So you’re looking for a job. One of the problems when this happens is that it often is not by your choice. Suddenly, you have the pressure of bills to pay and mouths to feed and little idea of how you’ll do this for long without a J.O.B.
So you scramble. You scour job boards like your grandmother cleaned bathtubs with Comet. You talk to friends, family, former colleagues, your dry cleaner, the dentist, the checkout lady at the grocery store. Hell, you’ll network with anyone for a J.O.B.
You use social, if you know how. You check newspapers. Yes, they still exist. Craigslist? Sure. After all, you need a J.O.B.
Finally, you land a couple interviews. Sure, you’re not familiar with the companies, but never fear. Your good friend Google will save the day. You interview and they put on the hard sell. The only problems are:
- The salary isn’t quite what you wanted
- The job duties are only marginally close to what you aspire to
- Benefits? I’m sure they have some, right?
So what is missing? Well, preparation. Since you are not putting yourself in the driver seat, you’re missing a lot. In this day and age, you need to be prepared for the layoff scenario. What can you do?
- Start saving. By having a savings you can fall back on while you’re looking, you give yourself the precious gift of time. Time to find a company culture where you truly fit.
- Consider contract or temp work. Many people don’t want to try this option because they think it is beneath them or they think they won’t have time to continue looking for work. Not true. It looks better to a potential employer that you’re getting right back on the horse you fell off of. It will give you some additional cash while looking, keep your skills current, and show initiative.
Don’t set yourself up to have to take the first position offered just to have a check. Try to stack the deck in your favor. You’ll find that when you finally land, you’ll be much happier and satisfied in your decision about your new employer.
Are you happy with your career? Are you working or have you been laid off?
I’m hearing from more and more people who are examining their career future. I’ve heard from those that wonder if they should stay in their current position or current company. I hear from those who have been part of a recent layoff and are now deciding whether to stick with their career choice or try something new. I also hear from people who were ready to retire but are rethinking that decision and wondering how to proceed. And of course, the recent college graduates who are finding it difficult to find work in the major they chose. They too are examining career options for the future.
What is the right approach to identify the next step in your career path? The best way to see where you’re going is to look back where you’ve been. I know I personally run at 100 m.p.h. most of the time and it is rare that I slow down and appreciate where I’ve been and how far I’ve come.
Think back to when you first chose your career. How did you decide what you wanted to do with your life? Many people chose something they could be passionate about. Even though it’s just a job, a means to an end, it’s was much more meaningful if you chose a career you were excited about. As you look to the future, you should examine the steps you walked and what you learned so that you can use that knowledge to guide you to a new career.
- Roles- What were the first roles you had in your career? Whether you were an intern, an apprentice, a generalist, a support staff, etc. the lessons learned during the early days of your career were very valuable. It taught you how to interact with others. It taught you about managing up. About learning what the expectations were and how to exceed them. It taught you about getting along with colleagues and how to fit in to the culture. You were most likely a “do’er” during this time. Absorbing everything new like a sponge. As you explore career options, try to capture the enthusiasm of your youth when learning about the new career. Be willing to be a “do’er” again. Ask as many questions as you can.
- Key influencers- Who were the people you looked up to when you first chose your career path? Were they instructors? Neighbors? Maybe a family member. Bottom line is you found people you respected and decided you wanted to emulate them. What steps did they take to pursue that particular career? What special skills or education were needed to get the job? Look around. Who can help and influence you in your new career? Use social media to meet professionals in your new field or industry. Reach out. Be open. Learn from the “experts”.
- Take aways- So what does this mean to you now? Is there a career you’ve always dreamed of having? What are the steps you will need to take to embark on that career? Is it an achievable goal? Will you need more education? A certification? Will you need experience?
Deciding to journey down a new career path is a daunting decision; however, it can be even more rewarding than can be imagined. Have you ever taken a major turn in your career path? What steps did you take that helped you select that career and get acclimated? Share with us in the comments.
I need your help today.
I start this post by saying that Steve Boese has no idea I’m writing this. If he did, he may try to dissuade me. That said, I have far too much respect for him not to share this. You see, my friend Steve is going through what many of us have experienced at some point in the last few years….a layoff. And while not completely unexpected, he certainly didn’t think his company was going to lay off a group of leaders last Thursday.
To tell you the most important thing about Steve is to share that he has strong character and is the kind of guy that gets the job done. He received this devistating news just one day before HRevolution. He could have decided not to come. But he didn’t. He held his head high and came to the event that he co-creates and spent time around the very group of people from our industry who “get” what he does. To quote the leaders in the HR Technology space:
“Steve, at the HR Technology Conference, we always cared about your “day job” because you are expert in running HR systems, especially from Oracle. Plus teaching others about it. Combine that with your social experience and media knowledge, and you’re one special guy. We look forward to your being a panelist at this year’s event in Vegas, in addition to hosting an HRevolution session with Trish on our own program, after doing the full-tilt boogie HRevolution in our hotel on the Sunday afternoon before our opening reception. In short, you are a Renaissance Man in my world.” Bill Kutik
“I’m confident that your next best opportunity will find you.” Naomi Bloom
Here’s what you need to know about Steve:
- He has over 15 years experience implementing enterprise technologies for Human Resources, Recruiting, Finance and Distribution, including significant experience with Oracle E-business Suite Applications in numerous industries and locations. He’s served in a wide range of roles from team member, to team lead, to Project Manager.
- Steve is an award winning Human Resources blogger, speaker, and host of the weekly HR Happy Hour radio show, a live call in show about HR, Talent Management, Recruiting and technology now entering its third full year.
- Steve worked as a Applications Consultant for Oracle Corporation and has also owned a consulting company.
- He is an Adjunct Instructor at RIT, teaching a Graduate course in Human Resources Technology.
- Steve spends his free time as co-founder of the HRevolution event. This is a progressive learning event for HR and business professionals that focuses on discussions around HR issues, technology, and media. HRevolution is in it’s third year and Steve is one of the organizers of the event each year.
What We Can DO to help:
Each person who reads this blog has business contacts. I ask you to think today of at least one person you can put Steve in contact with, one person you can pass his information to, one suggestion you can make to help Steve in his search. One of the most important reasons to build our network is that when we’re in need, our community can circle the wagons. Let’s do our part to help Steve today. His contact information is below.
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/in/steveboese
Phone (585) 317-7492
Twitter – @SteveBoese