Have you ever lost a job? Perhaps you were downsized when your employer reorganized or was sold. Maybe you were fired.
My first lay-off involved a factory job. We showed up for our regular work shift and were given pink slips and directions to the nearest unemployment office. Years later I was downsized from a white collar job when corporate priorities changed. I’ve also left jobs amid strong hints that I’d be fired if I didn’t leave. I didn’t like those jobs and knew within months that I’d made a mistake letting myself get hired.
Even so, losing a job is absolutely devastating. It damages our sense of self-worth because we invest so much of ourselves in our jobs, even the bad ones. Inevitably we wonder what we did “wrong”. But it’s important to recover quickly and move on. After some trial and error, I hit on this sure-fire method to do that.
Step One – Buy a BIG bottle of champagne. Throw a champagne party to you salute yourself as a great person. It’s not your personal fault that the company had financial problems causing them to downsize. You’re not responsible for the screwed up life of a bad boss who took out her/his emotional problems on you (and your co-workers).
Step Two – Recognize the skills and experience you developed with your former employer. Every job I lost taught me at least one skill that helped me get the next job. So you’re in a better position in this job search than you were in the last one because you have new skills to sell!
Step Three – Acknowledge that sometimes losing a job is the best outcome. It forces us to move forward in our lives. If a job is truly awful, losing it can literally be a life saver. After one particularly rotten job ended, my mental and physical health improved so dramatically that I never again made the mistake of hanging on for the sake of a paycheck.
So if you’ve just lost a job or are still grieving the past loss of a job, reevaluate your situation. Buy that champagne, and salute yourself. Then start searching for the next job which may just be a lot better than that bum steer you lost.
The more connections you have at LinkedIn.com, the more likely people may be to accept your request to connect. Also, the larger your network, the more 1st- and 2nd-level connections you’ll have available when you’re networking.
Here are 3 main ways you can grow your network at LinkedIn: 1.Those You Know Already – After setting up your profile, invite those you know to connect. From the Connections link in the options bar at the top of most pages, choose Add Connections, and follow the process to import your email address book. LinkedIn can then suggest connections. Here’s another route: A list of “People You May Know” will also show up on different screens as you use LinkedIn. Don’t use the Connect quick-link, however. Make your request more personal. Go into each person’s profile to send connection requests, so you can customize the message they’ll see. You can also go back and add friends from high school or college.
2. Those You Meet – Add each person you meet as you network to your LinkedIn connections. Do so within two days so they won’t forget who you are, and always mention the event where you met when customizing the wording of your connection request. (As part of the targeted networking process, you’ll be requesting LinkedIn connections to people with whom you’re attempting to schedule networking meetings. This will also grow your network.)
3. Group Members – This is how I grew my network from about 50 people to 200. Join LinkedIn Groups (probably no more than 8-10) that have to do with your field. (To browse Groups, use the search blank at the top of the screen, change the setting to Groups, and enter keywords.) After you’ve joined the group, from the top of the Groups page, click the Members link; you can only see all members if you’re a member of the group. From their profiles, you can start to invite select people to connect. On the “How do you know ___” screen, select Groups; then choose the Group you both have in common.
Your personalized message can be something like, “Hi, James. We’re both members of the Music and Marketplace group here on LinkedIn. I’d like to connect with you.” Participate in discussions as often as you can. This way, you may meet potential employers or people who can help you learn more about topics in your field. You can also establish yourself as a subject matter expert by contributing original material to your groups. I once got a contract position after having met a hiring manager in one of my groups.