This is a follow-up to a blog carnival that I had a few weeks ago where various participants wrote what they would do if they lost their job… if nothing else, it should make you think twice about participating in my carnivals :p Really though, there is a cycle that we supposedly are in that dictates we should be changing jobs every 3 – 5 years. Part of my underlying message has been to help people understand how to manage a career with these job changes, as opposed to being super-shocked eadch time it happens. Read on…
Well, it happened again. Remember when I told you about Janet, one of the blog carnival participants, who lost her job the day after I posted her entry? Now a second participant has “moved on” … Carolynn Duncan wrote a post titled “No Job, No Problem“… only to find herself with no job a few weeks later.
I met Carolynn a couple of months ago and we spend a couple of hours chatting over lunch. She is very sharp and extremely more determined. She is a student of life, always looking to learn. She was telling me that she was going to do an experiment to see what she could do with $100 in 30 days, which reminded me of a local blogger that had an excellent online experiment (I really liked what Matthew did, including his blog journal of the experience, because I’m a firm believer in people having a side-gig in case their main gig implodes, and this is a great step-by-step to help understand, or demystify, an online strategy). I sent her a 100+ page pdf by Jennifer Laycock that had done something similar which I thought was a great read… and was pretty surprised to learn that she decided to go OFFLINE and get a kiosk in the mall (see the picture up above).
What? People make money from those silly kiosks? Well, that’s for another blog, another day. I actually think that she’ll do very well with this exeriment – as I said, she is determined. And she has partnered with Kelly King Anderson of StartupPrincess.com to get a theme and inventory, which I think is perfect for this season. Best wishes to both Carolynn and Kelly, and it will be interesting to see how things work out for both of them (I think this is a great opportunity for each of them).
Even though I’m not particularly pleased that almost 20% of my carnival participants lost their jobs not even 6 weeks after they wrote, it does support what I’ve learned this year (this is the year I got laid off!). Here are some things I’d like you to chew on:
- No one is safe. Not you. Not the boss. Not HR. Even Carl Chapman who was a business owner found himself jobless (and businessless).
- Don’t gamble on the unemployment rate. When I got laid off I was told that I’d have a job soon, that it was a job seeker’s market. Even though unemployment in my state was about 3.5% I didn’t get a job. This is because I didn’t understand what a job search was, how long it could be, and what tactics/techniques I should have been using. As far as I understand, the amount of money you need to make usually dictates the length of your search. I know this is too much of a blanket-statement but you better be ready for some months without income! (I was not)
- Networking is critical. It is NOT the silver bullet, but it can play a significant role in your job, your job search, your business or whatever. Many jobs are found through networking, much business is done as a result of networking, etc. You know that. I used to hate to hear “its not what you know, its who you know,” and even discounted this for many years. I figured my credentials would carry me far. But the truth is, networking is huge, and you should begin yesterday!
- Knowledge and principles are critical. You need to get a good book or two, read some articles, ask experts, etc. I started my job search and spent 6 weeks doing what I thought I should do… and then found out I was totally on the wrong path! What a waste of time. If only I could have been smart enough to learn before I acted, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time. Oh yeah, one point on this – I had plenty of people helping me along this wrong path – I highly recommend you look for very good sources of information – why ask someone who never buys a car how to buy a car? I was asking people who hadn’t looked for a job in decades how to find a job. Duh.
- Accountability is critical. As someone who needs to manage their career you probably have a mentor. If not, start looking for one (I have multiple mentors). But don’t discount someone that will hold your feet to the fire, ask the hard questions and help get you back on track when needed. This is not someone that is going to be too nice (or emotionally invested in your plight) – this is someone that will essentially be your boss. Suck it up and get someone that will tell it like it is – it will save you a ton of time.
- No one knows who you are unless you tell them. And the best way to tell them is to communicate your personal brand. There are personal branding experts that you can engage, or you can see my monthly winners, but one place to start is to read the almost 40 comments on November’s winner – there is enough content there to write a book (don’t worry, it is not too long of a read) – incredible knowledge-sharing in there. I implore you to start a blog to substantiate you personal brand! (pre-announcement: I’m working on a small system-package to help people get up and running with their own personal branding blog. This is not as sophisticated or comprehensive as what Brandego would offer, but focuses on helping you substantiate your breadth/depth in a blog, and basically shares what I’ve learned in the last 6 months (and the 3 weeks before I started) to give you a quickstart. If interested just drop me an e-mail (jason [at] JibberJobber.com) – I’m thinking it will be about $500 but until I officially announce it I’ll only charge you $200 and you can be my guinea pig 😉)
Folks, there’s more to it than this. For all those that are losing their job this holiday season, I feel for you. But I hope that this can be a paradigm-shifting experience and help you begin to manage your career, rather than hope your employer manages it for you.