobs so even though there is a slow down, it doesn’t mean you are out of the race.  Go find a race that is alive and well.

Getting hired means finding an edge in your job search activities.  This is the edge you might be looking for.  An end-of-year job search is perfect timing.

Let’s Get Started!

5 More Job Search Myths

Myth 1:  Job search is difficult.  Ok bear with me for a second on this one.  Yes job searching is difficult I agree but I do think you might make it that way because of your fears.  Having a plan on who you are, what you are excited about doing (work you would love to do) where you are going in your career and who can best help you is the tough part.  But once you have that info figured out and straight in your head, you should be excited to get out and job search.  It should be exciting and easy because you know where you want to go.  So if you think the job search is difficult, you may want to spend some more time trying to figure out what excites you and then go search it out.  It might surprise you how fast you find something when you are excited about it.

Myth 2:  Your job search will take a long time.  Many people think their job search will take a long time because they are not sure what the future holds.  Actually, a job search can be something that doesn’t take long at all.  If you are let go from your current job, don’t take time off to find yourself or go on a mini vacation.  Get right in your chair and start looking immediately.  Any delay can derail your long term efforts.  Make your new passion finding your new job and then go on your mini vacation as a celebration once you have a starting date.  Plan to work six to eight hours a day for four full days a week.  Take one day off for other things and to keep yourself motivated but keep up a very healthy pace.

Myth 3:  Just finding a job with a paycheck or health insurance is a good stop gap.  I think this is a mistake.  I think you have to be careful you don’t get stuck in something you hate doing because at the end of the day you are affecting your future and your overall health when you are doing something that is unsatisfying.  If you truly are working hard and smart to find a new job in a great field, settling is taking your backup plan.  I am ok with backup plans but be very careful with this one.

Myth 4:  You think if you can just get into the interview you will get the job.  This is a tough one because the job market is so competitive right now.  Just getting the interview is not going to cut it like it used to.  Yes you might be better in face-to-face situations but you are still going to have to show value to the hiring manager on why they should hire you over someone else.  Long gone are the days when you can charm your way in.  It takes a lot more effort, planning and “selling” than every before.  Be prepared especially in the interviews.

Myth 5:  Since the economy is tough, I may have to take a pay cut.  This is a fearful cop-out.  You can find the same pay you were making and probably even more if you take a more planned approach to your job search.  It might require you to finish some course work or do a great job selling what you bring to a company but you can make more money in a new job EVEN if you were let go.  Pay is about perception and economics.  If they think you are the right person for the job and you have demonstrated they need you, your income can rise.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

How To Change Career – 7 Steps

Changing your career is no easy feat especially if you have been doing the same thing for more than three or four years.  Now there are varying degrees of “change” we can discuss.  Which bucket do you fall into?

A. Want to change to a new company doing about the same thing.

B. Want to switch industries but still do the same type of job function.

C. Want to go in a different direction but you can use your current experience to bridge the new career goal.

D. Want to go in a completely new direction where virtually none of your experience will transfer to the new career.

Each of the above buckets present their individual challenges which increase in degree as you go down the list.  A and B can be done more quickly than C and D and without much change in income or situation.  When you can demonstrate what you can do for a new employer based on your past experience, then your transition is not as difficult.

For C and D the challenge is much more complicated.  More complicated in the sense as it might require more time and effort.  The time might be obtaining a new degree or perfecting your “art”.  More effort means you might be only able to find more entry-level positions until you can prove yourself.  I do think you should go after a career change no matter how difficult it might be.

Here are 7 Steps on How To Change Careers:

1. Determine which bucket you fall into from the above list.  This will help you determine what is the best course of action to take first.  If you are in the A group then looking for similar companies to what you are currently doing is most logical.  If you are in the D group then you might start looking for a more entry-level position to test our your new direction.

2. You may want to start out slow and learn about the new career before making a full commitment to it.  This is “moonlighting” in which you do your new career on a part-time basis to see if it is a good fit for you.  In addition, this will allow you to start making new connections and network in this new industry.  Networking can be very important to your longevity.

3. Sketch out a plan.  You can be as detailed or as simple as you want.  Some people need a very detailed plan and then will follow it very closely.  Others only need a sketch of one that they can look at periodically to keep them on the right track.  Everyone needs a plan so don’t skip this step.  Post the plan in a new place every week so you can keep yourself on track.

4. Start asking others about what they would do if they were in your shoes.  This is a great way to start opening up discussions with your friends, family, neighbors, etc on two areas:  how they see you and if they might know someone you can talk to.  Knowing someone who does what you are interested in can really open up your networking activities.

5. Schedule information interviews/coffee with people you don’t know.  This is the essence of networking.  I hate the word “interview” but it is the best way to describe the activity.  You want to ask questions of someone doing what career you want to change to.  You need their help and asking questions is the best way to uncover the who, what, when, where and hows to going about changing careers.

6. At the beginning of every week plan for the week ahead.  Select three goals for the week and center your free time around those goals.  If you plan ahead for the week, you will see progress.  You will see results.  You will figure out how to change your career much quicker than others.  Keeping yourself focused on the goal you have might be your biggest challenge.

7. Don’t be scared of the change.  Fear has a way of creeping into our heads anytime we are heading off to make a change.  Change requires sacrifice and dedication.  If you struggle with fear find help.  A club, friends, family, counselor, etc are all good places to help you express your fears and get them out in the open so you can fight them head on.  Keeping fear inside is how fear wins.  Don’t let fear win in your life.

Go change your career today.  Don’t wait.  Don’t put it off.  Even if you don’t feel like it, who care.  Act first and your feelings will come along for the ride later.

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

A Career Change – Is It Time?

Today I want to spend a few minutes with you on when to make the decision you need a carer change.  What does that really mean is probably where we should start.  A career change is not a simple decision because there are many factors to consider.  Blah…blah…blah… so what?  If you are ready for a career change then go make it happen today.  (I like to shock you every once in a while)

The reason people sit on their tails and NOT start making the change is because they are scared.  Scared of how they are going to pay their bills.  Scared about the routine they have with their current job.  They are also scared of the unknown.  Stop being scared of what you don’t know.  Go for it.  Go make a change.

If you are thinking about a career change then you should probably do it.  Now I am not saying quit your job today…well maybe I am.  What I am saying is when your current job is not taking you where you want to go then you should think about what is next for you.  There are literally thousands of jobs out there.  The best time to start looking is while you are employed.

Here are five things you might be telling yourself which should give you a clue you need to make a change:

1. I wish I was doing something else like ______________________ (fill in blank).

2. I don’t think there is anywhere for me to go in this company.

3. I always seem to get in this same situation.

4. I am better than this.

5. I wish I would have taken that job (back then).

Now a career change might mean within the same company or asking for more responsibility.  It doesn’t always have to be in a new place.  Change is part of everyday life.  When we try to hide or ignore the need to change, we can build up resentment towards ourselves and other people.

The best way to make a 180 degree career change is to start doing something on the side and see where it leads you.  Many times if you volunteer, do part-time work or start a small business, you will encounter people and situations where you might see yourself long-term.

Try something new today.  A career change will do you good.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff