Partial Playbook (from me) for those that are looking for employment - Apologies in advance for the formatting.
1. If your former employer provides you with a transition company, Use It! It was the best thing I had ever done next to stopping smoking. (I always say the stupidest thing I ever did was to start smoking and the smartest thing I ever did was to stop smoking.) It turned out to be an awesome experience and here’s why:
a. I was assigned a coach who helped and guided me through my frustration, the newer interview process (all video these days), and everything about what their program offers and how to use it. I knew I could count on him to be my guide, confidant, cheerleader, and coach!
b. My resume was re-written within a week of uploading it – my coach helped me rewrite for a few different types of positions I was targeting as it was needed.
c. They have a learning curriculum for groups, I took a class or two every day so I could quickly understand the market, improve my skills, and connect with those that were in my newly found position.
i. When I attended these sessions, I learned quickly to put my name in the chat with my LinkedIn profile, stating who I was and would very much like to connect. I also eagle eyed who was there during the session and looked them up in LinkedIn and sent them a note I’d like to connect with a note (VERY IMPORTANT), letting them know I would like to join their LinkedIn network and to please let me know if I could help with their job search. This effort needs to be honest and genuine. If this is not built into your DNA and cannot place yourself in their shoes (empathy), I would recommend you skip this step.
ii. I was lucky enough to be on one call where someone mentioned they had formed a work group (support group) during her other RIFs and if asked if anybody would like to be a member of an accountability group to contact her (through LinkedIn).
1. There were 10 of us that responded and 8 made it into this group. (6-8 is the optimum amount participants.) All 8 of us all had different titles: IT Asset Manager, Chemical Engineer, Network Engineer, Programming Engineer, Supply Chain expert, Biz IT Delivery lead, Digital Science Content Product Manager and a Biz Change Advisor.
2. I quickly offered to organiz by creating a g-mail account for the group and shared the credentials with everyone; put a weekly meeting via Google Meet for the 8 of us. The Google account afforded us the ability to store shared docs, have a master calendar, and use video for our meetings. We shared the responsibility of facilitating and setting the agenda which worked well.
3. We also rotated our accountability partners with 1:1s (can also use Google Meet) each week. Each day we met with the same person for a week (could as short as 15 minutes but we all found we had a lot to say and the calls typically lasted an hour), discussed action plans on the job search, shared wins, loses, tips, tricks, and had group challenges (who could get the most applications in for the week, etc.)
4. Although two of us have recently been placed. This team, dubbed the Grateful 8, means everything to me. I am sure, we have created lifetime friendships and all of us will do anything to help the others until they are placed. We have the commonality of knowing what it is like to be out when we want to be in, the agony of interviews (I’m an introvert), the unconditional honesty and love to say anything and everything while in a safe space, and most importantly, having others pick us up when we become a puddle.
2. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, now’s the time to launch one. I went from 0 to 685 within 5 months and it is now organically growing. It truly has been fun to connect with old friends who are really interested in you and your career. I’ve had so many people ask how they can help along my journey. Below is a couple of good strategies that I found:
a. Start tagging in everybody you know. I thought I did great when I managed to tag in 130ish of my favorite people. I was quickly corrected when a friend said the name of the game is to tag in anybody and everybody as this is a JOB search and not Facebook. So, tag in anybody and everybody that interests you and will be able to help you during your journey. I’m fortunate and have been so inspired by my some of newest connections – I learned about Canadian Black History Month, the life of a Jazz musician, see the postings from a CEO of a company with 70K+ employees and some incredible successes of people I worked with 20+ years ago. I also learned to tag in recruiters for the companies I was interested in as they post their open positions on LinkedIn. So be bold with requesting your connections, just be sure to send a note letting them know you would like to connect.
b. Consider a Gold LinkedIn membership for their benefits, they bought Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning) which has amazing catalog of all things you can learn. If you can afford it, buy the yearly subscription as it is less expensive than the monthly fee. The other benefits to their gold membership are their job postings, sending inmails, company insights, and I’m sure there is many more.
i. Absolutely try the 30-day trial first to see if this is your new favorite gig.
ii. My favorite classes on LinkedIn have been their EQ and communication classe – I am committed to learn something new everyday and forgot how much I loved to learn.
3. My recommendation if you were not provided a career transition company, start searching for resources. My first recommendation is contact your local Unemployment Office asking if they have an employment commission of some sorts that has webinars for virtual job fairs, resume writing courses, and upskilling opportunities. I took local ones but found affiliations in other states, and so many more through LinkedIn. (There’s a few LinkedIn trainings and you may think they are free, but they cancel the webinar and then offer you the next one but ask for payment, you may want to stay away from these.
4. As you are searching for your next great position be sure to take some time for yourself and do some of the things that you love whether it is exercising, baking, or connecting with old friends. I promise you, if you take the “I” out of your conversations and make it “Them” or “We”, your yields will be boundless.
PS. I would recommend you stay away from the people that consistently use “I”s, as it always only going to be about them and never you.
The lessons I have learned from this journey? I am truly a better person than I was 5 months ago; I am humbled and grateful for every moment I wasn’t working and for the reconnection of old and the connection of new friends I met along the way.
I’m pretty sure I found my “WHY”, if you don’t know what this is, please Google it.
Although this posting is lengthy, my hope is you find one thing here that may help you if you are searching for a new position.