This is part two of a two part article by Sarah, one of my friends who was recently let go from her job. This is the inaugural story of the Diary of a Firee series, which will chronicle her search for a new job. Here is part one of How I Lost My Job .
As many of you know, it’s harder than ever to find a job. Our economic times are not the best, to say the least, so competition is fiercer than ever. If it’s a good job for a good company, even fiercer. I was in an interview the other day and the interviewer told me that there was exceptionally high competition for the position I was applying for, not what I wanted to hear.
But I wasn’t in “panic” mode yet, I still had a job. It was uncomfortable but I had a paycheck. As I went into the office each day, I’d ask myself, “What will I do today that will subject me to being picked on?” It’s not a good feeling. If you cannot communicate effectively or be friendly in a professional way with your boss, without worrying that you’ll be picked on, it makes for a pretty difficult work environment. It’s especially puzzling when you could do just that a few short months ago. One of my close friends there said: “It sounds like they are trying to make you quit, whatever you do, don’t quit!” On some days, it was really hard not to just walk away. (Remember, qualifying for unemployment is difficult if you quit!)
Communication was poor, the vibe was off in the office, the boss was in meetings all the time. I knew what this meant, they were building a case against me. I was hurt. Why? What did I do? Everything seemed so bizarre. Why was my job at stake? Didn’t I just get a glowing performance review? Or was it a funding issue? Did they not have the funds for the position so decided to make a case to get rid of me? I’ll never know.
One afternoon, I was called into a meeting with my boss. I knew by the look on his face that I was walking to my execution. I knew I no longer had to worry about how I was going to be picked on because I had walked into the office for the last time. That day was my last day. All my intuitions and assumptions were right. They gave me no reason for my departure, I assumed it was a reduction in force of some kind. I left the meeting trying to be positive because I knew I did my job well. You can’t control what the higher heads have decided to do, all you can do is perform your best and try to find a new place of work, soon, and fast.
It was a bittersweet blessing. I had been unhappy my last several months there and I had interests in pursuing other areas. The powers that be simply made the decision for me, they simply pulled the plug and ended that misery. Now I have the chance to pursue other things. In a tight timeframe for needs of financial income, but I have a clear mind and a full time week of hours to dedicate to my next step.
The Next Steps
So how do you prepare for finding a job in any economic state? There are many suggestions out there I’ve come across.
- Networking is always top of the list. Networking should begin before you start your new job search. If you haven’t already or done much networking before, start now, don’t be shy. It’s never too late. You have to aim for what you’re looking for; no one else knows your desired path. I was part of a volunteer group with members that have my professional interests so I turned to them for suggestions. I also informed my friends and family. You never know what positions they might be aware of.
- Recruit more than one job recruiter to market you. Post your resume immediately to a well known online employment site; more than one if you can. This goes along with specific company websites that you can post your resume on their site if it’s an option. The online job search websites offer many job services if you need help with resumes and cover letters including other helpful tips.
- Look for and attend every job fair. There are free ones, look at local colleges, they typically have job fairs often. Though you might not find a company or a job at the first or any job fair, you get to talk to companies and keep your job search and your mind job focused.
- Stay dedicated and driven, you will find a new job. There will always be bad interviews before that right interview for the right job comes along. It’s like a relationship in a sense. A lot of bad dates before the right one comes along.
- Visit your state’s unemployment office or website. See if you will qualify for unemployment pay and fill out the appropriate forms as soon as possible, you have no time to waste!
Finally, remember that your friends and family will support you through this difficult time. Don’t hesitate to turn to them if you need help.