This issue features excerpts (with permission) from an email I received recently. “Carl” and I met early last year for a Career Action Planning (CAP) session after he was laid off from a managerial position at a large financial services firm.
In his recent email update, Carl described his active, thorough, and ultimately-successful search: applying online, working with recruiters, and tapping into his network in a focused, professional manner. Carl concluded his update with the following “lessons learned.”
“I have learned a number of things during my journey. My expertise allowed me to pursue three avenues: Market Research, Project Management, and Analytics, across industries. The extended offers reflected each of the areas, and looked very different in the evaluation process.
1. It is helpful to have deep skills and multiple expertise.
2. My network needed attention. It takes time and creativity, like sending out a New Year’s message, even to the company whose offer I declined. You may have great skills, but without a network, very few people are aware of it. The resume “black hole” certainly doesn’t know it. Also, it is my network that will get me job leads, an edge on information, insights on company culture, and challenges I could help resolve.
3. You can stay too long in a position or with one company. Job safety is not related to tenure. Most of my former team has been wiped out during the past year. I had been looking internally for another position, but career advancement often truly comes with a new challenge elsewhere.
4. Switching industries, within a skill set, increased my marketability. Though I came in second for a similar position in a different industry, with my analytics background, I now have experience in another industry.
5. This last one is probably the most difficult one to execute. Life is busy: work, family, holidays, and circumstances like a death in the family, made me less prepared than I needed to be, adding time to my transition. Plan now to be ready, or plan for the extra time (money) you need later.”
What can you learn from Carl’s experience? How can you apply it in your search or to prepare for your future?
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