Losing a job can generate a range of emotions, often painful. I know. I was severed after 24 years with a large regional financial services firm. While very unsettling, the job loss became an opportunity to assess my life and vocation and consider how I wanted to live the rest of my life. This time of personal discovery and renewal was the seed for a powerful new beginning!
With the help of a job search career coach and friends, I was able to navigate the emotions involved and quickly begin to focus on the task at hand. I took personality surveys, learned what values were important to me. I accepted how I was wired, what my strengths, experiences and passions were. I settled on a powerful summary of who I was professionally and wrote a resume to support that. I targeted companies and industries and became, in the words of my coach, the networking king – an amazing thing for a naturally reserved person!
At the right time, the right opportunity showed up. Since I had networked so much, the initial contact with the hiring manager and subsequent interviews with Human Resources and the Division’s Senior Executive flowed easily. An offer was made, and having been well coached by my coach, I was able to negotiate a good salary and a starting day that allowed me to fulfill my dream of visiting my homeland for the first time since leaving 36 years earlier.
Punctuating the effectiveness of this process was the realization a few weeks into my new job that, at that point in time, I was precisely the person the new organization needed! It felt great to know I was right for the job because I had the skills, experiences and passions the role needed!
Here are some lessons I learned:
- Process the emotions around the loss well and then choose to move on.
- Surround yourself with supportive and encouraging people.
- If your budget allows it, seek professional job search coaching. It is worth more than a Lexus! If your company provides it, take advantage of it!
- View your job search as your job at the moment. Work it like you would work a regular job.
- Plan fun time into your schedule.
- Work the aforementioned job search process. In summary, define and embrace what you are as the product you are selling to a potential employer in keeping with your passions, skills, strengths, values and experiences. Write a resume that supports your claims.
- Be ready to speak to what is unique about you as a product and close with what you are most passionate about. For me that meant closing with “… and what I enjoy the most is helping people grow!” Know what you enjoy the most, and say it from the heart!
- Identify the target companies and industries you want to work in. Select the right social networking site for you. Make a list of networking contacts, and begin to network. Leave every one on one networking contact with referrals to people that can help you get one step closer to your goal – a meeting with a hiring manager!
- Be prepared to discuss a compensation package. Be ready to on-board successfully.
10. Trust the process and remember, each day, you will be one day closer to your new job!
Written by Career Spa coach, Bob Reissiger. Bob can be reached at BobReissiger@careerspa.net