Pink Slip

Congratulations – You got a PINK SLIP!

It sucks, doesn’t it?  Well, you aren’t alone.

I got one too. And it changed my life.

I believe your pink slip might be the best piece of paper you’ve ever gotten (even if it doesn’t feel that way now).

I’d love to tell you a million things but I won’t overwhelm you right now.  Here are my top tips:

  • You are unemployed, but you are not PROFESSIONALLY unemployed. You are a project manager, or supply chain professional, or an executive admin, and your TEMPORARY STATUS is “unemployed.”  Don’t make unemployment your new profession (or else your attitude will take you out of the game).
  • Get on LinkedIn. There are a lot of social tools you *can* use but only one that is not an option. You MUST get on LinkedIn and do two things.  First, at a minimum, have an awesome LinkedIn Profile.  Second, use it as a search tool to network into people (in other words, proactively use it).  I explain a lot of this on my 3 hour (broken into 5 – 10 minute segments) LinkedIn DVD.  Stuck on LinkedIn?  Get the DVD.
  • Get on JibberJobber. JibberJobber is a website that replaces the job search spreadsheet.  It is simply a tool to help you organize, manage and track what you do in your search, and in-between job searches.  Use it to track professional (and personal) relationships, where you want to apply (target companies) and jobs you apply to.  It’s a complex system to manage a complex process, make sure you sign up for a free user training webinar.
  • Start REALLY networking. I didn’t want to network. I thought it was too superficial and I thought I was too busy in my job search to network!  Ha!  Excuses.  There were two books that changed my understanding and perspective on networking: Keith Ferrazzi’s Never Eat Alone and Thom Singer’s Some Assembly Required.  Get both of them and read them.
  • Get your pitch down. Whether you call it a Me in 30 Seconds or an Elevator Pitch, get it polished and practice it.  Be aware that most of these are filled with jargon and cliche, or misleading.  It’s hard to come up with the right communication.  My book recommendation is Brag! by Peggy Klaus.
  • Get a job search coach OR, at the very least, an accountability partner. You need someone to be accountable to each week – you can pay someone, or find someone from a job club who will ask you the right accountability questions.  This person CANNOT be your spouse or significant other – they are too emotionally involved.
  • Find local face-to-face job search networking groups and go every week. You might go one week and learn something and the next week you get a boost in morale.  Maybe the next week you give someone else a boost. Go every single week – it is critical!  You might find a local network opportunity at‘s Directory of Local Networking page.
  • Rethink “job security.” Even after getting the pink slip many people are anxious to get back to a job, which is safe and comfortable, even though there is no security.  I’m not saying don’t look for a job, or jobs are bad, but realize that the next job you get might not last longer than a few years (for some, a few months).  I like to think more about what I call “income security,” which incorporates multiple streams of income and taking more control over how you make money.
  • Realize you lost your identity, so find a new one. When I got laid off I went from “Jason the General Manager” to “Jason the…. loser?”  I totally lost my identity because I had identified myself by my title and role.  That is a bad, wrong way of looking at things – now that you have been forced to lose your identity, rethink what you want it to be, and work on that during your career – REGARDLESS of your job, company, title, etc.
  • Get your marketing material done right. Your resume is a marketing tool, not a brag sheet.  Get this done right, even if it means paying a professional resume writer.  Make sure your LinkedIn Profile is a great marketing and positioning tool for you.  Get these things in place now… have people review them and realize it’s okay to pay a professional to get it done right (as opposed to spending weeks or months trying it on yourself, and having it wrong).

There’s more but this is a lot to digest.  There is stuff to do and and new ways to think.  If you resonate with this, awesome!  It’s what I call “career management.”  You can sign up to get my blog posts, which are all about career management, at the top-right corner of my blog.

Maybe I’ll put these are more tips into a book…

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