Well it really has been a long time since I've written anything. I'm going to try this again.
It' has been a little over 9 months since I wrote those first couple of entries. I've been hitting the networking activity hard through LinkedIn, local networking groups, one-on-one meetings. It's funny, but most of my outbound calls start with the line …”it's been a long time. How are you?” … followed by a brief one-liner about why I'm calling / emailing / standing in front of you.
Today I got my first job offer. Looks like next week I'll start training and orientation so that I can become a part time cashier at The Home Depot just down the street. I have exhausted my 26 weeks of unemployment compensation and have just filed for my first of 14 weeks of emergency UC. So I need some extra $ to help get us through.
I've had a few face to face interviews, a few more phone screens, but no offers – except Home Depot. Funny, I used to be in the orange box almost every weekend when I was working. I used to joke that they should set a $100 cover charge to walk in the door. It would make it much quicker for me as it seems that was the magic number for my project of the weekend.
Some nuggets I have learned over the past few months. LinkedIn is a really good tool to use. It can consume your time, but it can bridge miles and years of neglected relationships. It's well worth the effort to learn it, use it, embrace it, at any stage of your career. I'm already on my sons' backs about getting their profile up to date. I've gotten good at it and I am now helping others learn to use it.
I'm very involved with MyCareerTransitions (www.mycareertransitions.com), a fabulous professional networking group that meets monthly at Penn State Great Valley. I volunteer as a monitor for their LinkedIn group, posting emails one day a week. I'm active with Joseph's People in Downingtown and just this past week wrote my first networking newsletter. I'll put it up here later.
This unemployment cycle is a roller coaster ride. Good and upbeat one moment, and then down and beaten the next. Prayer and good friends are helping me through it all.
Have a good weekend.