My Last Day

Well, my last “official” day at work came and went. I am now officially unemployed and on severance. I thought I was going to get a last minute “Stay of Execution” when the hiring manager for a job in which I interviewed called me at 5:00 PM on literally my last day. Unfortunately, she was calling to tell me that I did not get the job. While I admire the fact the she personally made the phone call rather than hiding behind recruiting, I was not prepared for that action – kind of thought it was going to be a positive phone call when I saw the caller id.

So what now? While I’m still interested in staying with my current, oops, I guess that’s LAST employer, I am now 100% focused to finding a position with another company. Lots of good jobs out there, and the pay for many of them are much more attractive than what I was getting.

I have 13 weeks to find something and the clock is running. While I want to get back to work quickly, I don’t really want to “settle,” just to have a job. It’s a delicate balancing act. That said, I don’t have a bunch of people knocking down my doors right now. My goal is to apply to as many viable jobs as possible and not “wait” for that one great job to come my way. I’m playing the odds that one will hit. The silence is a bit deafening, however.

Keeping a positive attitude. Until next time….

The 7 Stages of Grief (Modified Kubler-Ross Model)

Kind of think this applies to being laid off from a job. Basically, the stages are as follows (with my editorial comment)

1 – SHOCK (Damn, I just lost my job, what the #@%&)

2 – DENIAL (Surely they will realize their mistake and hire me back, or offer another position)

3 – ANGER (They don’t realize their mistake, they won’t hire me back, there are no other positions)

4 – BARGAINING (It’s all for the best, I’ll come out ahead when all is said and done – I was under-paid, under-utilized, under-appreciated). Maybe this should be PIPE DREAM?

5 – DEPRESSION (This is not quite working out the way I had hoped it would. Take two steps back and revisit ANGER – Do not pass Go, Do not collect $200.

6 – TESTING (What in the Hell am I going to do – Take 4 Steps back to DENIAL and quickly segue back into ANGER). I’m really not moving forward here….

7 – ACCEPTANCE (Getting a friggin’ job – Can’t envision any acceptance taking place short of settling into a new position).

Bottom line, losing a job and looking for another is an emotional roller-coaster. Stay the course – keep following leads and applying for positions. A job will hit that aligns with your experience and desire – they always do. It’s my mantra and I’m sticking to it! Still not close to the ACCEPTANCE stage, however!)

It’s not me…it’s you

As I finish up another week of frustrating job searching, I find my morale waning just a bit. 5 internal job applications, 1 interview (still waiting on a final decision), 2 rejections (without an interview), and 2 no-responses (other than acknowledgement that the applications were received). I guess I’m expecting a bit much, but I was hoping that the company that laid me off would be a little more communicative (and supportive) in my attempts to stay employed. I have 4 days left before I officially go on severance.

Additionally, I’ve applied for a couple of outside positions – One in which I thought I was extremely qualified. Nothing. But, I’ve gone through all of this before and I know the following:

1- Companies post jobs as a formality – they already have someone in mind internally for the position and are just following processes for compliance purposes.

2 – Postings aren’t necessarily pulled from job sites when positions are filled. Companies like to see who else is out there for a rainy day.

3 – Networking remains the best way to find jobs – I hate it because I’m not good at it, but it’s probably the next step. Find a good recruiter and that will get you started. I’m also going to call a few “colleagues” to see if they know if anything within their organizations. Did I mention that I hate this, because I do.

Finally, I keep my sanity by knowing that being summarily eliminated from the interview process based on the “four corners” of my resume is a mistake from those in the position of hiring. (See Stuart Smalley quote in previous post!).

Weekend is ahead and a chance to reboot. We’ll hit it again on Monday!

Day….Whatever

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything. Nope, not because I found something….just disgusted in my efforts thus far. I’ve got 9 days to find a position internally and while I’m pursuing several opportunities, I just can’t help but think that the layoff was so extensive that the competition is crushing. I’ve “worked” my contacts to the point of sounding a bit desperate. I find myself questioning my awesomeness – as in…maybe I’m not as awesome as I think I am? Nope. Still awesome. Just need to figure out how to convey that to others – either internally or when I move my search to outside organizations.

I did interview for one internal position – not sure I’m a good fit especially with the above-referenced competition. It’s been a long time since I’ve interviewed and I gotta say that the standard question “list your three strengths and weaknesses” kind of threw me for a loop. (No, “Awesomeness” does not qualify as a strength, although it should).

Went out on the Internet and looked at a couple of articles. Indeed.com had some pretty useful information. So, I’ve written down my strengths and weaknesses so when asked again, I’ll be a little bit better prepared. The hard part is supplying specific examples of of how the strengths and weaknesses factored into a real life situation. I think I will take that advice and apply it to other potential interview questions. I believe specific examples help with difficult interview questions. Having things written down will help jog the memory when the questions pop up.

Well, back to work!

Day 6 – Highlights

I don’t believe it would be an outrageous statement if I were to say that today’s highlight was the colonoscopy I had in the morning! Still a pain in the arse, but maybe not quite as much as searching for new job or position. (Kind of reminds me of the old joke, why did the [insert group to be insulted here] keep hitting himself in the head….because it feels so go when he stops) – Same with colonoscopy – because it feels so good to be done with the day-before prep.

Got a rejection letter from an external position I applied to yesterday. That was fun. Actually, it looked suspiciously like an entry-level position and I’m guessing my salary range knocked my resume out of contention. Otherwise, I was more than qualified for the job, or at least I thought so!

I think that’s my advice for today. Don’t settle for a position just to have a position. Know your worth and stay positive. It’s okay to apply for a position that sounds interesting, just don’t think you need to take less money to get it. At least not in the early stages of a job search.

In the words of Stuart Smalley, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” Now, if you’ve never heard of Stuart Smalley, then you probably don’t have to worry about landing on your feet – youth is clearly in your favor! In your vernacular, “google” him for more “inspirational” quotes.

Day 5

Still slow going. I do have an internal interview for a position in which I’m qualified. But lots of great candidates. It’s kind of weird to more or less know your competition and think, damn, they’d be really good at that job! It’s for less pay – how much I’m not sure, but all things being equal, I think I could live with it. Regardless, it will be good practice for gearing up for the interview process.

I did get a good tip today on leveraging Linkedin. Now, I don’t really want to advertise to my LinkedIn universe that I’m out searching for a new job, however, there is a way to let Recruiters know you are actively seeking a new position. To do this, go to your home page and select the “Jobs” icon at the top of the page – it looks like a little suitcase. That will take you to a page that shows “Career Interests” at the top next to what looks like a little pencil. Select that and you will be taken to a page that has an on-off toggle to “Let recruiters know you’re open”. Toggle that on and hopefully you’re LinkedIn profile can start working for you!

I applied for a couple of external positions today to test the market. Interesting postions at a company I worked at 20 years ago. They may be more entry level, but, again, the hope is to get connected with a Recruiter who might have knowledge of something more suited to my talents and expertise. We’ll see what happens. I am prepared for the the “Thanks but no thanks” email that is automatically generated if certain words are not found on the resume.

The hunt continues!

Day 4 – Executing on a Plan

So, this is the first day of job seeking following a weekend. It certainly gives a weird surreal feeling to the weekend knowing that come Monday, it’s back to the task of looking for a job. It’s mentally grueling, to say the least.

That’s my point for today. Looking for a job is a job. In many ways it’s probably a lot harder than what your actual job was. It’s really easy to get distracted thinking, “I’ll hit it tomorrow.” What I’ve done in the past and am doing currently, is dedicating the morning towards job related activities.

My main task today was applying for an internal job. I know there will be a lot of competition for this job, so I submitted an independent “cover letter” highlighting my accomplishments that synced up with the job requirements. This took some time.

Additionally, I reached out to the hiring Manager, as well as several people that might have some influence. I don’t want the job handed to me, I just want the opportunity to sell myself.

In the past, I’ve applied for jobs following the normal process, hoping that the normal process would pay off. This time, I’m trying to leverage every possible resource (without irritating people) to try and get a leg up. It’s the old adage – It’s not what you know but who you know. Except in this case, I think it’s what I know as well. And that’s my second point. Treat all opportunities seriously – don’t just go through the motions.

That’s it for today – Good luck and keep at it!