sat in the mauve comfy chair in my office with a pen and pad of paper
in hand. Enjoying executive status for many years, his career was
recently sidelined by the economy. With a significant amount of
industry contacts, the day he got the news he immediately did the
right thing, he started to reach out to his network by email, phone and
No one had leads.
I searched within a 50 mile radius and
came up with very little posted opportunity in his field. I logged
into my contact database and made a few calls. No one wanted to
seriously discuss underemployment opportunities with someone
who had a VP title for the past decade.
We talked about the possibility of
relocation and to where he might be willing. It didn’t seem very
appealing to him. Then we talked about transferable skills and what
they might be molded into and marketed as. There was a very solid and
well established focused career here and under the circumstances it
wouldn’t be easy to convince someone he wanted to try something
different — they would see he was camouflaging. We talked about
doing independent consulting.
There didn’t seem to be much enthusiasm for that.
I checked out his LinkedIn profile and
offered some suggestions for an updated summary. I gave him some tips
about participating in Q&A and using it to gain positive
attention and cast a wider net, about using it to search jobs because
it will show who he has connections to at those companies that have
openings he might be interested in. I talked about applying through
the front door and networking through the back door.
It would be a great use of the newly
found time he has to do some industry research by launching a poll and
then writing about the findings. Good reason to have a blog. A
Posterus is simple to set up, has great SEO optimization and the RSS
feed could be imported to his LinkedIn profile.
It mentioned might be helpful to read
company blogs based in the region he wishes to work in, check out
company announcements in the local media for promotions and new
hires to get a handle on who vacated a position, who was hired into a
new one and where a vacancy might be left… You know, I always have to
throw in some Special Agent tactics…
He thanked me for my time, reminded me I
had a copy of his résumé in front of me and that I was free to send it
out. I let him know this might take some time but that being
methodical and consistent in his approach would eventually
He walked away with notes, seemingly a
bit more on target with a strategy. Yet, I didn’t exactly sense
urgency — perhaps because this life event was so new and he is still
stunned. I didn’t sense much energy – perhaps because what happened is
not generally viewed with a glass half full attitude by middle-aged
executives who lose their job, face a job market in an industry that
is excruciatingly tight and really weren’t looking for the unwanted
excitement of change to begin with.
I’m very confident it will turn around for him, eventually — with a lot of hard work and strategy.
P.S. In the meantime, I look forward to a great white paper based on his linkedin research in the messy banking industry.
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