Today, out of the blue, a layoff at a company I know sent 13 very smart and successful people out to the job market.
Layoffs are normal, the job market takes and gives and, often enough, being sacked benignly may be one of the best things that ever happened to you. All of your former colleagues are willing to give out recommendations, your boss is plenty happy to serve as reference, and you get to land a new job at generally a higher salary anyway. The only drawback here are the several weeks of unpaid down time that you have to bear while looking for a new job. Still, the emergency fund worth 2-3 monthly salaries that you created at the advice of your financial adviser should cover that, right? Riggghhhttt…
Now there are plenty of things to do with a sudden burst of free time landing on one’s lap. You can:
1. Set your Rolodex and LinkedIn accounts on fire;
2. Take a breath, maybe a hot shower, make sure you have enough savings in your bank account, and go take that family trip you’ve always wanted to take.
3. Just rock everyone’s world and set up your own business, the one you have been dreaming of since you saw that other guy making a ton of money by himself.
The world is a cruel place, but it sometimes works in mysterious ways. One just has to learn how to play the game as best as they can.
Now if you decide to choose option 1, I have heard there are some good books on job search, resumes and salary negotiation at the career section of Barnes and Noble. I have also heard of www.indeed.com where a lot of neat jobs seem to gather mysteriously along with average salaries for your zip code and for the sought after position. Truly magic!
Of course, don’t ignore the power of hitting up the cool companies you’ve always admired for an interview. In fact this option seems easier to pull through if you pass your resume via e-mail to the highest-ranking person in that company, for your area of expertise, that you can find on LinkedIn. They will often get a thick referral bonus, while your resume lands on the right desk with the authority of your referrer. Brilliant!
2 is a self-explanatory good decision also.
And in case option number 3 suits your fancy, make sure you start on the right foot! If you already have a couple of Venture Capital firms on your tale already stop reading this blog and get to business. Now, if that’s not the case… hit up that Barnes and Noble (no, one obviously can’t skip that place by my book) and find the several good books on entrepreneurship available on their racks. Read a little, take notes on a separate notepad, jot down the ISBN numbers of the books you like, and then go buy those books at Amazon.com for half the price, because you can’t afford the markup at a true brick and mortar bookstore (you just got laid off, remember?).
I can recommend a couple of good books out there. Entrepreneurship 101 by the Trump series is actually very good. The Entrepreneurial Mindset by Harvard Business School Press is also a great pick. The best source of information, though, you may be able to get by visiting a couple of seminars at an SBA authorized Business Development Center or a Business Incubator in your area. Those people generally know what they’re doing and will help you get on the right track about doing it even if you have decided to try selling refrigerators to Eskimos.
I hope this post brought some people up from doomsday moods. Remember, tomorrow is a new day… every day.
Posted by: Diana Zink on Friday, 14th Mar, 2008
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