Last year was a punch to the gut. It was a year of unadulterated job change. Lessons learned but it was still a painful distraction that taxed my family every which way possible.
Not one job change, not two but a third job change within a nine month window tested my family’s sanity and senses. Remember “Scanners,” the 1981 movie where someone’s noggin explodes like an uncovered dish in a microwave? Might as well have been mine. Throw in opinionated toddlers, a decision to jump area codes again as well as an unforgiving real estate market and we found ourselves feeling like this guy.
Smack in the middle of the chaos stood one sobering reality, I did not have an effective backup plan. A thriving career with dynamic media companies? Very fortunate. Documented examples of increasing bottom lines and boosting ratings? Yup. Paid the water bill on time? They love us. Did I have a viable action plan amidst job change? Not as concrete as I wanted.So once I walked out the door for the last time at a major media company amidst a complete personnel makeover, did I know where to go next? As a tireless networker with the gift of gab and over 1300+ LinkedIn contacts, would I be able to immediately and effectively navigate a land mine of a job change, a fierce search climate and perhaps the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression? Did I effectively plant seeds of opportunity within my network that would hopefully open doors? Not as rooted as I thought I did. Fast forward to now and I will say, “I’m forever grateful.” Maintaining professional alliances proved helpful as it landed me an incredible opportunity within a company I’m absolutely excited about. What was my one valuable takeaway? A humbling reminder that the most effective way to manage job change is to manage it before it even arrives.
Lessons Learned Amidst Job Change
- Stay Active. Continue to actively invest now, tomorrow and later in LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network. Recent statistics show that 80% of LinkedIn members influence business decisions at their company. With more than four billion searches through the end of 2011, keep your 1st and 2nd level connections aware of where you are, what you are currently doing and where you would like to be down the line even if you are already in the perfect situation. Remember, professional reconnaissance doesn’t always equate to you are looking for a new gig! Effective networking is smart, career healthy and has been around since the dawn of man.
- Go Local. Fostering relationships within local networking groups allow for introductions via a common ground. The perfect icebreaker, commonality establishes shared focus as you collectively “tap into the power of collaboration, support, and most importantly, referrals” to seek, pin down and exhaust opportunities. Become a baseline of credibility in your field of expertise as your voice grows louder and your opinion becomes a sought after source of value in your community.
- Volunteer Now. Offer up value before the opportunity arrives, and your community will love you for it. Statistically, it works to your benefit. 73% of employers would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one without. 94% of employers believe that volunteering can add to skills in the workforce. Plus show people what causes you are passionate about. Humanizing your brand is the perfect profile compliment.
- Rub Elbows. Put yourself within six inches of those that influence. Not only could decision makers benefit from a strategically executed elevator speech, but swimming where the sharks feed saves you time, energy and money. BTW who holds some of the more valuable seats during a networking event? Try the registration folks who check in (literally) attendees and key influencers who aren’t shy about sharing who they are, what they do and what valuable role they play in their companies. Not to mention you walk away with a trendy t-shirt that’s always in high demand.
- Be Loud. You are your own professional megaphone. Build online profiles that scream value in all the right places. LinkedIn, WordPress, About.Me and Google+ are obvious choices. Others such as Bebo, Ning and Tagged allow for variety and different avenues of social integration. As your brand evolves, keep the world informed of your change. Modify your LinkedIn headline or Twitter bio to match critical status updates or a job change. Showcase a project that truly benefited people or your company. Be an agent of change through sites such as Slideshare (one of the top ten learning tools in 2011), Prezi, and Slideboom. Delivering an invaluable presentation doesn’t always require a live audience and popcorn. BTW 5 Tips For An Effective Slideshare Presentation.
- Pay If Forward. Professional karma is a real thing. Takes steps and pave the way for others. “It is because the simple act of helping in and of itself is a way to move yourself in the right direction – from helpless to helper. When it comes down to it, we feel better about ourselves when we help other people” says Christina Gilyutin of Bright Green Talent.
Bottom line, what are you currently doing on a daily basis that maximizes on your marketability, uniqueness and ability to stay upright when job competition stiffens or worse, you experience job change?
Become a bulls eye of value and opportunity as opposed to the opposite. After all, getting caught in the cross hairs of job change is at times unavoidable regardless if you’ve eclipsed rock star status. Stand on solid ground by managing unwanted job change smoothly and effectively with daily focus… now! It doesn’t mean you’re on the professional prowl or looking to jump ship. It just puts you in a better state of control and focus unlike the guy in this clip.
Share your thoughts. What do you think about my 6 Simple Tips On How To Manage Job Change? What are you doing to better manage your career?