Today I received a phone call from a COO in Virginia that recently learned that his job will be going away due to a corporate restructuring. In speaking with him I quickly recognized his intelligence and communication skills. He shared that he really had not had to search for a job in a very long time and also that his salary and bonus put his earnings at well over the quarter of a million dollar mark. This Chief Operating Officer may not have searched for a job in years but even he realized several very important job search strategies:
1) Have a strong Sense of Urgency. Folks, when the ship’s sinking, hurry the heck up and get off of it! A lot of people miss prime opportunities and jeopardize their career when they wallow around in denial. The truth is, that while none of us have a crystal ball and can predict the future, most everyone can read the writing on the wall and can sense the rumblings of bad news. The hard part is just coming to terms with the reality that even though your job is coming to an end that burying your head in the sand and pretending that (or hoping that) the situation will miraculously turn around isn’t the answer. Folks, the sad reality is that you simply must act quickly in order to have the best options for your family.
The second thing that this COO did right, was to:
2) Quickly reach out to an expert for help. Realize what you do well in life and be willing to pay for help (heck, sometimes it’s even FREE). Times of impending crisis are not the time to be cheap! (Read my story on the New Year’s Eve Taxi in Paris sometime)
Time of crisis is the time to do really quick math. Uh, let’s see: help from expert (X cost)… a day, a week, a month without a job (Y cost)… missing the amazing job I could have won if I had been properly coached…PRICELESS. Yes, in this example X is almost always less than Y. You owe it to yourself to be equipped with the best information, the best coaching possible. Think about it, if you had a daughter that could out-sing Celine Dion and could out dance Beyonce and had the beauty and intangibles to be the total package- wouldn’t it be a good investment to work hard to get the BEST agent, the BEST vocal coaches, and so forth? Why is your career and your talent worth any less effort?? Do not make the terrible error of being cavalier with your greatest asset: your personal skills, ability and talent. Manage your career. Don’t expect your Manager to!
KEY POINT: Taking the time to reach out and research the best connections in your industry, and then making the effort to befriend them, is the absolute best resource you can have at your disposal. Do it!
Enough ranting. The last thing the COO impressed me with was that he:
3) Put aside the ego. When this guy called me, I was in the middle of a ton of work, deadlines everywhere, just having wrapped up a conference call and staring down a long list of to-do items. Helping him was not exactly on that list. Heck, I’m a head-hunter, and I don’t have time for random (even well paid random) people. I seek specific talent and I have a knack for quickly wrapping up interrupting phone calls. But the fact is, something in his tone of voice conveyed his significance but it lacked any hint of arrogance. He was clearly a commander, but was deliberately approaching me with respect and ASKING for my help. I don’t know about you, but for me, I’m a bit of a softie at heart. Someone genuinely asking for my help and expertise is hard for me to dismiss. He did not sound desperate in the least (desperation is a turn-off by the way) he sounded simply polite, respectful and asked about setting up a time that we could discuss “working together”. How appealing is it that he phrased getting me to help him, as “working together”. Smooth!
In a one-minute long conversation this stranger persuaded without being persuasive and convinced me without selling. Pretty impressive for a guy who hasn’t had to look for a job in a long time and who thinks he needs some expert assistance. With mad skills like this guy’s got, it sounds to me like he won’t be in the job market too long this time either. I’m scheduled to talk with him tomorrow and I’ll let you know how that goes!
Lauren Goodson, Founder and President of Cornerstone Recruitment Group and Career Expert Academy http://careerexpertacademy.com is a nationally renowned expert in Job Search Strategies, Career Coaching and Hiring for the Professional audience. She has helped thousands of job seekers to achieve their potential and grow their career. Through CareerExpertAcademy.com , Lauren has redefined professional job search training by establishing an all-in-one resource for extensive and exceptional expert information. Be sure to visit http://careerexpertacademy.com for more info.