How you spend your time while in transition greatly influences the options available for you in the future.
One positive dynamic of being in transition is that you have some extra time to network with people you may not have met without having been unemployed. I especially appreciated discussions with the self-employed (and entrepreneur) contacts I met who shared their time talking with me. It was purely a discussion to better understand each other, and to convey what each person was working toward. (Note: There was no potential that the discussion might lead to an interview or job offer, and they were not selling anything to me.)
Two years later, I still retain awareness and knowledge with most of the people I talked with on a one-on-one basis. What most impressed me was that these self-employed networkers were running their own business, so their time was their money. Time spent with me was time that they weren’t specifically spending upon their business. However, it made clear the value they saw in talking with new people, learning what the other person was about, and seeing if/how each person could help each other. This value is large enough that they actively pursue such discussions. Today, I still refer potential clients to those people, because I know what their business is and the type of clients they seek. Also, they are aware of what I am doing, so when they reach out to me with a question or perspective, it is a direct result of the positive discussions that we shared.
While in transition, you spend time with many other folks who are also in transition. At times, you may feel that you are spending too much time with unemployed folks. Whether the person you’re networking with is employed or not, spending time with folks that you highly respect can be an uplift to your morale (and… while unemployed, morale uplifts can be in short supply). These discussions also expand your knowledge of how different businesses work, which is always a valuable insight to carry.
Whether you are in a job transition or not, is there someone you’d like to chat with over the next two weeks? (If you’re reading this on your phone, you can reach out right now…).
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.