By Allan Pike
There is nothing I enjoy or that touches me more than seeing the joy, relief and happiness that is reflected on the faces, smiles and often tears of the employees who are summoned to head office by the Chief Executive in the “Undercover Boss” series on TV. Most often these engagements result in hard working individuals being rewarded with awesome, sometimes life changing, cash grants, holidays or study bursaries. Yes I’ve heard that no “reality” TV show is truly “real”, but that doesn’t change the way I feel when such joy is expressed.
The pre-eminence of one’s career among all the things that are important to us in life must surely, at least, place career in the top 5. Small wonder then that one of the greatest opportunities for the encouragement or guidance of another is through the channel of their career.
At the same time, any threat to one’s career position (whether it be through retrenchment, resignation or any other situation) can bring about a choking fear that shuts out any light that there may be in that tunnel and often manifests in panic and a feeling of hopelessness.
These feelings are the same, whether you’re an entrepreneur overwhelmed by massive financial losses brought about by the ravages of a changing economy, or the independent motor mechanic’s workshop Receptionist who is being laid off because business is bad…
DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!
If you have found yourself in this position, take heart. After years in the recruitment industry and meeting people in various stages of their career and many personal experiences, I can truly testify to the joy that comes in the morning, even after a long day in darkness…. Hope begins in the dark!
Even in the midst of this challenge, there are a few things that you can do that can help you as you contend with and seek to overcome your current situation:
- Take a couple of days off, play golf, go surfing, escape the city, take a hike in the mountain and realise that the world has not ended.
- Now work at putting a killer CV together. This means:
- A maximum four page document (three pages preferred) that succinctly conveys:
- Who you are (name, citizenship, location, contact details);
- What your education and/or qualification is
- An overview of your characteristic competencies and the roles and tasks you perform particularly well backed by evidence and reports that support this
- A summary of your appointments to date including periods, companies, and position titles.
- Some detail (not extensive) of the role, responsibilities and tasks associated with the last 5 years of your career.
- Information on what your deep interests are, what you are passionate about and the position or role description that you are confident you will perform extremely well.
- NOT a twenty page manuscript outlining:
- every subject of every course in every year or period of study;
- the history of every position you ever held from the very beginning;
- a detailed account of every associated responsibility or task ever ascribed to you
3 .Update your professional on-line profile
4. Fill your days and weeks connecting with people who have worked with you in the past and have first-hand knowledge of your skill and competence.
5. Use the time to improve your knowledge of some area of life or business, apart from learning stuff; it’s a great opportunity to grow your professional network.
6. Research companies that could benefit from having your skills on board and call them.
7. Apply for jobs that you know you will enjoy and perform well and try to speak to the hiring Manager. Remember you will not get every job you apply for, so don’t take this personally, see it as a lottery and simply play it again.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, NEVER EVER GIVE UP – AMAZING IS NOT FAR OFF.