A new year is always a time to take a look at your life and what you are doing with it. Sometimes you are forced to do something different when you become unexpectedly unemployed. I am always looking for new gigs, as a musician and even in my corporate life. Doing it when you have to instead of when you want to, is a little more stressful, but even in a shaky economy, very possible.
Two months before Kate and William tied the note (yes, baby Prince George’s parents), I found myself unemployed. I had quit a steady job to go work for a start up and less than three weeks in, my new job had disappeared. My savings were minimal and music wasn’t going to cover my house payment, so I desperately needed to find something fast. I gave myself until the royal wedding to make it happen. It wasn’t an easy goal in a very lousy economy, but it was do or end up living in a cardboard box with two cats and a 90 pound dog. The day of the wedding I had two job offers. Here are the top three IT’S I learned from that experience:
IT’S A NUMBERS GAME
It is real simple. To get a job, you have to apply for jobs. Networking is great, but when you really need to work, having coffee with people who may or may not be looking to hire, should be what you are doing after you get on the internet and send out resumes to everything you are even remotely qualified for. I was averaging sending out about five resumes a day. Did I get calls on all of them? A course not, but the simple law of averages will tell you that the more you put out there, the better your chances of hearing something.
IT’S JUST A CONVERSATION
To me, job interviews are like gigs. Some are great, some are not. The key is not getting tied up in knots about the NOTS. EVERYONE has messed up a job interview. The key is learning from it and then moving on. Some of my major mistakes have just been not preparing enough. I once created an elaborate presentation that went great, only to go down in flames when I was asked whether I had gone to the company website. I hadn’t. That is Interview 101 and I blew it. Other times you just click with your new possible boss and sometimes you don’t and there is nothing you can do about it. Self beating leads to self doubt. Change what you can and let it go.
IT’S NOT ALWAYS PERFECT
When you need a job and you get offered a job, you should take the job. The offers I got were both below the ideal salary I was looking for. Neither was exactly what I really wanted to do. I chose the one that was least what I wanted to do, but much less of a commute. It turned out to be one of the most stressful couple of years I ever spent in a job, but of course, I kept looking. I also kept learning and when a job came up I really wanted at another company, I got it, mainly because I was using the same software as the job from hell. So am I sorry I took the job? Of course not. Not only did I pick up software skills, I learned an awful lot about dealing with a demanding boss. Not to mention instead of sleeping on hefty bag sheets, I got to remain in my own bed! That made it all worth it.