The best people have the hardest time finding jobs when they are laid off. It is a fact. It is not for the reason you are thinking.
This is my experience.
I was the only person out of 300 that knew for sure that layoffs were coming. I had a mole in the headquarters in Dallas. I asked my boss, Mike, when the layoffs were going to start. He said, “There won’t be any layoffs.” Then, he checked with Dallas and was told there would not be any layoffs.
He was wrong, and I knew it. My source sat 50 feet from the division president who was laying plans.
So I told Mike, “If there are layoffs, I want to be in the first group you let go.”
Mike assured me that it wouldn’t be necessary. There would be no layoffs.
I started looking for a job and started a small recruiting company. A week before the layoffs were announced I gave my 2 weeks notice. My company, AGI, had its first contract. Mike acknowledged that my timing was perfect. The only thing that could have gone better was waiting a week so I got severance pay. The new job security was a lot better than any severance pay.
Everyone who was laid off in the first group got a job immediately. Everyone. And they were the problem children that managers wanted to get rid of.
There were more layoffs. The people laid off 6 months later didn’t find as many open jobs as the first group. Those laid off a few months after that were unemployed for a lot longer.
The funny thing is that the best employees were laid off last. But they couldn’t find jobs. Why?
By the time they were laid off, there was a serious business malaise. All the local companies had staffed their urgent projects. Now everyone was afraid to hire more people. So the best people had the hardest time finding jobs.
Isn’t it strange that the best workers, the most loyal staff, the absolutely essential people all had a hard time finding jobs? The reason is that they were let go at the absolute worst possible time. Every job was filled months before. They were hurt the most by their own loyalty.
Are you concerned about layoffs? Even if you are planning to stay, start setting yourself up for a job. Start setting yourself up for a promotion. Work harder than ever. Take over new tasks. Figure out how to make the company more money. Write a resume and hand it to your boss. Ask for a promotion or an award for doing so well. Don’t worry about a raise. Worry about getting recognized for exceptional performance where you are. Then figure out if you really should look for a new job.
And consider asking to be the first person laid off.
When you quit, make a clean break. Offer to work for two weeks. Let them know you have made up your mind. Don’t tell anyone at work where you are going. Use this letter:
Name of Person Resigning To
City, State ZIP
Please accept this letter as my official notice of resignation. I appreciate the work we have been able to accomplish together at [company name], but I have now made a commitment to another organization and will begin with them in two weeks.
It is my intention to work diligently with you to wrap up as much as possible in the next two weeks to make my resignation as smooth as possible. If you have any suggestions on how we can best accomplish that goal, I hope you will share your thoughts with me, as I am eager to leave on the most positive note possible.
Sign your name here
Type your name here
This sample resignation letter has been used by hundreds of candidates that we have placed. It is a very professional way of telling your employer that you are leaving, that you resign. This letter informs them of your decision to leave, thanks them for your learning experiences, tells them why you are leaving, and states to them your last day of work. It also informs them that your decision is unchangeable and that you will assist them after you leave should they need to call on you.
Please, don’t tell anyone at work where your new job is. Sometimes people are surprised at their new job by lawsuits forcing their new employer to let them go. Even if there is no basis for the suit, your new employer may not want to fight it. Make it a clean break.
Your employer can react to your resignation in a number of different ways. I caution you on this because we have helped all of our candidates through the resignation process. One reaction can be “You picked a fine time to leave” or “What did I do to you?” Another reaction is “What company are you going to?” or “What are they offering you? Perhaps we can match their offer.”
When the “guilt laying” occurs or if they try to flatter you by offering more money to stay, you must understand that your company doesn’t want to lose you. It means they’ll have to spend time and money to find your replacement. And that can be a real pain. But the truth is they can live without you. The reasons you are leaving are not going to change because you accept a counteroffer. The other two reactions may be no reaction at all, or you may be terminated on the spot. If the latter should happen (and it does happen), call your recruiter or new employer immediately and arrange a different start date.
Please call your recruiter after you have given notice. This call can relieve any stress you may have felt prior to resigning.
Remember, people give notice every day, and employers expect it. Many employers handle it as professionally as you do. The ones that don’t? That just means you were right to leave.
Admit it. You have worked with someone you just wanted to avoid. You have done your best to get out of projects with one of your coworkers. There is someone whose footsteps send a wave of panic through your body.
Here is a look at 11 sins you will recognize. Do any apply to you?
Here is the truth no politician, few economists, few teachers want to tell people, and that few people want to hear: certain jobs are only worth a certain, maximum number of dollars per hour, whether you’ve been there doing it for one year, ten years, or thirty years. Longevity does not necessarily merit more money because the individual’s length of time on the job does not necessarily increase the real value of getting that job done. (Dan Kennedy)
Many helpdesk people would be happy to get their income up to $35,000 per year. They are doing a helpdesk job that requires a few months of education and some ability with computers.
I am doing a search for a helpdesk person who will earn $75,000. If I can find the right person, they will be hired in 2 weeks. There will be no quibbling about the salary. It really is just a helpdesk job. But this job requires experience setting up security between servers and applications. This helpdesk person is going to be helping experts.
I know CPA’s who are Controllers earning $45,000 per year and others earning $250,000 per year. Some of those $45K Controllers work longer hours than the ones earning $250K.
The difference is that the people earning less are easy to replace. They have prepared themselves only so much, and demand only a little from their jobs and themselves. Those earning the big bucks have taken risks, educated themselves, taken responsibility, and proven that they will make or save a lot of money for their company.
How you double your income is to prepare yourself for a job where you will be hard to replace. And you will have to be willing to change jobs, if not companies. You have to become a people person and a problem solver. If someone believes you will make them $4,000,000 in profit this year, they will pay you a $250,000 salary without blinking. If you work for a company with total revenue of $250,000, you couldn’t possibly be worth that much in salary. If you can be replaced by a smart person with a month’s worth of training, you will probably earn less than $40K, no matter how good you are.
You can double your income. I have seen it done in one or two years by people earning $20K and $100K. It took, training, people skills, hard work, focus on what’s important, and earning or saving their company a lot of money.
When you are fired or laid off, you are wounded. How do you tell when you are healed?
“Of one thing I am certain, the body is not the measure of healing, peace is the measure.” —Phyllis McGinley
You may need to take a week or two off before looking for a job. If you start searching for a job before your wounds have started to heal, you may keep yourself out of jobs because your interviewing is filled with raw pain. Over and over I have seen people totally botch phone and in-person interviews because they hadn’t healed enough from their job exit wounds.
As you notice peace again, your wounds are being healed.
If you are really having a hard time letting go of the hurt, unfairness, and pain you may want to try something I do. Go to a cemetery. Spend an hour there walking and thinking. Do it every day for a while until you start feeling peace. There is nothing like a cemetery to remind you of how important the way you were treated in your last job is in the long run. It reminds me that I will be judged on how I act, love, and forgive, not on what others do. It reminds me of the shortness of my life and that I don’t want to spend my time in bitterness. It is my choice.
You can do the same thing by sitting in a big old church. Pastors are happy to let you sit there even if the church is closed. If the door is open, go in and sit. Or knock on the rectory door (the house next door where the pastor lives) and ask for a favor. Or try going to a downtown church or homeless shelter to find a chapel to sit in. Hospitals have chapels open 24 hours each day. Evenings are a good time to find an open church. Many catholic churches have a morning mass and you can ask the Priest if you can just stay and sit.
Sometimes I just find a mountain trail and go for a hike for a few hours. Your local outdoor sports store and state parks department will have maps available.
It is much better to take a week off, than to apply for a job when you are bitter, upset, and still bleeding from a job wound. Take some time. Find some peace. You will get a better job.
During a job interview I have never heard someone complain of how badly they were treated and how horrible the boss was in a job 20 years ago. You will eventually stop complaining about your treatment. Why not stop now? You’ll be happier.
It can be difficult if not impossible to know where your career should go. It’s not that you can’t pick a direction, it is making sure it is the right direction. You may climb the career ladder of success, only to find out it is leaning against the wrong wall.
Here is a great article on how to figure out where you should go.
It always sounds self serving when I say it.
So read here what are 3 solid reasons to not even consider a counter offer.
When you quit your job, and your old company offers you a raise, better offices, and a promotion if you stay, it is because they are desperate. Desperate people don’t really love the people who drove them to desperation. They remember.
HR said, “We are still going to bring George in, but his Thank You note wasn’t professional at all.”
I cringed as she told me the problem. Then I decided to do a survey of managers, directors, and HR folks to see how a Thank You can be done wrong.
The 3 biggest mistakes:
- A text message Thank You
- A sloppy ugly note
- Spelling and grammar errors
A text message thank you
Nothing says I didn’t really want to send this message as much as a text message. The short, compressed, choppy text message can only give a bad impression. An email is the most common thank you note. Email is fine but text messages reek of insincerity to many managers.
A sloppy ugly note
A clean typewriter paper page with a short handwritten note is great. A card from the store with nothing inside but your neatly written thanks is wonderful. Typed is okay if your handwriting is bad. Short is best.
Paper ripped from a spiral notebook is horrible. A napkin with a note — please, don’t even consider it. A pen that skips and was restarted on the page, don’t send it! A card printed from your PC – don’t! They just don’t look professional. We are going for professional here.
Spelling and grammar errors
If you have any doubts, don’t send it. Hand it to someone who is good at spotting bad grammar and spelling.
In a nutshell
You will be judged by what you send. If it looks professional, heartfelt and personal, you will be judged well. If it looks unprofessional, you will look unprofessional.
It is best to send a nice professional looking note. If you aren’t sure, sending nothing is better than broadcasting your incompetence.
If you are very focused. If you are determined. If the hiring manager is really missing out by not talking to you.
SEND A PERSONAL VIDEO.
It can be really personal, calling him by name.
Why not record a YouTube video. Use your webcam, cellphone, or digital camera. Upload it to YouTube. Make it private. Send it in an email embedded and as a link.
You could even put one on your resume. Why not?
Why not is because you will be judged by that video. You will be remembered by that video. It should be short, very focused, and make the hiring manager feel good when he sees it.
Be very careful. Consider it. Especially consider it where you just haven’t been able to get your foot in the door. In that case, it can’t hurt since they already are not calling back.
Dangerous. Potential high reward. Are you going to try it?