Sooner or later it happens to the best of us! Your employer calls you into his/her office and gives you the tragic news. The office is closing down, we are downsizing, we are eliminating your job, etc., etc. What to do now is the first question. I have bills to pay, mouths to feed, people are depending on me. I NEED A JOB!!!
Sometimes in our careers, we find ourselves in that period of “transition”. You had a very successful job, loved coming to work (or maybe not) but life happens. First and foremost, you need a job. Where do you start and what do you do in the interim? I can’t help you with the perfect job but I can give you some sound advice that has helped me over my 50 years of working. There are four ways to stay active while transitioning careers.
One of the most important parts of your transition is to find a job. No duh! Try searching sites like Indeed, Glassdoor and LinkedIn. Set up multiple searches to notify you when a position becomes available in your area that you might be interested in and respond as quickly as possible when they do. Stay up on trends in your market, read articles, sign up for online webinars or tutorials and follow industry blogs. Make your normal work hours just that. Work during the day to find leads, limit personal phone calls, turn off the TV and limit surfing Amazon and Facebook (this will be a real challenge). If you were used to playing music at work, then play music as you research (just limit the singing to breaks and the shower).
Remember the power and importance of having a strong network of friends, peers, business and community leaders. Actively connect with your network keeping them apprised of your search. Invite them to have coffee. Keep in mind, as you network, to make sure your resume is up to date. Often times you will be asked to send your coffee partner a copy. Follow through with this request as they are doing something that could help you out in the long run.
It is very valuable to volunteer with a local non-profit organization while you are job searching. It is always good to volunteer anytime but it looks great on your resume. While you are in transition, volunteering can help you keep your skills fresh while being put to good use. Most non-profits don’t have skilled professionals on staff so they look to volunteers to help them. You have time on your hands, so put your skills to work for a great cause.
While you incorporate these ideas into your daily routine, remember it is also very important that you take care of yourself. Give yourself time for you. We all know that we should exercise, go for a walk, read for fun, pray, meditate, get a full night’s sleep, spend more time with family, and play with pets. You get the idea. There is no better time to improve your health (physical, emotional or spiritual) than right now.
The reality is all of these things you can do whether working or searching for a job. They can help you grow, learn and improve. Searching for a job is a huge undertaking in so many ways, so focusing on these areas can help keep things balanced and in perspective. Who knows, maybe that potential employer will call you and offer to meet for coffee.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”