July 4 2009. Last day at the company I had worked for over 14 years. One of over 1000 employees ‘let go’. Not ‘fired’, not ‘dismissed’, but ‘let go’. The then current euphemism for losing one’s job. What a wretched day it was. I wasn’t dismissed for incompetence or moral turpitude or falsifying expenses. Not at all. The project I was working on was being terminated, and me with it. July 4th but not a day when I felt like celebrating in the usual country founding spirit.
Reward yourself. If your goal is to get a new job, you will need to take action to make a change. Set goals and share them with someone you trust so that you can be held accountable. For example, promise that you’ll send out two resumes a week to relevant jobs. If you succeed, reward yourself with a predetermined item. Likewise, if you fail, be sure to carry out a predetermined punishment. Even if a project doesn’t feel as if it’s worth your time, make it your business to make it worth your time. Otherwise, getting started can feel impossible.
For us, the first planning phase was timing. The idea for this trip first came up about five years ago. It soon became clear that our most likely opportunity would be to take 3-4 months during the summer, so we remained attentive to natural breaks in our life where a trip would fit in. In our case it ended up being a help of mine. I have friends who are using their honeymoon as the starting point for a six-month trip around the world. For others it may be the sale of a home or end of a lease.
Fortunately I outplacement supports have a pretty great support system. I called my husband, vented and then asked him to pray for me and I also called my Priest and asked him to pray as well. Then I left my office, had a snack, got in the car with the baby and went for a nice walk along the river.
Now is the time to daydream. Let your imagination run wild with the possibilities of what your life can be. Paint a crystal clear picture of what you want and how you will feel once you get it. Visualize this new job in which you are doing work you feel amazing about. See yourself doing it. Write out a detailed statement about it as if it were the future already and it has come to pass. Your vision will serve as your beacon in becoming exactly who you want to be.
Submit resumes and always follow up by phone and email to make sure that the company received them. Don’t just be another sheet of paper in the stack. Get noticed by making personal, voice-to-voice contact.
Master your “Elevator Speech”. I never cease to be amazed by the number of seasoned senior executives that don’t have this skill perfected. We can get you in front of the people you need to meet… but if you choke during that first phone call, or interview, nothing else matters.
Break it up. What sounds easier? Writing 1,000 words in two hours or writing 125 words in 15 minutes? Breaking your task into smaller parts will help you get started.