Article 11 -

Article 11

Out of Work, but Not Out of a Job (

Your New Job is to Find Work

JANUARY 19, 2009
By Darrell Gurney

You may have been laid off, but the good news is you aren’t out of a job. The moment you were handed your severance package you took on a new role: Product Marketing Manager of [Your Name] Inc. There’s nothing wrong with being unemployed, so don’t consider it a personal black mark; treat it like a new job. You’re now in sales — or better yet, Director of the Research Department.

Don’t worry about telling folks you need a job. Just get in front of them and have research conversations. If they see something they want in you, or they know of an opportunity, they’ll let you know. The key is talking to as many people as you can; do some viral marketing. Don’t hide from the world. After all, the miracle connection might be right in front of you – or only three degrees of separation away.

So, other than a bit of decompression time (if you need it), you’ll want to get started in your new role right away. After all, something better than what you left is waiting for you. And if you believe this, you are much more likely to prove it true. Here are some immediate steps to take:

1. Toot your own horn.
Because we grow up in a society that tells us to not beat our drum or toot our own horn, it can take a crisis to focus on our positives.

Use this moment of freedom to reflect on your accomplishments, skills, interest, values and personal characteristics. You’ll find a positive sense of self that comes from marinating in your own value. This is exactly what will position your disposition for the promotion project ahead. Done well and with some structure, this “career inventory” can not only inspire your concept of self but will serve as a basis for personal branding that can dramatically shift your resume and approach.

2. Maintain your routine.
When you’ve got perspective, organize your life around your new job of finding a job. Get up in the morning as usual, exercise and eat on the same schedule, and finish the day to be with your family as before. Just like you used to work four hours in the morning, have lunch and work through the afternoon, apply that same rigorous schedule to your new project. You’ll stay sane, and be a lot more effective, by keeping your work time and other life structures consistent.

Becoming an ace researcher in your areas of passionate interest and setting up conversations with folks based on those interests can create some “backdoor” inroads that will serve you. And don’t stop there. Make sure that you end every conversation by asking for referrals to others who could help in your research!

Darrell Gurney (, executive/career coach and 15-year recruiting veteran, supports people at all levels to make profitable transitions or create thriving businesses.  He is the author of Headhunters Revealed! and a personal and business brand strategist.  His Backdoor Method™ for networking has helped many individuals expand their reach within both careers and new client circles.  Hear them speak for themselves at

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