Home for the holidays takes on a whole new, depressing meaning when businesses layoff employees during December and you are stuck at home conducting a job search.
Losing your livelihood during the “happiest time of the year” is pretty awful for employees. Especially when you have to conduct a job search instead of spending time with your family But it has become a signature of our times.
I know this myself, because between the years of 2012 and 2016 I was out of work each Christmas time. As a father of three, I can relate to how heartbreaking it is to deny the things your kids want during the holidays because of an extended job search.
Over the last couple of decades, companies have become more and more scrooge-like. They treat employees like any other resource to ramp up or down to meet a quarterly number. Yet, with people unlike equipment, there can be devastating effects. But, corporations no longer seem to care about that.
The good news is that you can fight back by building a network of strong contacts. The right connection can plug you into a new position before the ink dries on your pink slip or at least before you actively start your job search.
In future posts I’ll talk about what you need to do to build a strong network. Right now let’s focus on triaging the situation and ending your job search as soon as possible.
Announce Your Job Search
One of the biggest blockers to finding new employment is shame. Quite often people identify with their jobs and feel useless or worthless if they are out of work. Get over it. There is nothing to be ashamed of. The reality is that most of us will experience the trauma of losing a job through no fault of our own at one point or another in our lives. The first thing you need to tell is tell everyone you know. According to a study conducted by linkedin, over 85% of jobs come through a referral. So the more people who are referring you the better your chances of finding a gig, right.
I know you may not want to bother people during the holidays, but again, people want to help. You just have to reach out with your request and you never know who may be that contact who know somebody. Don’t just call former co-workers, contact everyone you know. According to Stanford researcher Mark Granovetter, weak ties are actually more effective that strong ties. What this means in a nutshell is, the people you are aligned with very closely, like former co-workers probably know the same people you do. The people that you just know casually can open up a whole new world of opportunities. So don’t hesitate to tell your barber or auto mechanic or even the mailman what you are trying to do. The results may surprise you.
Focus, Focus, Focus
Next, use linkedin to connect with hiring managers in your field. You should take advantage of the free 30 day trial upgrade. With that set up, you can quickly inMail people who you need to get in touch with. You can focus on one company or many, just don’t spread yourself too thin. The key word here is focus. Decide what you want to do and who you want to do it for and start contacting people who can help you get there.
Bonus tip: You don’t have to connect with the actual hiring manager at first. Just connect with someone in that department who can refer you. Sometimes people with hiring authority receive a lot of requests and they depend on the people around them to help filter out the noise.