In 2007 I lost my job. I didn’t hit quota. I was put on a P.I.P. (Performance Improvement Plan) and I didn’t make the numbers I was supposed to make. I worked hard. I put in the hours. I just didn’t meet their expectations. Looking back on it, I wasn’t a very good salesperson for their product. I wasn’t passionate about the product and my sales pitch was well… not great.
After being unemployed for longer than I want to admit, I felt undesired. I felt like I was chasing every company, but they weren’t coming after me or chasing me AT ALL! There came a point in time where I had a gap in my resume and people began to ask the question “what is wrong with him that he has been unemployed for so long”?
I am not telling this story because I am proud of this. I am telling this story because this stuff just happens. We are all human and these sort of things happen in your career. If you are like most Americans, this has happened to you more than once. It obviously happens more as you get older in life, but if you have lived through a recession, we have all seen the pink slip for one reason or another. Even when the economy is great, bad things happen to good people.
Chasing companies is tough. Networking is tough. Building your network is tough. There is a saying that there is 6 degrees of separation between every person. I think with the advancement of social media, there is more like 2 to 3 degrees of separation between every person.
When you are chasing companies you are going to get rejected. You are going to get rejected A LOT! It is definitely a character building time in your life. If you really want something though, you are going to chase after it because no one is going to hand it to you on a silver platter.
Let’s fast forward though. How good is to feel like you are being chased? There is a huge rush feeling like you are wanted. If you are a high school athlete being escorted by colleges, or a college student being escorted by a fraternity- isn’t that cool? What about guy from the TV series The Bachelor? How do you think he feels? I bet he feels pretty damn confident. Wouldn’t you say so?
There is a 2.7% unemployment rate here in Austin. That is low. Really low. Companies are going to go after employed people more now than ever. If you are unemployed are they going to go after you? Possibly. They still want the best of the best.
If you want to be chased, you need to be on your “A game”. You have heard these things, I am almost certain, but I am going to say them again to reiterate their importance:
Your social media presence needs to be in tip- top shape. Yes, I am talking about LinkedIn, Facebook, Blogs, and other sites like GitHub. People will research you! The more visible you are, the more people will reach out to you.
Make every connection count. Make sure you connect with as many people as you possibly can and offer to help THEM. Believe me when I say I believe in Karma. They will want to help you when you need it most.
Be Active. Be active with your health. Be active in the community. Get involved with something that interests you.
Always look to make yourself better. Stay on top of current events. Educate yourself further about a certain topic. Learn more about technology.
If you do these things, the chances of you getting chased are tremendously better. If you get stuck in a rut like I did in 2007, once you do these things you won’t ever have to worry about chasing again. You will get chased. I promise.
Life is a hell of a lot easier when you feel wanted and desired and people want to hire you!