OK, so you have been laid-off, downsized, riffed, let go, fired or maybe you even quit. Before you rush to put your resume on Monster, Careerbuilder, Hotjobs, Dice or Florida Alligator Wrestler Jobs, or all of the above, take a minute and ask yourself a question:
What job do I really want to do? Well, Bill Gates isn’t handing over controlling interest of Microsoft and Bono hasn’t mentioned he is looking for a replacement at U2, so those choices may be gone, but there are certainly others.
Leaving your job is a very destabilizing situation, and depending on if you have money put away or are given some kind of a severance, can even be a threat to your survival. But no matter what the case is, it is a time of transition that is for sure. Now during a time of transition, why not do a little reflection. Dig down deep and see what you really want to do.
Here is what I suggest, write down 20 jobs or careers you would like to do. If you write down the King of France or a Cage Fighter as your choices, the process may take a bit longer, so stick with jobs in the realm of possibility. But that does not mean you cannot think out of the box and get creative. If you have been looking to start that website business selling antiques your Grandmother left you, write that down as one of the choices.
Now after you have written your 20 possibilities, it is time to look at their feasibility. Here is an example: you have worked at a company for 15 years and have done a lot of product management, product marketing and marketing in general and in the course of your work you have helped negotiate several contracts and played a key role in bringing in business for your company. Now, you have never really been a sales person or really even a Business Development person, but you have great customer facing skills and also have been the key subject matter expert in a number of sales. A natural progression for you would a Business Development Manager or an Account Manager. Actually, I see this type of job progression all the time.
So you have decided that you really want to go for a job as a Business Development Manager. Great! But, what about the fact that your resume has no real Biz Dev. experience? Unfortunately, in this current economy there is not a lot of people hired based on what they might be able to do at a job. Maybe “gleaning” your resume to the biz dev. role will be enough. A professional resume writer, career coach or counselor can do wonders on a resume if the person really does have the experience but his resume just needs shaping to be focused properly.
What if all the help in world can’t make your experience match the job you are aspiring to? Then it is time to do something to bridge the gap. Perhaps a sales training course? Or, maybe you need to take a job in sales or business development that is a little lower pay and responsibility than what you are used to. That way, you can work there for a few years and when it is time to really go for that dream job, you not only have the desire and skills to do it, you also have the quantifiable experience.
But why not plaster your resume across every job and resumeblaster service on the planet, and then do your reflection? As they say, isn’t job hunting “a game of numbers”? Yes, most definitely it is! But, here is something that can happen. You right away slap together a resume that is nicely done, but very general and immediately you start getting calls and even interviews. Awesome! Unfortunately though, after 3 months of you turning down jobs you didn’t like, and companies turning you down because you were not a right fit for the job, you’re worn out and depressed because of how bad the job market is. But, did you really know what job you wanted in the first place? Trying to drive to Las Vegas without a map or real plan on how to get there, you will end up in Idaho.
So, to sum this all up: In life there are times when a moment of reflection is in order, a baby is born, someone dies, the Cubs win the World Series, or you need to find a new job. Take that time to reflect and reevaluate. Who knows? Maybe those clothes you never threw out from the 80’s could be used for your new cage fighting job. The sky’s the limit!