Tuesday, November 18, 2008

after the layoffs: looking for work

I ran into a couple of editors from Wish yesterday. Since the magazine's closure, they and their colleagues are facing the reality of unemployment. It's a scary thing, and an experience that I just cross my fingers and pray doesn't happen to me one day. Although reality is, all of us are likely to lose a job at some point in our careers, for whatever reason.

And what happens when we do? Hit the pavement. But is the same-old approach of contacting your network and sending out resumés still going to work? David Meerman Scott argues "not so" on his blog Web Ink Now.

He suggests beefing up your online presence with a blog, a Twitter feed or online videos featuring your expertise.
Create information that people want. Create an online presence that people are eager to consume. Establish a virtual front door that people will happily link to. And one that employers will find.

I'm a good example of this concept at work: my new boss asked me to come in for an interview in part because she liked what she saw on this blog. Unlike my resumé or clippings, Dream Job TK is a good representation of my viewpoints and work ethic and demonstrates my passion for the magazine industry. I'm not suggesting everyone go out and start a career advice blog (I don't need the competition), but consider what you're good at – delectable food writing, understanding the nuances of copy editing, or any other niche – and build something around that.

But even as I agree that putting yourself out there is important, just writing a blog or an ebook and sitting back to await the knock at your door isn't going to do it. You also have to work your network. If you've taken the time to nurture it when you're not in dire straits, you will not be that annoying person Meerman Scott talks about:
It seems like every day I learn of another person who is on the job market. Usually that's because when they need a job, all of a sudden people jump into "networking mode" and I hear from them after years of silence.

Stay in touch with people and you'll be surprised at how helpful they can be in your time of need.

[Thanks to Kat Tancock for sending me the link.]

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Beefing up my online presence is something I've been wanting to do for a while now but I wasn't sure if it would really help my career. Thanks for the advice!