Adapting to Your Situation
For the UnemployedIf you are unemployed, or about to be unemployed, it is essential to get the ball rolling quickly. Besides deteriorating economic conditions that make job-hunting more difficult, your ability to find a job decreases each day you are unemployed. Because of the mass layoffs of the late 1980's, there is a stereotype of the unemployed as overpaid deadwood cut out of an organization because they weren't needed- this stereotype has a corollary that says "Don't hire someone else's overpaid mistake." I know this may seem cruel, but it's the perception, and I must tell you of it to give you the right information about the job search environment. If you are given any notice at all of a layoff, consider it a gift- get to work finding the next opportunity immediately- do NOT tell any potential employers that you are about to be laid-off; it's none of their business and the unfair attitudes towards the unemployed prevent you from sharing this information lest you injure your own self-interest.
For the TerminatedHere's a special note for those who have been "terminated" for a performance issue- more than likely, your company agreed to give you a good reference in exchange for you not suing them. They will honor their word- they will give you a good reference. There is no requirement that you ever mention the actual reason for your termination. In the pages that follow, you will have contacts with potential new employers. Start these relationships out on a good note- do NOT mention your termination, and have a legitimate reason for your leaving. We're not telling you to lie, but if the only plausible excuse you can generate is "I was fired," then you might consider immediately starting some sort of "business" such that you have a legitimate excuse to account for the time between jobs. A reason after the fact allows you to be honest without disclosing potentially fatal information to future employers. If you truly had a performance problem, take your lumps and learn from it, but do not drag the past into a new relationship. All the new company needs to know is that your new business didn't work out and you are looking to rejoin the work force. Call Amway or Mary Kay, or sell your used stuff on Ebay.com- they're all legitimate "businesses" while you find your next job. If anyone asks for specifics, explain that you were "looking to apply the skills you learned from [insert your employment field here] to Internet marketing and sales, but thanks to the post-9/11 economy, it didn't work out."
For Those Currently EmployedIf you are already employed and haven't been notified of an imminent layoff, you need to carefully consider whether you want to leave your company right now, especially if you are looking to move from a safe industry (e.g. food manufacturing and distribution) to a risky industry (e.g. construction). In any case, your primary motivation should be to increase your total satisfaction (pay, job security, stimulation, enjoyment, fulfillment, etc.) from a new job. Our tools in the earlier chapters can help you find a job that you will enjoy. An IQ Test (see the Special Report) can help you compare your own abilities against those in that particular field before you invest in any additional education and/or training required. Bottom line: you are lucky, you have time to wait for the right job, and you enjoy an advantage against most job seekers because you do not suffer from unemployment bigotry.
For New College GraduatesIf your school has an effective career center, consider yourself lucky. You can land dozens of interviews with little effort other than submitting your resume, getting selected, and showing up on-campus. You will want to focus VERY strongly on the interview sections, as grads have to pass two or three interviews before getting hired, whereas experienced searchers usually only have to ace one. Overall, though, being a new grad is one of the best places in the current economy. It might be cynical and greedy, but many corporations have used 9/11 as an excuse to layoff high paid workers and replace them with cheaper entry-level workers. On-campus interviewing is the main medium for corporate recruitment of these new entry-level workers, so take every advantage while you still have the chance.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013