The Mid-Career GPS Podcast

213: What to Do If You Are Unemployed in 2024

January 09, 2024 John Neral Season 4
The Mid-Career GPS Podcast
213: What to Do If You Are Unemployed in 2024
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

If you or someone you know is unemployed, this episode is for you. 

 Being unemployed is a circumstance. And in most cases, it’s a horrible circumstance. 

How well you navigate that circumstance to whatever is next for you and your career depends on how you SHOW UP for it and what you do. 

In this episode, I will help you determine your timeline and career clarity. Plus, I'll help you get all of your things in order, including your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn. You'll learn how to tell your story about being unemployed during your interview. And, you'll learn why "unemployment" can be a great thing to help you make the most of your time off. 

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Speaker 1:

If you or someone you know is unemployed, this episode is for you. Being unemployed is a circumstance, and, admittedly, a horrible one, and how will you navigate that circumstance to? Whatever is next for you in your career depends on how you show up for it and what you do. In this episode, I will help you navigate this time in your career. So, whether you need it now or maybe later, stay tuned, because I've got five tips to help you, and one of them is probably one you'd never consider. Let's get started. ["midcareer GPS Podcast"]. Welcome back, my friends. This is the Midcareer GPS Podcast. I'm your host, john Nerrell. I help midcareer professionals find a job they love, or love the job they have, using my proven four step formula. Now, I'm always saddened to hear when somebody shares that they've lost their job at the end of the year. I know people specifically who this happened to, and it's always a really difficult time, especially around the holidays. It's a time when usually everyone is happy and joyous and it's kind of hard to be that way all the time when you realize you've lost a job and you're not sure what's next. After all, losing a job isn't something one celebrates. So, to begin, I wanna offer you this. Losing your job is a circumstance Now. By that I mean that it's an event that happened for some particular reason. Maybe you messed up on your job, maybe you did something that got you fired, or maybe your company experienced some kind of financial hardship and they've had to lay people off. Maybe they've gotten acquired by another firm or organization and they've decided to make some staffing cutbacks, and your position, unfortunately, is when they've determined they won't no longer need. Now, however, you were let go is something you need to be clear of, and whatever that is, that is part of your story. So what I wanna ask you right now is how well are you owning that part of your story when you're networking or you're interviewing? I wanna offer you that there is no shame in being unemployed. It happens. It happens to practically all of us. It's happened to me, and I remember going through that time feeling like, oh my gosh, what could I have done differently? Could I have done something that they would have kept me? Whatever it is, they made a business decision and unfortunately, that means you are no longer employed and you are looking for something else. You have to decide how you tell that part of your story, and if there's one thing that we have seen as a result of the pandemic that happened in 2020 is that we know people got laid off, they got let go, they took time off for whatever reasons. Having a break in your career history doesn't carry the same stigma as it once did, say, 20, 30, even 40 years ago. You may be sitting there as a professional in your early to mid 40s and thinking, oh my gosh, I remember if my parents were unemployed or this happened to a family friend and oh, they couldn't talk about it. It's all different now. Granted, if you were let go for performance reasons, there's a way to talk about that. If you were let go because the company made cutbacks, it's usually easier to tell your story in that way. The company made some financial decisions. I was part of a 5% 10% reduction in force at the company. It wasn't for performance reasons, and so, therefore, I'm currently looking for a new job. So I promised you five tips to help you navigate being unemployed. Here's the first one what's your timeline? Get really clear on your timeline for finding that new job. At the time of this recording, in January of 2024,. What we are seeing across the board right now is that for mid-career professionals. It's averaging about five months from when you begin looking for a new job to when you land one to secure that new position Now. In some cases it can be sooner, in other cases it'll be later. It all depends on what your urgency is for finding that new job and also on the company's timeline as well. They may have a longer runway for finding that position, or you may find a company where they need to hire somebody rather quickly. Know your timeline and plan for that accordingly. Tip number two is all about your career clarity. How clear are you about your career path right now? So what I want to offer you are some questions to consider about your career clarity that will help you navigate this time of being unemployed. So, for example, what do you want to do? Are you looking to go back and do the same kind of work but at a different organization, or are you considering making a career pivot? The next question is where are you most valuable? Strategically positioning yourself in the marketplace is grounded in who you are going to help and what you will help them do specifically. That typically indicates a certain area of expertise that you're really good at. So, for example, my background in talent development, coaching, education, training and professional development. If I were looking to go back into the corporate sector, those would be the areas I'd be positioning myself toward. I wouldn't be positioning myself in a pharmaceutical sales, thinking that I just want to go get a sales position. That wouldn't be me. You have to know where you're most valuable. Also, I want you to consider what excites you about getting back to work. Obviously, the paycheck is important, but what is it about the day-to-day structure, the people you're going to work alongside of the people you'll meet and you'll work with? What excites you about getting back to work? And, in addition to that, you may be thinking that this is a great time for you to skill up. How are you going to professionally develop yourself during this time? If there's something you wanted to skill up on in your previous position but didn't have the time, now's a great opportunity for you to do that. So if it's something maybe related to project management or there's a sales training you wanted to do, now you've got the time to skill up. But do not forget this last piece your strengths, the things that got you certain accomplishments and achievements in your role, those things that got you to where you are before you got unemployed right, those things are what you're recognized for, so never, ever, ever, forget that your skills and your strengths are your greatest assets that are going to make you more marketable when you start going to search for that new job. Okay, tip number three I want you to get everything in order. By getting things in order, that includes your resume, your cover letter, optimizing your LinkedIn profile, building a networking strategy and knowing how you are going to tell your story specifically when you're networking and interviewing. These are all things I help my one-on-one coaching clients do and they get great results. It's part of how you prepare and position yourself in the marketplace when you go to build your mid-career GPS. Now I want to pause here for a minute because, if you are currently unemployed, I want you to go to my website and I want you to download a free Jobseekers checklist that I have on my website. All you have to do is go to johnnarallcom. Right there on the homepage. You are going to see a place to download your free mid-career Jobseekers checklist. It's going to have everything in that checklist and an editable PDF that you can go through and just check off all of those things that you need to do to get yourself organized on things like your resume and your cover letter and your LinkedIn and your networking, but also some other things as well. You can visit johnnarallcom. Get that free checklist, even if you're thinking somewhere down the road this year that you're probably going to be making a job pivot or looking for a new job. Get the checklist as well at johnnarallcom. Okay, number four get a plan. This one is one that a lot of people often overlook, because they think, okay, I just have to go out and start applying for jobs. Well, yes, that can be part of it, but so often when I'm talking to people who are curious about hiring me as a coach or they're unsure of where their job search is at, they don't have a solid strategy for how they're going to get that result. That result is ultimately getting a job offer. I'll hear from people who'll tell me that they've applied for 100 positions in the last week, or they've applied for 500 positions in the last three months and they never, ever, ever got an interview. Don't you think that's telling you that there's something wrong in your process or your approach? The clear and more specific you are about the kind of jobs you are best suited for are the ones you should be applying to and targeting, both from applying on a job board like LinkedIn or Indeed, but, more importantly, how you're networking for that job. Look, if you're listening to this and you're saying, look, I'm an introvert, I don't really like talking to people, I'm just going to go ahead and apply online on these job boards, you are missing out on a huge opportunity that could potentially accelerate your path to finding that new job by not networking. I don't want you to miss that opportunity. If you're unsure about what a networking strategy should look like, get one. Either talk to me as a coach or talk to someone in your network about what you should be doing. But networking is such a viable and most important path to finding that new job Having a plan. You want to give yourself a schedule. That schedule means there's going to be certain days when you apply for jobs and certain days when you search for jobs and other days when you network for jobs. If you're unemployed, it is understandable that this takes on your full-time job until you get one If you're currently employed. What I want to offer you as well is that this doesn't have to be this time-consuming task either. The more specific you are in your plan, the better you're going to be. But, ideally, how will you hold yourself accountable? How will you hold yourself to doing the things you're saying you're going to do each and every week and execute on those? All right? Well, we talked about four tips so far and, just to recap, it's knowing what your timeline is, getting greater clarity about your career path. Number three was about getting things in order and number four was about having a plan. But here is the one thing that a lot of people often overlook, and it might shock you a little bit when I tell you this. So tip number five, if you're currently unemployed, is have some fun. There is a reason why the term fun employment became popular several years ago. When you are unemployed, this is an opportunity for you to take time, for you to do the things you've been wanting to do. Now, obviously, if you have the financial bandwidth to do that, it makes this a whole lot easier. But I have worked with people and talked with people who have taken on DIY projects around the house. They have spent more time with their kids where, for a couple of weeks, they went and they dropped them off at school and picked them up at school. They've taken time to go enjoy a movie during the day. It's doing a little bit of self-care, whatever that may be. One of the things that I did for the first time last year that I really enjoyed was doing a float. So it's a place that you go to where you sit in a sensory deprivation tank and they put a ton of salt in the water. You just float in this tank and everything, and they play some really cool music and stuff like that. It's so relaxing for me. I really, really enjoy it, and a lot of times you can find things on Groupon or a local deal where, even as a first time or you can go, it's not super expensive. Look for things like that, even if it means you go and you get yourself a cup of coffee at a really nice hotel and you sit in the lobby and you apply for jobs, change up your environment, do something different. And here's the thing most people miss they don't want to talk about it. When they get in the interview, they feel like, oh my gosh, I can't really talk about this. It's not appropriate. It absolutely is. You should be prepared to answer how you have used your time during this period, because you may never have this time again. Do it in a way that accentuates your growth, highlights your opportunities that you took advantage of, and hear us what this would look like. Let's say, for example, that your company lets you go and it's taken you three or four months before you find a new job and hiring manager looks at you and says so I understand, you left your last job four months ago. What have you been doing during this time? Thanks so much for the question. So I actually took this time as an opportunity to not only get really clear about the kind of jobs I wanted to target, but I used it for skill development. I used it to reconnect with people in my network that I just got too busy and didn't have a chance to really connect with them when I was employed. Before I had an opportunity to spend more time with my kids, do some projects around the house, and then there were days when, honestly, I just didn't want to spend a ton of money. So I went and I got myself a coffee and I sat in this lobby of this really nice hotel and I applied for jobs there. But I made it fun and enjoyable because the reason why I was let go had nothing to do with my performance. So I took the circumstance I was given and I made the most out of it. Imagine what the other person the hiring manager that interview is going to think when they hear an answer like that. You can't control what they think, but you can control the messaging. The messaging is that you took advantage of an opportunity you were given and you are confident in how you use that time. Taking advantage of an opportunity and exuding confidence are two desirable traits anybody would want in their company. It is always about how you tell the story. I want to wrap up by simply telling you that if you've been let go for whatever reason, there is no shame in that. If you've been let go because of performance issues, we all make mistakes and we learn from them. If you've been let go because of a layoff or a reduction in force, there's no shame in that. It is just something that happened to you. How you pivot from that and how you tell your story is all about how you show up to create your next advancement opportunity. When you land that new job and you move into that new role, you will look back on those days, weeks and months that you were unemployed as one of the most transformative times in your life and career, and you will never forget that. My friends, if you are curious about how to build your mid-career GPS to whatever is next, reach out to me. We can connect on LinkedIn. You can connect with me through my website. If you are interested in how I can help you as your coach, now is a great time to book a free 30-minute discovery session where you can learn more about how I can help you as your coach, what it would be like for us to work together and also how to start building that plan for you or whatever is going to be next. Until next time, my friends, remember this you will build your mid-career GPS one mile or one step at a time and how you show up matters. Make it a great rest of your day. Don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on social at John Darrell Coaching. I look forward to being back with you next week. Until then, take care and remember how we show up matters.

Navigating Unemployment
Tips for a Successful Job Search