Everything happens as it should.
When life serves up a difficult experience, we can forget it is bound to end sometime.
Getting out of the thick of difficulty doesn’t just happen. It takes determination, commitment and a lot of effort to make it to the other side. And all that hard work usually happens simultaneously with feelings of self-doubt, insecurity and defeat. That’s when your dearest friends come into play.
And sometimes those dearest friends are people you wouldn’t expect.
Losing a job can be a major shock to the system, and I am grateful I spent only seven weeks in that nebulous, income-less limbo.
Three weeks ago I started a new gig – an amazing opportunity with tremendous growth potential and exciting challenges.
The job brings with it a generous raise, an extra week of vacation and a talented and kind group of colleagues. They are experts in an exciting industry that perfectly gels with my personal priorities.
And none of this would have been possible if I hadn’t lost my job.
Like I said. Everything happens as it should.
So, some of you might wonder – how exactly did I land a gig seven weeks after a layoff? The act of finding a job became my full-time gig. Here’s my short list of suggestions to find your next opportunity.
1. Every day, schedule a meeting with a business connection or personal contact. Initially a reason for me to get out of bed and talk business, my daily meetings ensured my personal network was actively helping me – connecting me to job leads, mentioning me to third-party contacts, and otherwise remembering me as an available and eager job candidate. Every weekday of my unemployment I had a phone call, coffee meeting, lunch or happy hour scheduled to suss out hot job leads and glean suggestions from others who had been in my shoes once before.
2. Seek out recruiters – they are incredibly helpful. I worked with two different recruiters, both of whom turned up solid leads that led to interviews, including the position I eventually accepted. Recruiters are good at determining what kind of person you are and which kind of job would best suit your skills and natural talents. I am very grateful for Shari at Professional Staffing Solutions for leading me to my new gig. She was engaging, optimistic and very encouraging – just what you need when you’re trying to put your best foot forward amidst worries about paying rent and buying groceries.
3. There is some truth to the whole fake it ’til you make it philosophy. I didn’t feel awesome, but I tried my best to look like it. Whether I was sitting in Coffee Emporium or on the terrace at Via Vite, I did my best to look like I had it pulled together. You never know who you’ll run into – a potential employer or influential business contact – and I wanted to make sure at least my outward appearance would sell my employ-ability.
4. Accept every job interview. Even when I was unsure of my interest in an opportunity, I knew the experience would be good practice and help me determine what I wanted out of my next position. The interaction with a potential hire helps you craft your elevator pitch – in 30-second, two minute, five minute and 20 minute bites. What skills do you have? What are some of your greatest experiences? What challenges have you overcome? What gets you excited? Each meeting helps you develop your professional narrative.
No matter your plan of action, stick with it and stay positive. Your outlook on the opportunities ahead far outweighs the frustration or despair you feel while coping with unemployment.
And it will all work out. Promise.