Thanks to Sanjay Doshi for this self-reflective and forward-thinking "guest post." I think it says a lot about his evolution while working through his Acceleration Plan. Please feel free to comment via this blog (Career Acceleration Notes) or directly to Sanjay – firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I was first laid
off in October, it took me over a week just to figure out what exactly
had happened. Then, I mapped out a plan to help me organize my search
to determine the next step in my career. The first step I took to
guide me? Hiring a career counselor. When I explained to her where I
was looking to go and what skills I had that would be attractive to my
target companies, she mentioned that I needed to start thinking outside
the box. In my head, I thought 'What box?'
I soon realized it meant
that in the process of one's active job search, employed or unemployed,
one should strive to cast a wider net to find their next opportunity
and look beyond the traditional job searching/networking methods. In
one of the toughest economies the U.S. has seen in decades, taking a
fresh approach may pave the future. After all, who doesn't want to be
the purple cow in a meadow of white and brown ones? Here are a few of
things I've learned:
1. When it comes to networking, whether it be with family, friends,
or co-workers, focus on giving, not receiving. When you do the first,
the latter will come in time. Growing those relationships and
occupying a space in their minds can pay off in the long run.
2. While it's important to select your ideal job/career and spend most
of your efforts on getting there, take time to consider other fields.
Tapping into segments of
certain industries that are growing (from my research, this includes
education, health care, oil/energy, social media) could be fruitful,
especially in a
contracting economy (at present, most segments of financial services,
pharmaceutical, retail, advertising and print media are
restructuring). Leverage the industries you have experience in
and revisit them. In my case, I consulted for a city government for
nearly 4 years and while I've been out of touch since 2004, I now bring
a broader skill set than before – more creativity supported by
analytical and strategic thinking. I plan to reach out to a few of my
old colleagues and get a sense of how the landscape has changed,
network with people in other branches of the government and ultimately,
see if there is a match. The very reasons I left could be the same
ones to return.
3. Remember it's about the companies' needs that you are trying to
fill, not yours. Once you know that, you can position yourself
better. Think about what their challenges are in the marketplace and
how you can perhaps provide solutions to them.
4. Consider volunteering. After all, who can't use an extra pair of
hands? Ideally, if you can find one that fits your interests, you can
not only make an impact on the community, but also gain credibility for
future interviews showing your commitment to making a specific career
5. Part time work can be beneficial. Even a few days a week can help
keep your skills up to date, you get to meet people, stay active and
build your network.
as how I'm still working on each of the strategies above, I'm slowly
crawling out of the proverbial box. Actually, I probably have my left
hand and foot out.
posted by: SanjayDoshi@gmail.com
Posted by Karen P. Katz