Clumsy title, I know. I hope the concept was communicated.
Recently, I’ve spoken to 2 different I.T. professionals who are unemployed or underemployed. Then, this morning I read about a recently laid off worker who was seeking advice in an online forum for finding work.
My advice for all of them is pretty similar. I’m going to post what I wrote online almost verbatim, because as I read it, I thought, “Hey.. this is pretty good advice!” I also realized It is the same advice I gave back in 2002 when I first started writing a career column for I.T. professionals.
Either, I’m unoriginal and cannot think up anything new to say (I’ve always got something new to say) or I actually believe the advice I’m giving. Yeah.. we’ll opt for the latter.
MY ADVICE FROM THE ONLINE FORUM
(with some edits)
You live in a large enough metropolitan area to find work pretty quickly.
Get 100+ cover letters printed and after a morning perusal of any online opportunities in your area, hit the streets looking for small businesses that are geographically close to you.
Also, don’t overlook your personal network. Contact those you know with an upbeat (as challenging as it may be) note with your resume. Let them know that you are seeking employment and even part-time contracts in the local area.
STAY IN THE GAME
I was taught that you are either working or looking for work.. so keep in mind that your current full-time job is seeking employment. If your regular working day meant you were at work and ready by 9am and worked until 5pm, maintain those same hours in your new role as “Employment Seeker.” Make sure you are doing your job well enough to NOT fire yourself.
I asked someone I was coaching a few years ago, “If you were hired by someone and paid $50/hr. to get them MEANINGFUL work with a $40,000 bonus if you did it in under 30 days, how would you approach it?”
And that is the question… How hard will you work at finding work? And, are you doing enough to earn the $50/hr. and the $40,000 bonus?
There are some who balk at the idea of directly walking into companies whether or not they have a job listed. They find it frightening or uncomfortable. Truth is, so do I. But, I found NOT having work more frightening and more uncomfortable.
True story: I was working for a startup in Arizona. Had just moved there. Knew almost no one. I had gone 4 or 5 weeks without receiving my regular pay but they had always paid so I was unconcerned. Then, the owners told me they had lost a major investor and had to shut down operations. They hadn’t said anything because they thought they would get the funding and did not want to make me concerned. I was suddenly very concerned.
I printed 200 resumes and proceeded to visit 160 companies in Scottsdale over a 3-4 week period of time. During that time, I ran into a law firm having a meeting right in front of me on a document automation project (a specialty of mine) and I was able to answer some key questions right from inside the door. They hired me that day.
I also walked into a company and the director of the company was someone I had worked with back in California 5 or 6 years prior. He hired me and referred me to 2 other companies.
I point this out, because the executive director of the lawfirm said to me, “What are the chances that you would walk through our door while we were discussing that project at the front of the company?”
My response was, “You visit 160 companies in 4 weeks and you are bound to have a coincidence or two.”
Your goal is to create “career coincidences.” Basically, if you visit enough people, someone is bound to need what you have at that specific moment. Reach and Frequency – that’s marketing. And as a job seeker, you are marketing what I hope you see as a valuable commodity… YOU!!
I hope you find some of that helpful!
And so, would you hire yourself?