by David James
Chapter 2 of my journey to find a new job
|The day after I was laid off from my employer was a time for me to take stock in what was going on. Things I knew; I was unemployed and I needed to find work. Pretty obvous right? When you are freshly out of work and feeling as if you have nowhere to go; it is hard to pick youself up and start again. In fact, this time around, I was pretty depressed and in the mornings after my wife left for work, I would crawl back into bed and sleep, cry, or just stare blankly at the wall. I had no direction and I did not know what I was going to do next.
Why am I sharing this? Basically, to say it is OK to take time to get the emotions of a job loss out of the way. Losing a job is just as stressful on the body as getting a divorce, or breaking up, or losing a loved one. The emotions are very similar and it is OK to take time to recover before you move on. Don't take too much time or you may lead yourself to full blown depression, but do take some time to settle down and prepare yourself for the next move.
After about two days, I started to feel better. I was still depressed but I was able to get out of bed and start to think about my next move. I have been lucky, I have done several things in my career to make me a hot prospect. Unfortunatly, the sames skills that keep me relevant are also one reason I believe I get released from my jobs. I command a higher salary than others. I will cover keeping your skills relevant in a later chapter.
When looking for a new job there are a couple of things that I like to keep in mind. One, when looking for a job your job at that time is finding a job. Two, there are no rules that you need to follow because all that matters is finding that new job.
I do several things when managing my career search. I set up a plan, I set up the people who will help me execute my plan, and I get down to working my plan.
Setting up the plan
What goes into setting up my plan. For the most part I decide how many contacts I will make in a day. The contacts could be headhunters, friends, relatives, former coworkers, and even setting up my profile on the job boards. I generally will try to make a minimum of ten contacts per day and I work down my list. Headhunters are always first as they generally have a financial stake in helping you find work. Many headhunters also have a division that handles tempory employment which is a great way to get back working while you find that next job.
Looking for a job is a pure numbers game. It takes roughly 100 resumes sent out to generate one lead. From those leads it may take from 5 to 10 interviews to get to a second interview. It takes at minimum 3 to 5 second interviews to get to the offer or at least the home stretch. You only need one job.
I go about my plan as if I am running my own company. I set up a workschedule for each day which changes as I move along. Obvously, the first part of running my company is to begin to make the contacts and let them know I am available for work. I talk to as many people as I can because you never know who may come up with a connection at the right time. I once got a job because I told a friend I was looking to do something different and a week later I was working with my friend at a new company. It turned out the company he worked for was just starting to look for someone with my skills so my friend recommended me.
Granted that situation was unique, most often I have found new jobs by working with headhunters. On occasion I have found jobs on my own. One job was acquired when I was working as a temp and the company was so impressed that they hired me. I am hoping the repeat that with my current job search.
If you find that sending out resumes and cover letters are not getting you much traction, I would say at about 50 resumes sent out with a good cover letter, you may want to rethink what you are saying in both the cover letter and the resume. Take some time to rework both and make sure they are in good shape. Something as simple as a missing period can screw up your whole job search. A fresh look at what you are sending helps and may lead to the interview you want. I will talk about a cover letter that had generated a lot of interest from employers in a later chapter. Feel free to adapt it to your needs.
Back to searching, one thing I had mentioned was there are no rules. Despite that, human reasources at companies will try to force you to follow thier rules. I believe the main purpose of HR is to be the gatekeeper. With the no rules rule, work around HR if you can and see if you can get yourself to the hiring manager .
Fortunately, the internet has provided us with a way to work around HR when needed.
Get yourself on Linked in
If you have not done so already, set up a Linked In account. Granted Linked In is based on the social media modle, but it is so much more. This is a place for you to make contacts, and show some of the other things you can do. Make sure that you do everything as professional as possible, especially the photo. A picture of you at a party is not a way to advertise yourself. Linked In also has a variety of groups you can join. The groups can cover your interests and your career asperiations. Be sure to participate in the groups so you may be noticed.
One final thought on Linked In. It is a good idea to present article links or comments of interest to you for the career you want. The more visiablity you have the better the chance a recruiter may notice you. Try to do something different each day to help yourself stand out. I find it is a great warm up before I make phone calls or reach out to people.