Friday, June 26, 2009

If You Lost Your Job Tomorrow - What Would You Do?

If you lost your job tomorrow? What would you do? Are you prepared? Do you know who to call? Do you have an idea of where to begin your search?

Although our unemployment rates are the highest they have ever been, there are still people working - and this concerns me. Why? Because the people that are employed may be among "the walking Jombies".

Jombies? You ask? What is that? It's a term I've created that is a cross between the word "Job & Zombie".

We are not talking about the "cool" zombies featured in Michael Jackson's video "Thriller". We're talking about something much, much scarier.

Why Should Someone That's Employed Care Whether Or Not May Become a "Walking "Jombie""?
A person that's employed should care because if the person lost their job tomorrow, that person would fall into the pattern of the following "zombie like" habits as they search for a job which include the following steps:

  • Look Up Old Job Descriptions From Past Jobs Held
  • Create Resume
  • Create Cover Letter
  • Apply To Positions Featured On The Most Advertised Job Boards (Monster and CareerBuilder)
  • Look Through "The Want Ads" For Available Jobs
  • Apply To Positions
  • Ask Friends & Family If They Know Anyone That's Hiring
  • Repeat....

Over time, this approach results in a very frustrated job seeker, so the job seeker sends more resumes by "pointing and clicking and applying" to more jobs that are posted on online job boards and following this pattern....

  • Apply To MORE Positions Featured On The Most Advertised Job Boards (Monster and CareerBuilder)
  • Look Through "The Want Ads" For Available Jobs
  • Apply To MORE Positions
  • Ask Friends & Family MORE TIMES If They Know Anyone That's Hiring
  • Repeat....

And sadly, in a "Zombie" like state, the person continues this pattern feeling more and more frustrated - and still not finding a job.

How To Prevent "Jombieness"
In the past, I have helped adult job seekers find a job. Even those adults that had no experience in the field that they were targeting - I've helped them find a job. And we were happy - both the job seeker that just found a job and myself - until the unfortunate happens (for some) and the company lays off the person. The person seeks my help after several months pass of them attempting the job search on their own and they are unsatisfied with the results. After chatting with the individual, we both learn that the person fell into "Jombie" job seeker habits mentioned above.

A lot of time could have been saved (and the person could have found a job sooner) if they had tried the following:

  • Look Up Job Descriptions For The Type of Positions You Want To Work For
  • Identify Skills & Qualifications Listed In The Job Description That Match Your Background
  • Copy & Paste Identified Skills & Qualifications Into Resume
  • Create Resume Based Off Of The Job Description For The Job You Are Looking For
  • Make Sure Work Experience Section Contains Job Description Wording Verbatim Along With Results Of Actions/Accomplishments
  • Create Cover Letter Based On Job Description Of Job You Want To Work For
  • Apply To Positions Featured On The Most Advertised Job Boards (Monster and CareerBuilder
  • Look Through "The Want Ads" For Available Jobs
  • Apply To Positions
  • Ask Friends & Family If They Know Anyone That's Looking For Someone With A Background In (Pick 2 Things About Your Background That You Want To Be Known For)
  • Build "Online Brand" Through Actively Using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Creating A Blog Discussing "Things You Would Want To Be Known For In Your Industry"
  • Talk To People That You Meet (Networking)
  • Conduct "Informational Interviews" With Industry Experts Frequently
  • Set Up "RSS Feeds" To Stay Abreast Of Industry Information
  • Create "Google Alerts" To Locate Job Opportunities And Deliver Them To Your Inbox
  • Set Up E-Mail Alerts For Jobs On
  • Contact Companies That Interest You
  • Attend Networking Events When Possible
  • Repeat....

WOW! That's A Loooong List!
Is this list much longer than the original - yes. But notice the most important thing, you first start with customizing your resume and cover letter to the JOB YOU ARE APPLYING TO. This step alone is key, the second most important step - TALKING ABOUT ACCOMPLISHMENTS. If just these two things are done first - it will improve the quality of your job search - significantly.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but at least this should help you get started. If you are employed and reading this blog - great! Start trying these steps (If unemployed - start these steps - NOW!!!). If you practice these steps now and something happens to your job, you will be much closer to finding another one. And if you don't loose your job, then you have built some great relationships along the way! So it's a win win situation!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Hope this helps. Now you know what to do if you were to loose your job tomorrow - and you are more prepared! Feel free to comment below...

1 comment:

Ravin2 said...


Thank you for the information. With diversified work experiences and interests in multiple fields I am finding the hardest part about your advice is reducing what I want to be known for down to two declarative branding words. If only I could build my own job description of what I love and peddle it to various companies recruiting myself... hmm... any thoughts?

(currently employed, but searching for something I love)