Confident Career Tip No. 7
Because of the market we are in with the downturn in oil and gas, last time we reviewed some articles on what you need to do if you get laid off. I have included those links again below in case you missed them the first time.
When it comes to looking for work, remember, it’s not what you know but who you know. Here are a few additional steps that speak directly to actions you can take to get you employed as quickly as possible. The theme of this is really about coming out as someone who is looking for work and connecting with your network no matter how big or small so that they know you are a job searcher and actively looking for work.
- Grab your cell phone and email address book and write down the names of everybody you
can remember on stickies. The idea here is to see who is in your network. We sometimes don’t think of our friends and families as part of our network but you never know where your next job will come from so be sure to put them down too.
- Establish categories for identifying these relationships within the context of looking for
work. Perhaps you start with identifying who are business owners themselves and who are in management; who is most connected to others; who will understand your situation the most; or perhaps you take the approach of categorizing in work/professional or home/personal or both relationships. Essentially you want to consider who is most important in the context of you looking for work.
- Move your stickies into each category.
- Now that you have done this you may notice that you have names that are missing. Do not
prejudge whether or not a person will be able or willing to help you. Let them decide if they will help you or not. Do not decide for them.
- Now, within each category you have created, assess the strength of each of these
relationships from 0 to 10. Ten means that this is someone you can easily call upon to tell them you have been laid off. Zero means that this is someone that the relationship isn’t as strong as it could be, someone you can still call, but they may not be your very first phone call.
- Order your stickies within each category with the highest ratings being at the top of the list.
- Start at the top of the list in each category and start making phone calls and after you have
gone through the usual pleasantries and asked how he or she is doing, say something to the effect of:
“It is wonderful to chat with you again. I am calling for a specific reason. I wanted to let you know that I have been laid off from my Engineering position with ABC Company. I am actively looking for work and am letting everyone in my network know. If you hear of any opportunities or know anyone you can connect me with I would be forever grateful.” Give them an opportunity to respond, then say “Would it be alright if I checked in with you in one weeks time? I’d like to stay top of mind.”
Based on how these people respond, decide who you need to spend more time with. Whatever actions or leads they provide you with, follow-up with all of them. Come back to your map regular intervals and update it. Be sure to send hand-written thank you notes every time someone gives you their time.
During this time it’s important to not let feelings of shame or embarrassment get in the way. All persons are at risk of being laid off at any time. The best advice I ever received from my boss is that you should have one bag packed at the door at all times because you never know.