Although I constantly repeat our two mantras that all jobs are temporary and that one is never actually employed, only between searches, when this truth rears its ugly head I don’t know if anyone is really prepared.
As the clock winds itself down on a current assignment, it is usually a stressful period of time prior to the actual event of your being given the bad news. This is hardly a time when you will be thinking clearly and focused on your goal of finding that next great “work opportunity.”
The FENG is now so old that many of our members have been with us long enough to have gotten 2 or 3 searches under their belts. I would hope that with each search the process has gotten easier, at least with respect to the networking opportunities. For example, if your last search was in 2005, we only had 23,000 members back then. Now we have over 40,000! The possibilities for networking are significantly greater.
And, if you have been diligently reading the newsletter or at least reading it on a frequent basis, you should have been able to pick up a lot of knowledge about the job search process, even though you weren’t going through it at the time. (Like hanging in the morning, actually having to do a job search does tend to focus the mind.)
As you dust off that old resume that I hope you have made some attempt to keep current, be sure all the formatting is consistent. Doing an “add on” is often noticeable. After you finish your first round of rewriting, you might want to do an “edit, select all, paste unformatted” and do the formatting all over again just to play it safe. Your resume is your most important communication tool, so don’t take any shortcuts with it.
I would also suggest that you not rush to get out of that difficult work situation. While it may have turned into the “job from heck,” the sailor’s rule is that you “step up into a lifeboat.” In other words, staying with the mother ship until the last possible moment is what makes the most sense. I think you will find that if you have resigned yourself to the fact that it’s over, you actually don’t take all the nonsense around you quite so seriously.
If you haven’t been keeping up with your networking, get back at it. Don’t make the mistake of starting with all of your old business contacts. While they may represent your best approach to contacts in your industry or areas of expertise, give it a few weeks until you are totally on firm ground mentally. Practice on strangers such as our weekly list of new members. (Typically, they will talk to anyone!) As a long standing member of The FENG, you will find you have a lot of wisdom to pass along, and that in and of itself will give you more confidence.
Consider stepping up your involvement in The FENG, whether that means your local chapter or your special interest groups. The ticket to effective networking is getting to know lots and lots of people, and there aren’t better people to get to know than members of our august body.
As a final thought, try to keep in mind that you lived through it the last time, so the odds are high you will live through it again.
It is never easy. And, it won’t be this time around either. But, you have the tools and you have 40,000+ friends, and that isn’t a bad start to any day of the week.