In early December I was laid off. It was a new experience for me, and it has been an interesting few months. (Here is where you can read about my career campaign.)
Part of my severance package was a one-month membership to a career counseling firm called Right Management. They have over 300 offices worldwide, and I have been quite impressed with them. They understand which job-search methods are most effective in this age when 80% of all job requisitions are not advertised anywhere. The counselors are experienced at gently yet firmly focusing you on those methods. They’re also very good at conducting group classes, keeping the mood positive and upbeat when it could easily be dour and depressing.
Amongst the lessons I’ve learned (or re-learned):
- Use well the days. Looking for a job is a full-time job.
- Enjoy the time off! Go outside, breathe the fresh air! This is not mutually exclusive with lesson #1
- Network, network, network. It’s the only way to find the 80% of the job reqs that aren’t advertised. LinkedIn is your friend.
- Always have business cards in your pocket
- The San Francisco Business Times is an excellent resource
- There’s nothing like a glass of adult beverage to catalyze the networking process
There’s no such thing as bad networking. Last week, a fellow Cal alum sponsored a networking event called “Depression 2.0 – Party Like It’s 1929!” at a vodka bar in San Francisco. I thought “what the heck” and went. I came back with several good contacts, including an offer to go have Friday afternoon pizza and beer at this one fellow’s company. It might not turn into anything, but you never know.