It has now been a month since I was laid off as "THE Network Admin," and I've discovered just how poorly prepared I was for such an event. My resume was two DECADES out of date, due in part because I was unable to find my last resume. But what did I need an up-to-date resume for? The layoffs are just something you read about in the papers, something that happens to OTHER people, not me — right?
For those following along, this is my fourth blog about this journey. If you missed any of them, check out the links at the bottom of this post.
The TechRepublic community has stepped up, as they have many times in the past, with lots of support and advice. The support helps not only me, but also the many other IT pros going through the same thing right now. And since I received so much great advice, which has helped immensely, I'd like to highlight a few of these posts to share the benefit with my fellow TR members. It was very difficult to narrow this down to a top 10 list, but here goes:
- "Dude" - jdclyde
What I say to myself everyday and to others going through the same layoff cycle:
I was laid off.
I was NOT FIRED.I did NOTHING WRONG.
- "For what it's worth - The last time I was laid off" - Maxwell Edison Max shared with me how he went through this, and instead of settling for less, rose to the challenge. It was unspoken, but being kindred spirits, it was a gauntlet thrown for me to not "settle" either. I won't be. Will you? He finished with a Robert Frost poem, which is well worth reading if you haven't already.
- "My Advice" - reisen55 Reisen gave a short and sweet checklist for the roadmap to getting back into the work force. Things like "cover letters" and "thank you letters" would have been major blunders on my part. My last two jobs came calling ME, so I don't know very much about the interviewing process. It's time to learn.
- "Organize your resume..." - kdavis TR member Kdavis gave some really good advice on how to pull together a functional resume. I'm still trying to absorb and use the tips he provided in that post - it's a gold mine!
- "Some Recommendations" - BFilmFan BFilmFan stepped up, not only with advice on cover letters, but he also gave an example of one that is going to be a HUGE asset during the job search.
- "Advice on Unemployment" - sboverie TR member sboverie provided a hard, realistic view on the job market and on IT as a choice. There was also advice on getting an interview in the first place — through HR and trying to go around HR to get that interview. Since HR typically doesn't know much about IT, the last thing you need is to have your fate decided by someone who is looking only for keywords.
- "Researching companies" - OzMedia Oz takes the process of getting that interview a step further — from researching the company to find out THEIR needs and possible benefits you can provide them, to informing them of a need they didn't know they had.
- "Oz has it right but try networking too" - J Alley J Alley talks about steps to turn "cold-calls" that Oz recommended into future "warm-calls". JAlley talks about the networking site linkedin, as well as help with key search terms when searching for jobs and the ever-sensitive issue of pay.
- "What I did...." - JamesRL James shares how to build contacts that lead to hearing about the jobs that don't find their way to the newspapers or job boards. "You need an elevator speech - 30 seconds of what you are looking for and why you would fit. You must get good at delivering it cold." The idea of contact cards is also a winner.
- "Yup" - Oz_Media This was a follow-up reply to a question that I had about some of Oz's previous posts. He stepped up and not only went into more detail about where to get leads, but he also provided a full walk-though of how to cold-call for jobs. "We're not worthy!!!!"
Thanks to everyone who has joined in the last three discussions. If you are going through this, hopefully you are benefiting from these posts and discussions threads as much I am. If you are not going through a layoff, let this be the wake-up call that I missed. Get your resume updated, and keep a current list of accomplishments!
More posts from jdclyde:
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.