by Robert Tannebaum
While in career transition, I explored numerous venues in getting through those tumultuous times. The key to the extremely disempowering experience of unemployment was it empowered me to become more self sufficient and self-reliant. Below are a few of the salient points that enabled me to successfully land:
- Joined PSG and volunteered as a trainer. Facilitating provided me with the self-confidence to articulate my skills and experiences by using my real life CARS stories in a positive manner.
- Worked part-time as a substitute school teacher – having some income (even just a little) helped build my self-worth.
- Wrote a 3×5 note card for every job contact and resume I submitted. After a few months I accumulated over 100 cards. The documentation was excellent proof that I was focused on securing my next position. I would frequently reference the cards and follow-up with recruiters.
- Follow-up with a phone call for every submitted resume. Don’t be passive and wait for a recruiter to call you. I can’t tell you how many times a recruiter would say “I don’t see it, send it again.” or “Let me pull it up and look at it.” I know for a fact that without my follow up phone calls, my resume would never have been read.
- Created a LinkedIn, profile and joined several LinkedIn networking groups – this step was critical. You should join groups related to your professional discipline, read the discussions and check the job boards. Many of recruiters contacted me because of my group memberships.
- Revalued and expanded my geographic range for job searching to include both eastern PA and New York City.
- Adjusted my salary expectations.
- Improved my knowledge base. My core skill sets were outdated. I enrolled in the .Net Masters Program offered by SetFocus, which strengthened my work/study habits. Eleven students started the program and seven graduated. It was a lot of hard but the effort was worth the knowledge I gained. You can read more about this program at http://www.setfocus.com
- From my SetFocus classes and prior work, I built a portfolio that I could send to recruiters and take with me on job interviews. Having such a tool helps you further document your accomplishments and highlight your achievements. It is normal for an employer to wonder, “What has this person done lately?” The portfolio allows you to answer that question with concrete material. It provides credibility in the interview.
Currently I am commuting to Manhattan for my new position as a junior software developer. It is wonderful that I can use my newly acquired skills, supplementing my extensive years of software development and software engineering experiences. I recently informed my recruiter, “The salary is less than what I used to make, however it is a big raise from being unemployed. I love it!.
Commencing a new job feels as if you were reborn. It will take me a short time to pay back the education loan, but it sure was worth every penny.