2016 In Review – My Job Hunting Experience

[HS] = Comments and Hind Sights
The Beginning
– in Sept of 2015, prayed for a job change
[HS] i need to be carefully aware of what I write down and pray about
[HS] words mean something http://builttobrag.com/importance-of-words/
– in May of 2016, was laid off by employer for lack of clients
[HS] i will later realize this to a huge blessing
[HS] i have an advantage over those who are employed; i am available anytime and i am hungry
– losing a job is like dealing with a death
[HS] this is my 2nd job loss in 15 years; never say never; play the hand i’m dealt
[HS] this is where i surrender and trust the Lord has me and my family’s best interests and future legacy at heart
Take Action
– dusted off the resume, cover letter, enrolled for the LinkedIn Premium service
[HS] to “invest” means an initial sacrifice with the hope of greater future rewards
[HS] started applying for jobs on Indeed.com, LinkedIn.com, and other job posting sites
[HS] my job search would ultimately consume me for the next 7 weeks
[HS] tip: apply for multiple positions at the same business as applicable
[HS] tip: to demonstrate interest in a business, “LIKE” each business on Facebook and “FOLLOW” each on LinkedIn
[HS] i have learned that job hunting is a process that takes times; my timing is not their timing; budgets must align, paper needs to be shuffled, people need to meet, options must be considered, etc. etc.
Take Time to Grieve
– depression and the feeling of helplessness during a job loss is normal
[HS] i am hardest on myself
[HS] repeat out loud daily: “this job hunting process takes time”
[HS] don’t dwell on the would have’s and could have’s, take intentional actions
[HS] enjoy this time (praying, biking, walking, reflecting), as it will be short lived
[HS] take time to reflect and enjoy the small stuff (ie; ants gathering provisions, birds chirping, the sun on my face, journaling, watching the jets fly across the sky)
Purpose In The Journey
– my decision for getting into consulting the last 2.5 years was well founded as my heart was to help more businesses get up-to-speed on the SharePoint technology and i wanted to step out and grow personally and professionally; other considerations
[HS] worked with some great clients who i still stay in contact with today
[HS] proved to myself that I DO have what it takes
[HS] pushed me to join more user groups, present at technology conferences and network with others in Omaha and across the country
[HS] pushed me to mentor, to share, to be more real and vulnerable and to think more of others than myself in so many ways
[HS] consulting was the most rewarding experience of my life; everyone should experience it (similar to the military)
Progressing Thru The Grief
– the best thing about depression is knowing that it’s the 5th stage in the 7 stages of grief
[HS] recall the Shawshank Redemption quote, “get busy living or get busy dying”
[HS] that reality hit me fresh between the eyes, “gosh darnit people like me” (ie; SNL)
[HS] my wife communicated her confidence in me that bubbled up from her prayer time, “nothing is wasted … all of your talents, experiences and roles to this point were for a purpose … all of your skills will be needed in your next job” … i would lean on this vision throughout my journey
[HS] blessed am I with such a grace filled and encouraging wife
[HS] shake it off, stomp it down and rise above the victim of circumstance mentality
Proactive Actions
– the premium subscription of LinkedIn provides access to technical training resources
[HS] complimentary access to Lynda.com is included so i got busy brushing up on my technical skills
[HS] Lynda.com is now a part of the LinkedIn family; shortly after, Microsoft bought LinkedIn
– there was a peace in the storm; the desires of my heart were overruling the doubts of my mind
[HS] i had perfected a well-oiled system of being fed job postings from numerous sites on a daily basis, would review each and record those that applied to my skills, followed up with recruiters throughout each week to review status, reset expectations, strategize, etc.
[HS] i kept working on my skills, soaking in the experiences and information like a sponge, not knowing from which direction another door would open; i had to be ready whatever that exactly meant
[HS] i finally surrendered the results to my Lord
[HS] i learned to rest
[HS] i learned to enjoy the daily bike rides, the breeze on my face, the prayer time, the sitting still time watching life happen around me, the feel of a twig in my hands and the fresh surface below its surface as i peeled back the bark
[HS] i am reminded of the simplicity of life away from the chaos of the business world and how i need to think more of connecting with people in a real way and not let the “urgent” small stuff of life distract me from what’s really “important”; that my words and actions will always be more about the “fragrance of Life” to others … a fragrance that attracts others to me; a fragrance that builds others up; a fragrance that listens and really hears and understands before uttering a single word or solution; a fragrance that values others more than myself
Mountain Top Experience
– my 12 year mountain top experience was really a valley in disguise
[HS] after my 1st job layoff, i worked at HDR for 12 years where the experiences were filled with the best people in technology, the benefits were great and it felt like a mountain top experience … but out of my prayer life i was compelled to leave the comfort of the mountain to the next experience that i now describe as the wilderness where i learned new things, trusted in new ways and that was preparing me for the next step of the journey … i knew the wilderness experience was complete with the culmination of the layoff and the perfect timing to move on but to where ???? … trust, actions, moving forward … another experience in my life where i stand at the shore, look across to the other side and question how i will ever get to the other side … a miraculous bridge, boat, zip-line or helicopter will appear and wha-la i’m on the other side in the blink of an eye.
– the process takes time; waiting is the hardest part
[HS] a friend of mine encouraged me through his words and ongoing prayers to apply for multiple job postings at the same business(es); this was great advice
– i later received a call from a local business regarding multiple positions, of which, two (2) were a good fit … that call happened on Friday (6/24/16) during my morning bike ride
Keep Options Open
– the waters parted like the red sea
[HS] the week of July 4th was busy with 3 interviews scheduled for the week; two (2) of the interviews were with the same business where there were two open positions; up to this point, i had a number of 2nd and 3rd interviews but then it was just silence like the positions were cut or filled but i had received no confirmations either way; frustrating to say the least; as encouraged as i was with 3 interviews scheduled for the same week, i set my expectations low and went into the interviews with my best foot forward. All of my job hunting experiences and life experiences, talents, skills and roles up to this point would play into these interviews … the first position i interviewed was such a great fit that i later wrote this in my journal, “.. if not this job, then i will need to re-think my job hunting strategy.” As i think on that statement now, i’m not sure what i was thinking as my next step … it was more of an outward expression of an inward frustration that there had been so many great interviews up to this point and i had thought i was a great fit for these other positions as well and then the process with these businesses would just go dark. It’s like being out in a great speed boat and then somebody drains the fuel, the lake or both and there i sit … great expectations but no mobility.
BUT, this time would be different. I would later receive an offer that Friday (7/8/16) for the position that i gladly accepted.
Trust Your Abilities
– nothing wasted
  [HS] I have heard others speak on this topic as well; understand your abilities and their worth
  [HS] when the table of my life is upended and the cards are strewn across the room by the wind, i know that it is not a time to cry over the spilled milk; but rather, a time to prepare for the next step and to know that there is something better on the horizon; i may not be able to see it now, but it’s coming and the sum of my experiences and my next actions will propel me to the other side and it will be great.
– journal your experience to learn about yourself
– the job process takes time
– find a faith filled friend
– be aware of the 7 stages of grief
– get past the depression stage as soon as possible
– trust your past experiences, talents and skills to propel you to what’s next
– apply for multiple positions at the same business if the postings apply
– set personal expectations appropriately
– prepare, execute, follow up
– rejoice when the red sea parts
If you found this article helpful, consider forwarding to others who may need this perspective.
Enjoy and Happy New Year (2017) !
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