Tech & Work

Laid off and running out of options

TechRepublic member jdclyde talks about how difficult it is updating a 20-year-old resume and some of his considerations and concerns about finding employment in the current market.
This post was written by TechRepublic member jdclyde.

Just over three weeks ago, I found myself — THE Network Admin — out of work.

I struggled when deciding whether the best route was to seek additional training or jump right back into the job market. At first, I leaned heavily towards the training route, but that's no longer an option. I just found out that, because I have a BA in Networking, the only way the State will admit me into the re-training program is if I can show letters of rejection at attempts to get employment in the current field. To make things worse, there are very limited fields of study available. On the bright side, I could become a nurse, because there is plenty of funding for that.

So, it's time to sit back and re-evaluate where I'm sitting. The sitting back part is much easier than the re-evaluating part. What I'd really love is to take a nap right about now, as my energy levels and over all motivation is going down hill fast. I made a mental compromise — work now and nap later.

The place to start is my resume. If I would have kept it up-to-date all along instead of not even thinking about it for over 20 years, this process would be much easier. To be honest, I forgot, because I was approached for my last two jobs in a row, and I didn't even have a resume. What a major blunder on my part. Time to fix that mistake, and it's a mistake I will never repeat again.

For some reason, I don't think the chronological style of resume suites my situation very well. I have to reconstruct my work history, but what do you do when a few of the companies you worked for are no longer in business? Since all but my most recent job were held over 10 years ago, I'm hoping that a potential employer wouldn't want to contact them anyways.

The next step of the reconstruction process is to come up with a list of accomplishments. How do I tell someone how great I am without handing them a book?

One of the services the State of Michigan has is helping people write resumes and go through mach interviews. It would be good not go into the first few job interviews "cold."

The final avenue to follow is getting job leads. The local paper is going to be a bust. I know that before even trying. How about job placement sites? Heck, why not, right?

The idea of making my own opportunity is very appealing, such as going to different companies and introducing myself, but what steps do I need to complete before walking through their front doors? What are some good ways to research companies, such as what do they do, how do they do it, and who's the person (or people) I need to talk to?

How did you go about searching for a job in this tight economy?

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Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the several blogs.

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