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On friday my role was made redundant. The company is going through a financial downturn, and several roles were identified as expendable, including my role. Folks, I sure wish that I had caught up with the layoffs casts before now!

One of the hardest things is that the layoff was one of those "4.55pm friday, here is the paperwork, clean out your desk" affairs (4 of us went). I didn't have any time to sort through my papers, hand over any unfinished work, brief people or even say goodbye to my staff.

I feel chewed up and spat out after more than 8 years. There were no thanks and although I was on the senior management executive, the Managing Director didn't take the time to see me. The manager being "groomed" to take over the company on his retirement walked past me without acknowledging me, even though I had worked closely with her on any number of projects and business issues over the years.

It is important to me to leave with a measure of grace. So I have spent the weekend writing goodbye emails to my staff and those I have worked with, thanking them and telling them how much I appreciated them and why.

My contact list is less than desirable and the resume is 18 months out of date. The bright side is that now I have to get my act together to find a new job, lots of Manager Tools words of wisdom are rising to the surface just when I need them :wink: And my resume is in the Manager Tools format so updating it isn't going to be a huge stretch (well I hope not).

Given that I was feeling so burnt out and let down, it is hard to remember anything that might take me forward. So I've started by gathering positive constructive feedback. I have asked several trusted former collegues to identify the 3 key competencies I displayed when working with them, and 3 key “qualities”. I also asked for 3 key areas that I could develop further. From this I’ll be able to update my resume and identify strengths and weaknesses.

In a gallows humour sort of way, the layoff is probably a good thing for me. I was bored out of my brain, but too de-motivated and de-moralised to do anything about it. At least now I am forced to collect my thoughts, work out what skills I have, what I am good at and start something new.

Wish me luck!
Linda

jhack's picture

It's a tough situation, but it sounds like you've got the right approach. Don't forget handwritten thank you notes to the folks who've helped you along the way.

We are here for you...please reach out on the forums if you need anything.

John

lazerus's picture

My sympathy goes out to you, having gone through an uncannily similar situation recently.

It is difficult to put objective thought into a resume at a time like this. Take frequent breaks. Use the MT method, one page etc., it really helps distill your significant accomplishments. Doing this will also give your ego a much needed shot in the arm.

And, keep it updated from now on! Manage your network too! It can happen to anybody.

Good luck, wherever you go, it's a better place! :D

tcomeau's picture

Well, I'm sorry to hear it took the jolt of a layoff to get you moving, and I'm happy to hear that you seem to be on the right track. Good luck, and keep that positive attitude!

tc>

HMac's picture

My sympathies - as MY position was made redundant recently too. Everything here is good advice, I won't repeat it. I WILL put in a plug for the MT Interviewing Series, though.

In my experience, it took a little time (first shock and disbelief, then resentment and indignation, then gallows humor). During the early days, I kep two journals: One was titled "Looking back without malice" and the other was titled "Looking back WITH malice." It seemed important and healthy to allow myself the jabs- but I didn't want to see them every time I was writing something, because, eventually, I knew the positive would outweigh the negative...

One bit of advice about networking: Contact EVERYBODY. Even if you think they're too casual a relation, or unlikely to be of help. You'll be amazed at who you think WILL help and doesn't, and even more amazed at who you think WON'T help and does...It's wonderful - but you have to give them the opportunity to step up and help, by reaching out to them.

I learned from my outplacement rep to repare a 30 second "Exit Statement" that's succinct and not negative or self-pitying. Just as an example, here's the one I've been using:

[i]I am a New York-based strategic marketer, having just completed a post-9/11 business turnaround for one of {My former company}'s largest accounts, leading global loyalty marketing efforts for {Internationally-known Client}.

The company faced substantial losses at yearend, and in an effort to cut expenses, it eliminated over 100 jobs nationwide – one of which was mine. They said they wished they didn’t have to, and the CEO said he’d be delighted to provide a reference for me.

I was at {my former company} for twelve years, in four great roles, doing business development, marketing strategy and thought leadership, being published and speaking, and leading hands-on execution of marketing programs.

{Company} is headquartered in Minnesota, and rather than considering moving back there, I’m looking for my next opportunity here in the New York area.[/i]

That's it - it's worked great for me, getting the conversation past the obligatory "Why are you looking?" without even a hint of awkwardness.

Last tip: I keep a Word document I call TALKING POINTS that's my main script document. It's got my exist statement, answers to frequent questions (like "what kinds of job are you looking for?"), phrases to use when asking for networking meetings, the paragraphs I've developed for cover letters (listen to the MT cast on cover letters!), ETC.

That document - and my resume - are in front of me when I'm working the phone: networking, talking to recruiters.

Good luck! And make sure to call on the MT community!

-Hugh

wendii's picture

Linda - I hope this marks the turning point that you want it to be.

[quote]Last tip: I keep a Word document I call TALKING POINTS that's my main script document. It's got my exist statement, answers to frequent questions (like "what kinds of job are you looking for?"), phrases to use when asking for networking meetings, the paragraphs I've developed for cover letters (listen to the MT cast on cover letters!), ETC.
[/quote]

Great tip Hugh! Thanks :-)

Wendii