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The short version of this story is that I was laid-off at the end of June and have been trying to find a new position ever since.
Despite being well qualified, experienced, geographically mobile and flexible with regards to job role/remuneration etc. I'm just not getting anywhere.

I've overhauled my CV in line with the suggestions in the podcast (despite having paid "professionals" to do it previously), I've established relationships with recruiters (but deep down I still rank them on a par with lawyers and real-estate agents ... one today even asked me what an MBA was ... what's that word Homer uses?), nevertheless I even stand up when calling them (perhaps I should salute as well?).

So, as you may be able to tell by now trying to get a job is without doubt the worst project of my professional life to date. Morale and motivation are plummeting at a rate of knots.

Anyone else been here before? Any suggestions as to how to keep morale on an upbeat? (BTW being told to keep my 'chin-up' doesn't seem to work either)

itilimp's picture

First of all I should say I've never been in your situation and I've no idea what the job market is like in south wales. That said...

What industry do you work in? What kind of position are you applying for? Other than recruiters, what other methods are you using to look for work? Do you want to stay in the same industry or are you looking for a change? Are there particular companies you would like to work for? If so, target them.

Perhaps someone with a wealth of recruitment experience would be able to review your CV for you to ascertain if there are improvements that can be made on that side.

When I've felt things getting me down; I've found that focusing on the little things and appreciating those helps, e.g. smell of wet grass after it's rained (whatever works for you).

Good luck - you've got support behind you :D

akinsgre's picture

[quote="iand_66"]Anyone else been here before? Any suggestions as to how to keep morale on an upbeat? (BTW being told to keep my 'chin-up' doesn't seem to work either)[/quote]

First, you have my sympathies. I have never been laid off that long; but even shorter periods got me depressed.

The things that helped me were

1. Stay involved professionally, even on a volunteer basis. Despite the lack of pay, it can still be rewarding; sometimes even more so.
2. Take on a pet project, for much the same reasons; and to pad your resume.
3. Take short term contracts, if available in your field. You might not be able to get the money; but may learn something new. And the short term nature still leaves you available if a better position comes along.

Good Luck!

wendii's picture

Hi Ian,

I'm sorry you're having a tough time. I hope we can help.

I was (ssh, don't tell anyone!) fired at the beginning of the year, here's what helped me stay 'up':

First I had a spreadsheet which showed all the jobs I'd applied for, the references numbers and other details, where I'd got the information from and the results. That alone made me feel made me feel in control and knowing where the best sources of jobs for my speciality was helped me direct my efforts - and it really helps when random people from agencies ring! I made it a game to apply for a certain number of jobs in a week. As well as job websites, I called every agency advertising in our local phone book (over about 6 weeks) and I had a list of the Top 100 companies to work for, started A and looked at every website for locations near me and suitable vacancies. Doing all those things a) helped me keep up my numbers, and b) helped me feel like I wasn't a victim, that I was being procative.

Secondly, make sure you look after yourself. Eat well, exercise and talk to family and friends. Being proactive helps you have positive news to report: I applied for 3 jobs today, sounds good to you and them when they ask how the job hunt is going.

I hope that gives you some ideas to stay positive.

On a different tack, are you getting calls about your CV, interviews? If you're not getting any calls it could be your CV and if you're getting interviews, then it could be your technique. If you let us know where it's going wrong, we can probably help.

I hope that helps.

Wendii

PS As a recruiter, I don't require salutes, but if you feel you would like to go ahead :-)

Mark's picture

First, please send me your resume and I'll have a look. Tell me more about what you've done and what you want to do, and I'll make suggestions/recommendations.

Wendii has some good suggestions - thanks Wendii. Eat well and work out, and maintain a schedule. Have coffee/tea with someone (new) 2-3 times a week. Lean on friends. I am sure you have done these things... but I say them every time, just in case.

Feel free to email me directly whenever you need guidance... happy to help.

Mark

linda_du's picture

Mark and Mike, both of you are great - set up this website and open the podcast for all of us.

I left a note here caz my husband was laid off during his evaluation time (as you mentioned in the recent podcast, yes, it is the annual performance evaluation time). I appreciate Ian and Wendii shared the experience with us. Not a lot of people are brave to do so. I have another comment to add: it also helps to practise the 1-minute sell to the recruiters - only if you really impressed them can they help to sell you to the hiring managers. To practise the interviews are really helpful too.

I have my recent interview (for jobs back to the States) and I think I am close to the offer. I prepared almost 1 week for the 1-day interview (meeting 8 people). I cannot say I did great, but I tried my best.

I am hopeful that Ian, Wendi and my husband all find the job they wanted.

Linda

Mark's picture

Linda-

Thanks for the kind words. Glad you're getting value from our work.

Well wishes on your husband's search.

Mark

DanStratton's picture

Been there. It is tough to get up in the mornings and face the world. I recommend doing informational interviews - get out there and in front of people to ask their advice on where you should look / who you should talk to. Don't go in asking for a job, but their advice. THis approach is lined out in What Color Is Your Parachute.

While I was looking, I did over 125 of these. Lining them up was a full time job. Maintaining the network I built is just as time consuming, but I am happy to say that the job I have now was a direct result of those interviwes. The job was created for me and I was the only candidate. Those are odds I can win!

Use this time to learn more about yourself through the mirror of others. I investigated so many areas I had never thought of before. I found myself being in the position to connect people in my network who needed each other. Once I got into that mode of service, things took off and it wasn't long before the offers started showing up.

Like Wendi said, take care of yourself. Admit it is a roller coaster and the highs and lows could be minutes apart. Just don't forget that you are a winner and you are worth every penny. First thing in the morning, take a deep breath and say out loud, "I'm ready!"

Good luck! We're here for you.

Mark's picture

If I missed your resume in the email deluge/spam filter, would you please resend?

Mark

Mark's picture

This article from CareerJournal might be of value here:

http://www.careerjournal.com/jobhunting/change/20061128-ransom.html?mod=...

Mark