It’s different this time.
Just after my position was eliminated in August of 2012 I was angry/ in shock/ hurt/ scared, all at the same time. The first few weeks are still a blur as I try to remember how I pulled things together. I do remember going to a networking event at Penn State Great Valley early on. I walked into a large room, and surprise, saw about 75 people who looked just like me: mid 50’s, somewhat paunchy, deer-in-the-headlights eyes, mostly male, walking around holding a fake leather folder containing freshly printed resumes – trying to make small-talk with recruiters and HR representatives that, for the most part, could have been our kids. Trying to explain how my life skills were still relevant and how they could translate into desirable business skills. Technical skills, forget it. Anything more than 5 years ago was so out of favor that it was now considered legacy and being phased out.
The biggest step I took was to go to a local support group – Joseph’s People – in Downingtown. I had heard of it before, many years ago, but had never experienced it for myself. That first Tuesday night was very nerve-racking as I arrived. But it was a support group for unemployed and underemployed persons, of any age, without regard to religious affiliation. These were church-going people – how bad could it get. If fact, it was uplifting. It was supportive. It gave me energy, but more than that, it gave me a safe place to practice talking about myself, a place where I could screw up trying to network and have someone nudge me in the right direction.
So now, unemployed again after only 3 months at this last job, I’m heading back to that safe place. There’s a Joseph’s People meeting in Media, PA tonight. I’ll be there, learning how to do better on phone and Skype interviews (you might be surprised to learn how often you do have to take part in one of these interviews first, before anything else happens), learning how to introduce myself with my personal elevator speech, and accepting the love and support of strangers. Initially strangers, but by the end of the evening, they will be future friends and definitely, LinkedIn connections.
Connect with me on LinkedIn. My network is fairly large, almost 1700 as of this morning, and I’ll do whatever I can to help you connect with the right person. After all, we are all looking for the right connection that will lead us to that one person who can point us to our next job opportunity.
Here’s a one-click connection URL – invite not needed.
All the best.
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