Laid-off


Job search is hard.  And it can get expensive.  Times are tough enough right now so the last thing you should do is incur debt, or more debt, in your job search.

So, here are my 5 Tips To Keep Your Job Search On A Budget:

1.  Join a networking organization

Join a networking organization (or two, if your budget allows) that does not cost an arm and a leg.  Now is NOT the time to join that expensive business or athletic club in the spirit of networking.  No.  Pace yourself.  Instead, this is the time that you should join or renew membership with your university alumni association.  And/or, it’s the time to join a trade organization such as PRSA, AMA or ITAA.  Join one organization.  Two if you can afford it.  Prioritize your purchase (it IS a purchase so think of it in those terms!) based on which organization will give you the most bang for your buck.  How many members does the group have?  How often do they meet face-to-face?  How close to your home (include travel, gas, parking costs into your equation)?  What’s their online presence and level of activity?  You want to join an active organization – both “offline” face-to-face and online via the Internet.

2.  Upgrade your LinkedIn account for $50

Upgrade your LinkedIn account for $50 (yes, their prices have gone up…but I still feel it’s worth it).  In doing so, you will be able to directly contact ten people you have targeted in your desired field regarding networking, meeting for an informational coffee and/or establishing a mentorship relationship with them.  These are people you’ve found via researching on LinkedIn by company name, city or vocation type…but to whom you have no direct linkage.  The $50 gives you that direct connection to them.  You know me, I stress the value of mentorship every chance I get and this is an ample time to stress MTR: Mentorship > Transition > Reinvention!  That extra $50 may change your life by linking you with exactly the right person who may help you network and may mentor you – all the way to the point you land your dream job.  MTR is the crux to the proven 8-Step Process for a Successful Career Transition I use day-in and day-out with my clients.

3.  Go to the library.

Sorry, Barnes & Noble, Borders and my beloved Powell’s here in Portland and Strand Books in NYC (let alone, my own publisher).  But you’ll be back shopping there when you’ve landed the job and have more money!  For now, check out the latest career search and business-related books from your local library.  They’ll be happy to see you and you’ll be happy to have just saved some money.  That being said, IF you find a book or two of great value after checking them out at the library, then go to the bookstore and buy them so you have them for long-term reference and you can mark it up all you want.

4.  Write Your Personal Biography

In addition to updating your resume, write a biography of where you’ve been, where you are today and most importantly where you want to go.  This is YOUR brand you’re creating.  It tells a story that a resume simply cannot.  Then have a graphics person create a nicely formatted one-page PDF for you including the content you’ve written.  The formatted PDF should not cost more than $50.  For more on how this fits into the mix of your career search, checking out Step #6, Branding, in the 8-Step Process.

5.  Negotiate Your Terms.

Get a career coach or consultant.  BUT….negotiate with them.  They may not negotiate on their price, but they will (should) work with you on establishing a payment plan.  To be honest, I find it frustrating to hear that some of my career-consulting colleagues insist upon a client signing a one-year agreement and/or a minimum of ten or twelve sessions.  That’s overkill.  A lot can be accomplished in as little as five sessions, in my not-so-humble opinion.

Once you’ve found the right consultant or coach, ask them to establish a payment plan.  For example, I offer my clients the ability to split their payments in two.  They also can either pay by check or by debit card (Avoid using your credit card unless you know you can pay it off in the next payment cycle).

One last point:

Talk to an accountant and save your receipts for everything mentioned in all five tips.  Most, if not all, should be tax deductible.

Now, get out there and find that job….AND STAY ON BUDGET!

Cheers,

Brian

Career Consultations:  www.briankurth.com

Career Mentorship Programs:  www.vocationvacations.com

Test-Drive Your Dream Job:  A Step-by-Step Process To Finding And Creating The Work You Love – Hachette, 2008

This is a quick blog post today as I’m having a great time working with some career consulting clients’ biographies with our phenomenal new bio writers at Brian Kurth + Company.

I was walking down the street yesterday after (finally!) getting my haircut during lunch and walked past Plaza Cleaners in the Pearl District here in Portland.  And I saw a sign in the window saying:

IF YOU ARE UNEMPLOYED AND NEED AN OUTFIT CLEAN FOR AN INTERVIEW, WE WILL CLEAN IT FOR FREE!

I love it.  OK…so it’s not a free lunch….but who ever said there’s no such thing as free dry cleaning!?  Kudos to Plaza owners, Anne and Steve Young.  Way to help out folks during this Great Recession.

Just had to share.  Now it’s back to having fun working through the 8-Steps of a Successful Career Transition with my clients…

Cheers!
Brian

www.briankurth.com

www.vocationvacations.com

Test-Drive Your Dream Job: A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding And Creating The Work You Love – Hachette, 2008

I was on a flight back to Portland from NYC last week and reading the NY Times and found two articles that really intrigued me.

The first was about a former NFL football player, Keith Miller, turned opera singer:

For an Ex-Fullback, Big Plays in a New Game

The second was about, Michelle Nihei, a former neuroscience researcher at Johns Hopkins who became a horse trainer (unfortunately, the article isn’t on the Times’ website).

At first you might think, “Oh, these folks had natural talents that made such huge career shifts possible.”  Not completely true when you read both of the brief articles.

Instead, in addition to their inherent strengths, Keith and Michelle also utilized three key characteristics for their successful career changes:

1.  Allow Your Passions to Lead the Path – Despite what some of their friends, family and colleagues may have said to them upon their decision to forge ahead with their drastic career changes, they followed their natural passions.  They thought with their HEARTS and GUTS versus just their brains.

2.  You Cannot Do It Alone – Keith and Michelle reached out to mentors to learn how to make the transition.  They did not make their decisions or take their first steps in a vacuum.  Instead, they reached out to experts in the field to better understand if and how they could make the switch.

3.  Stay Positive – Despite the obstacles and naysayers, Michelle and Keith were driven by their dreams — some days with blind faith.  They battled their own “chatterboxes” (the negative voice in one’s head according to author and psychologist, Susan Jeffers:  “Feel The Fear….and Do It Anyway“) pounding out the “Are you serious???” thoughts in their minds.  But they stuck to it.  Part of it is simply SHOVING negative thoughts out of one’s mind in order to stay true to the positive, passionate path.

I love Michelle and Keith’s stories.  I hope you do too.  We can all learn from their examples.

What is YOUR unfilled dream that is being held back by YOU and your chatterbox?  Time to take Michelle’s and Keith’s lead….

Cheers!
Brian 

THE 8-Steps To A Successful Career Transitionwww.briankurth.com

Test-Drive Your Dream Jobwww.vocationvacations.com

THE DIY Book On Creating Your Own Career Mentorship In Your Career Transition

Laid off? Burned out in your job? Then come to a Career Change Coffee Klatch if you’re a New Yorker or visiting the Big Apple this weekend!

I thought it’d be fun to do something a bit non-traditional and gather for a very casual “coffee klatch” in Central Park at 10am this Saturday, July 25.

If you are in a career transition and looking to reinvent yourself, then this will be a great, casual way to take the first step. I’ll chat a bit about the 8 Steps of a Successful Career Transition, the crux of which is based on creating a career mentorship for yourself and creating a professional brand

When:
Sat, July 25 @ 10am

Where:
At the “Imagine” ground sign at Strawberry Fields in Central Park:
http://www.centralpark.com/pages/attractions/strawberry-fields.html

Bring:
Yourself
Pen, Notepad or Journal
Coffee
Blanket to sit on

If there’s rain in the prediction, we’ll figure out a Plan B (any suggestions of a large enough coffee house as a back-up?)

Let me know if you can make it….and spread the word to friends and family members in NYC or may be visiting NYC who you think might like to have a fun career transition coffee klatch.

Cheers!
Brian

www.briankurth.com

www.vocationvacations.com

I’ve been chatting with my career consulting clients who are going through a tough time during this recession.  I invite them to take a deep breath and say the following sentence outloud:  Survival is the new definition of success!

I believe these words. 

Whether you’re a corporate person who’s been laid off or an entrepreneur barely holding onto your business during these tough times, this one little sentence can make a world of difference each and every day.  Appreciate every day’s small successes.  The small successses add up over time. 

Once the recovery occurs (and it WILL happen), you will be able to look back with pride that you SURVIVED the worst recession since the Great Depression.  That alone is success.  Be proud.  You’re getting there.  One step and day at a time.

Again, say it outload:  SURVIVAL IS THE NEW DEFINITION OF SUCCESS!

Go Get ‘Em,

Brian

www.briankurth.com

www.vocationvacations.com

OK.  I’m going to vent, folks.

I’ve had a plethora of “the sky is falling” emails from baby boomers the past week or so who are wigging out that their world has changed.  Now, I can be guilty of being a tough-love career consultant but I’m here to tell ya’:  Welcome to the New Reality.

I totally understand what you have today, financially, isn’t what you had five years ago.  I understand that you may not have as much saved for retirement.  I understand that you’re suffering from some loss of identity after being laid off.  The big corner office is gone.  I get it.  I really do.  And I have compassion for it.  But I ask you, Boomers, were you really happy anyway?

Here’s the deal, Boomers (and the whining GenYs and GenXs too — the Boomers do NOT have the lock on whining):  Life goes on.  Whining about it isn’t going to bring it back.  Set an action plan and move forward. And it IS going to be OK.  Yes, this is a paradigm shift in today’s society, our income levels, etc. but there ARE positive stories out there about people successfully making career changes.  So the laid off IT manager may not be able to make $100K in 2010 but he/she can use his/her skill set in a different industry and still make a great living on national (let alone global!) standards.  Bottom line:  Boomers, readjust your expectations of what it takes financially to be…..happy.  That’s right.  Focus on being HAPPY.  And the money will come.

I don’t mean to beat up on all Boomers as clearly I have many Boomer career consulting clients who are not at all whiners.  They appreciate what they have and what they’re going to attain in their reinvention.  In fact, I just spoke to a woman this morning who had been laid off only a month ago.  She was making great money as in-house counsel but got laid off due to a company merger.  She was wigging out since she’s the bread-winner in her family of four.  But….she wrote down what she wanted in a new job in her reinvention:  A minimum of $x (which was less than what she was making), a light commute and some international work.  Guess what?

In only a month, she landed a new job that is paying her MORE when you weigh in bonus potential, she has a commute that is 5 minutes less than her previous commute….and she is now heading up a Fortune 200 company’s INTERNATIONAL LEGAL COMPLIANCE for God’s sake.  She is even still getting severance from her former employer while still employed in her new job.  See.  She did it.  And she’s just one of many.  The key:  She took action.  She didn’t wallow. She moved forward.  With a postitive attitude.

This is where I really want to insist that everyone apply the 8-Steps To A Career Transition that’s the basis to everything that my career consultants and I do.

Whew.  That’s off my chest.  How many people did I just piss off as being too tough on Boomers?  Hopefully not too many.

That being said, for all you Boomers who aren’t whiners OR want to stop whining because you know it’s not going to get you anywhere, then I suggest you attend my expert Boomer panel and me this Monday, June 29; 8pm Eastern / 5pm Pacific for a FREE (other than your long distance charges) teleclass geared toward the 50+ folks – “8 Steps To A Successful Career Transition For the 50+”.  Sign-up!

Let’s have some FUN talking about career reinvention, exploration and happiness.

Brian

www.briankurth.com

Test-Drive Your Dream Job:  A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding And Creating The Work You Love (Hachette, 2008)

Face Your Fears of Financial Insecurity & Make A Career Transition

I’m looking forward to tonight’s teleclass on facing one’s financial fears — and still make a career transition.  Financial Advisor Linette Dobbins will be one of our panelists.  Here are just a few of the many tips she will be discussing on tonight’s teleclass:

1.  Create a financial plan. Those with a financial plan seem to experience less fear when life-changing events occur. A financial planner can help you prepare for the unexpected and discover opportunities, resources and guide decision-making.

2.  Do a financial stress test to see what you can handle – What if I am laid off? What if I change careers for my dream job? Can I retire? How long will my money last, etc.?

3.  Identify your greatest fears and have a disaster plan.

4.  Crisis brings opportunities – look for them and seize them.

5.  Fear is an acronym for False Experience Appearing Real. Identify if the fear you are experiencing is real or false. Media sells more advertising with fear.   Fear hooks you into watching the story.  We refer to this as Media Mania and the Herd Syndrome. If your fear is coming from the media, turn it off. Refocus, do something that makes you feel good.  If your fear is from a real event, ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen? Then take action. If you don’t know what to do, ask for help.

6.  If you have serious financial problems, see a debt counselor.

7.  Set realistic goals and work on them one step at a time. Just keep making small steps toward your goals and reward yourself for your achievements.

8.  Look at the your accomplishments and the things that are going well and acknowledge them.

It’s not too late to join…and feel free to share with your friends and colleagues.  Sign-up here to get the call-in number.  The teleclass is free other than the cost of you dialing the direct line conference number:

http://vocationvacations.com/MessagePages/2009.06.23-teleclass

Cheers!
Brian

www.briankurth.com

www.vocationvacations.com

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