For over ten years, the cycle of workforce reductions continued until my position was eliminated. Although no two job searches are the same, I believe no one goes through their job search without experiencing a few surprises along the way. As I was unable to rank one item as ‘the most surprising’ here are five items that caught me by surprise during my ten month job search. Do any of these surprises resonate with you?
1/ Being informed, through an HR panel, that having been with one company for over 20 years was generally considered a detriment. The first concern in a reviewer’s mind would be “Can this person work somewhere else?”
I thought that having made it through the many rounds of reductions, would have demonstrated that I was able to provide a lot of value (as I was kept on for so long). I was wrong.
2/ The level of support, shared experience, advice, and honest feedback that I’d receive (and provide) through my job search work team was beyond my expectations.
3/ Realizing my (helpful and expensive) outplacement agency was not trying to get me an interview. They offered help in many other aspects of job search, but although I heard that “Often, companies contact us for candidates,” I never heard of anyone in our outplacement program having been referred for a phone screening.
4/ People that you don’t know very well will end up being the most helpful to you. I observed this many times. For whatever reason, your good friends, and long-time colleagues tend to not be where the contacts and job leads come from. (Perhaps because the contacts would have been extended prior to you being unemployed?) The contact which led to my first hired position was made through a fellow job search work team member.
5/ Fully believing (embracing the fact) that the unemployed person is 100% just as successful as the employed person. This took me some time, experience in talking with a lot of unemployed folks. Although prior to job search, I “kinda-sorta-could” agree with that statement, it was clearly not a position that I fully owned.
What surprises did you experience in your job search?
Allan Channell is a new ‘Blog to Work’ contributor. He has experience in software development, project management, and has interests in communications, Tai Chi, and humor.
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