I was let go from my job of 8 years this past May. Needless to say it was a shock, but I recovered quickly and decided to turn my lemons into lemonade. What did I get? I got to spend most of the summer with my kids at the local pools, parks, public library, with extended family, all while job-hunting for my next career move.
Searching for a job while jobless is a bit different then casually browsing the help wanted ads while you have a full-time gig locked down. I was counting down the days until my health insurance ran out and knew I needed to find something before the summer was up. I am proud to say I have accepted a new position, and I’d like to share some of my tips to help you in your next career move:
- Spruce up your resume (and LinkedIn profile). It’s always handy to have your resume updated in case your dream job comes along. I did not follow that advice, so I was a few steps behind already. I did find awesome customizable templates, for purchase, on Etsy. And the last tip – ask others to proof it.
- Consult your network. My network of friends, family, past coworkers, even friends of friends were reaching out to me about job opportunities. It’s actually how I landed my next position, because of my close network. I am truly blessed to have this great network of people who know I am solid performer and whom were willing to stick their necks out for me.
- Ask questions. Find out more about positions before you eliminate them from your short list. Learn more about who you will report too, why the previous person left this position, etc. It’s okay to ask questions before an interview to determine if it’s a good fit.
- Pump the brakes on those first offers. Being unemployed, my initial reaction was to immediately accept the first offer I got. Take time to evaluate if it’s the right position for you. Make a pros and cons list and weigh your options heavily. Visit with friends and family and talk it out with your personal board of mentors.
Now that I have accepted a new position, I have a few weeks left to enjoy the summer with my kids and prepare for my new job. Some of the things I am doing to prepare myself:
- Update my wardrobe. I asked about the dress code and it’s business casual, the same as my previous employer. I did do a little shopping to pick out a few things that would make me feel good on my first day.
- Re-read some of my favorite leadership books. I will continue to be a leader who demonstrates my values to others, walk the talk and be a voice for staff amongst me. I wanted to revisit a few of my favorites to re-energize for the new environment.
- Research. I reviewed the organization’s website for content that could educate me on what is happening right now in the business. I also did a Google search to see what news coverage has happened over the past year surrounding the organization.
This career shift is a chapter in my life I can say that I am ready to close. Having the time with my kids was invaluable, but I’m ready to get back to the daily grind of working outside the home. If you find yourself looking for a new career or recently hired in a new position, I hope you can a helpful tool from my tool belt.