"Always Be Prepared" in the Job Search

With the current state of the economy, the girl scout motto says it best, “always be prepared” especially when it comes to your job search and my friend Mark is no exception. Four weeks ago, Mark started to feel uneasy in his job as a IT professional.

Always Be Prepared in the Job Search

Over the last eight months, Mark had survived two reductions in force and been witness to massive cuts in employee benefit programs, expense reductions, and most recently offers to staff for unpaid voluntary time off. He is relatively tenured at the company working there for 5 years. Mark began to feel increasingly uneasy when his supervisor began requesting to be copied on daily emails and questioning daily tasks. So to protect himself and his family Mark did the following.

  • Network. Mark networks regularly both online using social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn in addition to the face to face networking events he regularly attends. He put his online and traditional network on notice that he was interested in entertaining new opportunities.
  • Update his resume. Mark updates his resume on a regular basis so within a matter of minutes it was perfectly polished and ready for distribution.
  • Scour the internet. Mark visited traditional job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder in addition to niche job boards like Dice as well as other non-traditional methods like Twitter using RSS Feeds and Craigslist.
  • Informational Interview. Using Mark’s network, he was able to schedule informational interviews with two top companies he is interested in working at. If an opportunity arises at one of these companies that fits Mark’s skill set, he will be at the top of the list.

The Result:
Mark is still in the job search but in his own words he feels more in control and better prepared in the event he is laid off. He has applied for three positions, has received one interview, and two informational interviews thus far. For many of us in the job search, Mark’s story is not that different from our own. The key is always being prepared because within a matter of days or minutes, your situation can change drastically. A good defense is the best offense.

Mark’s Story. . . To Be Continued. . .

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.


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