Everyone told you you’re crazy. Don’t quit without a job! The economy is so tough, consider yourself fortunate you have a job! How are you going to be able to pay your bills? Afford a mortgage? Go on a date!?
Listen, I don’t live under a rock, I understand the consequences of not being employed. The only issue however is for the last two years all you could dream of is that one faithful day where you finally walk up to your boss and hand in your resignation letter. In your head, fireworks are going off, “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang is playing in the background, and the grin on your face is equivalent to the Grinch’s after he stole Christmas from Whoville.
Gary Vaynerchuk is always saying “Stop doing shit you hate”. Why does he need to remind us of this simple, obvious solution to your problems. You don’t like what you’re doing? Then don’t do it. Pretty simple remedy to our problems, isn’t it?
Unfortunately for most of us, it’s not that simple. We do have lives to live, and life costs a pretty penny. Leaving your job without a backup may not be a realistic option for most people.
But if it is, understand this. You have one life to live, just one! Isn’t that enough reason for you to enjoy your time here on earth? I envision a life where I worry less, smile more, and live out my passion.
Personally I think living out the next 25 – 40 years of doing work that only promotes stress, depression, and doesn’t engage you is far more risky than having to freeze your spending for potentially only a few months.
So if you find yourself in this situation and don’t know what to do, develop a plan. I recently left my last job. The company and people were great, but unfortunately the work wasn’t for me. The day I finally told my boss I was leaving was amongst the scariest and most riskiest actions I can remember. What I learned from it is don’t let your fear limit you. It’s going to be scary, but don’t let that fear hold you back from your dreams and a different life that you envision.
Use that fear as fuel. Make sure you don’t allow those last minute thoughts of panic to make you hit the emergency brakes, revert to security, and divert back to your old life, simply because it’s safe and steady. Use that fear to challenge you, and motivate a planned attack to direct your life to its desired location.
So you’re unemployed now, and don’t know what to do? Well keep busy, attack the market, and use these few strategies to help get you back on your feet and find that dream job, or finally open that food truck you told your friend’s about for the past 5 years.
LinkedIn should be your new best friend. Just like a business looking to sell to an unfamiliar market, they need to develop a marketing/advertising strategy in order to promote sales for new leads and consumers; you’re going to need to sell yourself.
Fortunately, LinkedIn is a jack-of-all-trades platform that helps market yourself to employers for free! Tons of recruiters interact daily with LinkedIn searching for potential candidates that accommodate the 1000’s of job postings. So make sure you’re on there, buff up your profile, and market yourself in a way that gets you attention from recruiters.
Check out the Michaela Alexis story. She is a prime example of investing in LinkedIn, jacking up her profile, marketing herself in order to land herself her dream job, and establish herself as one of LinkedIn’s most followed account.
So here are a few tips on how to market yourself, and advertise your profile so that recruiters will present you with your dream job:
- Cater your experience and skills towards your search. So if you’re looking for a sales gig, make sure you list the KPI’s you had, numbers you hit, use sales words like prospecting and cold calling. Know your market and target it correctly.
- Add in a bio to give viewers a quick understanding of your professional career. Most recruiters take a quick skim, so make sure they can quickly understand what your passion is, and what value you can bring to their employer. Here is a quick read that will help you design the most effective summary for your LinkedIn page: 7 LinkedIn Profile Summaries That We Love (And How to Boost Your Own)
- Add as much skills possible that present you as a reliable candidate. Endorse friends and colleagues, and ask of the same in return. These skills presented will show recruiters your qualifications.
- Write some recommendations, and ask for some back. Promoting yourself is easy, but when viewers see others promoting your work and career it helps confirm your reliability as an established effective employee.
- Jack up the remainder of your profile with any certificates, volunteer experience, accomplishments. The more – the better!
Network / Interview
Imagine you just got out of a long term relationship. Maybe you like companionship, and you’re looking to find your next soulmate. Well what’s the first thing you should do? Go on dates! Just like you should be when looking for your next career.
Connect with everyone on LinkedIn. Apply to jobs, take phone calls and attend interviews. The more exposure you have to the job market, the better. The more connections, the better. It’s important to create weak tie connections. I often find online professionals go out of their way to help you, more than personal friends and family would. So network, communicate, and ask for some favours.
Take this time off to go to as many interviews as possible. Even if you’re not interested in the opportunity present, there’s something to get out of every interview you attend:
- Brush off your interview skills. Get more confident during the interview process, practise you’re ability to answer complicated questions, learn how to alter your delivery in a way that presents yourself as an ideal candidate for the specific position. Work on your ability to sell yourself.
- Learn the market. Every company operates differently. I enjoy doing different interviews in which it provides the opportunity to compare different corporate structures and compensation models. This is beneficial as it helps you identify what kind of package and environment you are searching for.
- Interviews help you learn about yourself. Often times interviews are done with HR directors and managers, so the feedback they provide is often very constructive. One interview I had, the gentlemen looked at me and said “I like you Daniel, you’re very emotionally intelligent.” Prior to that interview I had never known that about myself, so I used his criticism and knowledge to narrow down my jobs that require high EQ’s.
Treat interviews as an investment in yourself. Each interview is similar to a training module that helps prepare you for when that dream job finally comes knocking at your door!
Consider yourself lucky, nothing is holding you back. The moment you take that last stroll out of the office, you should feel like Mel Gibson in Braveheart screaming at the top of your lungs…”Freedom!”.
What you get to do with your life, well it’s up to you. You just provided yourself 8 to 12 hours more free time in a day, so don’t put it to waste! Time to invest in yourself, and treat yourself with tons of knowledge you didn’t have the privilege to learn at your last job.
So get some books, and start reading! Done reading? Okay now go on YouTube. I cannot brag enough about YouTube, it is literally a gold mine of free information and knowledge.
Get informed about our market and economy. Tons of information online, where YouTubers are literally giving you the answers to success and wealth.
Make sure by the time you find some work, that you learned some new knowledge and skills from all that time off you were treated to.
Relax / Don’t Panic
Last, but not least. Relax, don’t panic! I repeat, don’t panic! The world is not going to end, you’re going to be just fine. The sooner you come to realize this, the better.
The worse thing you can do is quit and immediately rush into another position that, if anything, is equivalent to or less than your last occupation. Remember you made this decision to be unemployed, in an attempt to redirect your life in a better direction.
Enjoy your time off for a bit, you may never have this opportunity of freedom again. So be patient, don’t bite on your first offer, and attack when that window of opportunity finally cracks open!
Liked this post? We’d really appreciate it if you’d share it with a friend, relative, or fellow colleague and have them join the retreat too!
Share your thoughts on this post below, Cubicle Retreat wants to hear from you!