Yikes. Today wasn’t how I expected it to turn out. What do you mean, “pack up your things”? After all, you have been working here 15 years! You have given your blood, sweat and tears to this company. You have worked overtime; you even came home early from your family vacation so you could help out. What do you mean, “let go”? Frustrated, Confused, Sad & Mad- all at the same time. Why me? Why now? The truth of the matter, is you may never have these answers. You don’t know where to turn. You haven’t updated your resume in years, and haven’t even thought about contacting your references.
This is an all too common feeling that people in America are feeling and have felt for a number of years. The truth is that the world has changed. Simply posting your resume on Monster and applying to jobs directly just doesn’t work anymore. I have heard about this “hidden” job market. Where is it? How do I find it?
Here are 10 tips. It is never fun being unemployed, so if this has happened to you, these things can help you find employment. If you haven’t received that call, but have a bad gut- feeling, these tips may help prepare you and prevent you from being unemployed. There are no guarantees, but you will be ready for the worst case scenario.
- Don’t get caught off guard again. Pay attention to the companies performance. Look at the stock price. Look at the economy. Listen. Don’t always take your managers word that everything is fine. Managers are caught in the middle of this. They don’t want to lay you off, but often times it isn’t their choice.
- Put your feelers out. Just because you glance at what is out there, doesn’t mean you have to leave your company today. Talk to colleagues in the industry and find out what other companies are doing. It is always better to be ahead of the game, than behind.
- Start building a savings account. We often forget the importance of this. Hold off on buying that new couch and that new sports car.
- Spend some time with someone who you know and trust to help you with your LinkedIn profile. Regardless of what anyone says, Linkedin is where recruiters find a majority of their candidates. Treat your profile like a resume and spend some time making it look appealing to potential employers and recruiters.
- Join relevant groups on Linkedin and see what positions are in the marketplace. Be interactive in discussions and link with people who have common interests.
- Take yourself out of your comfort zone and go to networking events. Remember that every conversation is important. The six degrees of separation is 100% true. Somebody knows somebody, who knows somebody. Stay in touch with people you have things in common with and connect with them. Ask for introductions where they may help.
- Search indeed.com, Craig’s list, Job Boards, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and find out who is hiring. Never apply directly without a plan in place. Find people who work there (or know people who work there), and have them submit your resume for you at that particular company. Remember more than one person submitting your resume is OK. It only makes you look that much more desirable.
- Always consider contracting opportunities. If you have been at a company for 15 years, it may take you quite some time to find a full-time job, so consider everything available. A lot of these opportunities turn to contract- to- hire. Contract jobs can lead to your dream job.
- Give 100% at your current job always doing what they ask and more. Ask to take on additional projects. The best-case scenario is that you don’t have to look for another job. If you do have to look for another job, the additional project may be the skill set that separates you from the pack at your next company.
- Always, always continually educate yourself. Go after that PMP, SPHR, or whatever may help you and your career.