Sorry folks! This post was supposed to happen over the weekend, but things got a little got a little crazy. Even though I am in the job search phase, my business is still running and required some TLC.
When I started this whole topic a week or so ago, I started by telling you about my last experiences finding a job back in 1996. Once I decided it was time to get serious, I fell back to what worked before. That was in September. But, after a month and about 40 resumes sent out in response to online job ads, I got absolutely *zero* response. Not one. Not even a rejection. Something told me that I was going about this all wrong.
I contacted a old client who was in the outplacement business (Networking!). In the past couple of years, his business has been pretty brisk as he helps and coaches executives that have been laid off from the corporate positions. We went to work right away on redoing my resume (Branding!). Believe me - it was a tough transition to go from tasks to accomplishments. What we ended up with is a great resume that differentiates me as someone who has had *both* past Management Consulting experience and experience as a CEO/CFO (Branding!). Cool!
I then attacked the job ads with renewed vigor. I probably sent out an additional 30 or so resumes over the next two weeks. At least one thing changed. I got some rejections. We were now into mid November.
The next thing my “coach” had me work on was building my network. Like many old farts, I had pretty much ignored my professional network for the last decade. As I was finding out, this really put me behind the eight ball. He had me join Execunet – a networking group especially for executives in transition. There are three chapters that meet in the L.A./O.C/San Diego area. I started attending meetings and added a few contacts here and a few there. It was at Execunet that I first learned about LinkedIn’s power as a networking tool. I was off and running (Networking!). It was now mid December.
I was pretty low around the holidays. Things just weren’t going right. My knee was flaring up and I wasn't running. Every time I stepped on the scale, my weight was up. I had had an incredibly bad run at poker the last month. Business was down. And the job search was going nowhere. It was time to make a bunch of changes.
So, in January I consulted my coach and he had me make a few changes. The #1 change I made was to make it a point to either lunch or coffee with three people per week (Networking!). Shortly afterwards, things started popping.
First I received a call from an old grad school buddy working for a boutique consulting firm (Networking!). They are looking for people to staff an upcoming project. I sent my resume and got a call shortly afterwards. (Branding!)
Then, I was having coffee with one of my new Execunet contacts. One of the cool things with these type of meetings is it becomes a mutual “How can I help you?” session. In this case, I had an old friend who might be able to help my contact. I went home and got in touch with my old friend to set up lunch. In the ensuing conversation, I find out that the company he is working for has two positions opening in the next two weeks for Project/Program Managers. Score! Lunch interview next week! (Networking!)
I haven’t quit searching. Far from it. But using this approach of networking as the driving force, I’m starting to see results. Oh. And my poker game has improved too – it’s providing my Starbuck’s money. Now if I can just do something about the running thing….