I just got Fired!

My suite mate knocked on the door today, “I just got canned!”  He was surprised and devastated by the bad news.  My friend was at a loss on what to do and how to explain things to his wife.  A veteran in his industry and someone who made a very good living, I was struck at how ill-equipped he was in beginning his search for a new job.  Here was my advice to him.

  1. Help Me Help You! Your naturally going to start building a list of people you can contact.  This is a great strategy.  Letting people know about your situation is a good idea.  Make sure you give your contacts specific information to what you are seeking.  We all want to help, and your contacts would love to assist you, but don’t force them to do all the work.  Don’t force your contact to spend 30 minutes looking up a name or researching a job description.  Do your homework and ask for specific items in your call or e-mail.  Make it easier for others to help you.
  2. No Decision… until you have an offer! My friend immediately started walking me through the 2 or 3 leads he had.  He started questioning which of these leads he should follow up on – weighing the pro’s and con’s.  My advice to him?  You have no decision to make until someone makes you an offer.  Pursue them all!  What a great problem, if you could sit down with your spouse and evaluate 3 / 5 / 7 offers, now… you have a decision to make.  Take nothing for granted.
  3. How Long until I find a job? Tough question to answer, but given the averages it’s safe to assume the following.  For every 10k you make in salary, expect about 1 week to find a job.  In the current economy you should consider 1 week for every 7k.  So, if your making $100,000 you could estimate about 10-14 weeks.
  4. Your new full time job is finding a job! You don’t have time for a 2 week vacation or 3 weeks of downtime.  Get after it!  Spend every day working 8+ hours searching for a new position.  Call, Call, Call….take it seriously and be aggressive.

Your going to find a better job and you have the skills, experience and ability to make a real difference for another organization.  Best of luck in your search.