Perspective of Hope

Empowering You

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It’s not what you know?

It’s not what you know?  That’s right … it’s who you know.

You can exercise all of the traditional means for finding work, to include posting your resuming online, applying to jobs on company websites and cold calls (even though I don’t know anyone who does this).  Don’t get me wrong.  I believe these work and are effective.  However, from my experience, a referral from a trusted source / colleague is much more effective.  Why?  When they vouch for you, they’ve taken out the guessing game.  By vetting you, they have removed some / all of the risk or uncertainty.  In other words, they are providing the screening process as a free service … one less worry for the hiring manager.

A long time ago, in an effort to help as many people as possible, I used to refer everyone to my network.  Then, one day, I realized that my network placed a high value on my referrals.  Additionally, key decisions were dependent upon my personal recommendations.  I realized that my input meant a lot to them.  I felt that the individuals that I referred needed to meet or exceed my expectations.  I wanted my network to rest comfortably knowing that the referral comes with a seal of approval from a trusted source, me.  So, I became very specific as to whom I referred.  After all, it is my name, my word and my integrity.

In summary, exercise many channels to seek employment.  Don’t forget to reach out to your network / contacts.  They can often give you leads on unadvertised jobs or better yet, get you a phone call or interview with the hiring manager.

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Shall we dance?

So you’re looking for a new job.  You’re about to reach out to your contacts for job leads.  You’re about to engage in a delicate dance of communication.  The dance may go well or not.  It all depends on how you approach it.  The key is to be flexible and adapt, as needed.  Here are some tips that I have found helpful, when reaching out to your network by email.

Make it personal.  Don’t send a bulk email, with a large distro.  Address each person with a separate email.  That way, it’s personal.  Also, it shows that you care … you took the time to write him/her a personally-addressed email.  It goes a long way.  And they’re more likely to read it and respond.

Keep it light.  Do not put all of the detailed information in the first email.  Put out a feeler (for example, “just sending you a note to see how things are going”).  If he/she responds, then keep it positive and tell them that you’re looking for a new opportunity.  If he/she asks for details, be honest and give it to them.  From my experience, some people (not your close friends) see you in a different light if they know you’ve been laid off.  There’s a tangible hesitation to assist you on their part.  I cannot explain this, but I have felt it.

Keep your cool.  Don’t come off as desperate.  Don’t beg.  These may appear as signs of weaknesses and turn people off.  You want to be and appear confident.  People will be drawn to your confidence and more willing to help you.

Be thankful.  Many people forget this.  Your contacts, as yourself, are busy.  They are taking time out of their day to engage with and assist you.  The least you can and should do is to express your gratitude genuinely.

Relationships change.  Understand and accept that a colleague/contact that was previously able to assist you may be unable or even unwilling to do so at a later time.  This is nothing against you personally.  People move on, as do their circles.  We should accept and be thankful what comes our way.  Don’t worry about the rest.

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Ask for help

We all fall, right?  I’ve realized that, try as we might, we can’t do everything by ourselves.  There will be instances when we need to reach out and ask for a lending hand.

Whether you know it or not, you DO have a network, a support system.  I understand that asking for help publicly reveals that we’ve had a loss/setback.  People may think less of us.  They may see us in a different light.  I’m here to tell you that this experience is nothing you should be ashamed of.  It is something that happens.  Often times, the people in our network are willing and eager to help us.  All you need to do is ask.

I have found the following to be true, when I’ve reached out for help.  Be gracious.  Be thankful.  Be kind.  Be genuine.  Be honest.  Lastly, this may sound crazy, but people will value and respect it.  Ask them “How may I be of assistance to you?”.  Most of the time, they will politely decline.  But, it is the sincere thought that counts.  You are telling them that this is not all about you.  You have the willingness and ability to assist them also.  They will greatly appreciate it.


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Do something fun

So, you’re waiting on getting that interview, the call back or the job offer.  You’re dealing with a lot of stress, anxiety and uncertainty.  This may be causing you negative thoughts or negative feelings.  I feel it’s important to balance these with positive energy and positive thoughts.  What’s a great way to do this?  Do something fun.

It’s up to each person as to how he/she defines ‘fun’.  For me, I love listening to cheerful music/songs, watching funny movies/videos, laughing, treating myself and spending time with loved ones. So, yes, you’ve experienced a loss.  But there’s no need to mourn.  Love.  Live.  Laugh.  Dance.  You deserve it.


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Be kind to yourself

You have high expectations of yourself.  You want to resume employment quickly.  You may have dependents and/or dependencies.  Combine these with all of the stress that you’re feeling … that’s a lot to carry … for anyone.

While you’re going through this journey, remember to ‘be kind to yourself’.  What do I mean?  Don’t spread yourself too thin.  Don’t burn the candle at both ends.  I know you’re working hard to resume your income.  Just remember to take care of yourself also.  Whether that means exercising, eating well, meditating or all of the above.  You are not a machine, with infinite energy.  You are a human being.  To quote a friend “that’s a heavy load”.  You are key in the success of this process.  You nor your loved ones can afford to have you get sick, become unwell or have an additional setback.

Rest.  Sleep.  Eat well.  Meditate.  Pray.  Take care of you.

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Spend time in nature

Alright, you’ve gotten over the initial phase.  You’ve accepted your job loss.  You’re not in denial.  You’re still in pain.  You’re looking for ways to cope with the pain and the stress.  You want to heal.  You want to find meaning … if possible.  What do you do?  Where do you start?

I found nature extremely helpful in this process.  It is very grounding.  It is supportive.  It heals.  It is life.  It validates there is hope.

I found a rugged trail near our home.  I would visit it often.  It was therapeutic.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I found my walks to be meditative.  The walks allowed me to release my stress in a positive way.  Also, what a better way to reconnect with the source, with no disturbance.

I invite you to spend time in nature.  You don’t need to go far.  You can find a nearby park.  Truly disconnect from noise.  Leave your electronics behind.  Walk.  Listen.  Breathe.


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Let it sink in

You’ve been hit by a job loss.  It’s traumatic.  It’s shocking.  You’re feeling a loss of control and a loss of identity.  You may be feeling like you’re falling … with potentially no net to catch you.  You start to wonder about ‘what if this’ and ‘what if that’.  You start to doubt yourself.  Lots of different feelings and thoughts are rushing through your mind right now.  You want to make sense of it all, but sometimes it feels overwhelming.

What I found helpful during this process was to take the time that I needed to let it sink in.  Don’t fight it.  Don’t deny it.  Create time and space to absorb it.  This is important.