Melvin Feller Discuss What to do When You Lose a Job

Melvin Feller Business Ministries Group in Burkburnett and Dallas Texas and Lawton Oklahoma. Our mission is to call and equip a generation of Christian entrepreneurs to do business as ministry. We provide workshops and resources that help companies discover how to do business God’s way. When the heart of a business is service rather than self it can be transformed into a fruitful business ministry earning a profit and being of service to the community and their customers. Melvin Feller is currently pursuing another graduate degree in business organizations.

Many of us prepare for natural disasters by keeping things on hand such as candles, flashlights, some bottled water and maybe a couple of cans of tuna fish. Anyone who has been without these items during a blackout quickly learns the error of not making at least some effort at preparation.

Then why don’t more of us prepare for one of the most disastrous times that can hit a person? I am talking specifically about the loss of a job.

When we are laid off or fired, we often react only with our emotions, calling our moms to cry or complaining bitterly to our best friend while downing several martinis. In addition, that is about it. Maybe in a few days we get our resume together and search a couple of the big online job boards to check out the available positions. If we are feeling particularly ambitious, maybe we send out some resumes to local companies.

Then we turn on Judge Judy and settle in on the couch to wait.

However, as the weeks and months go by with no job even in sight, we begin to feel more panicked. We look back with some regret that we did not do more to prepare for this moment. However, what, exactly, should we have done?

We should have been prepared. Just like stocking the water bottles and the candles, we need to realize that when a job disaster strikes, we need a kit that contains:

A current resume that has been proofed carefully and can be altered for specific employers.

A current list of references, who you have been keeping in contact with to let them know your latest skills and abilities. When you lose your job, notify them immediately so that they will be prepped to receive calls about you, and to also let them know you’re looking for a work.

Up-to-date phone numbers and e-mails of anyone you have worked with such as customers, vendors, co-workers and bosses. (If you have not kept these relationships alive, they are going to do you about as much good as spoiled food during a power outage.)

The confidence to let everyone know you are looking for a job. Tell your kid’s soccer coach, the person working next to you at the community garden or the woman sitting by you on an airplane that you are looking for work. One of my friends sought a job for months before he finally mentioned it to the friend of a friend at dinner one night. That person had gotten him an interview with an employer within two days — and my friend got the new job within the week.

Memberships in professional associations. If you do not have at least a couple, you can still get them after disaster strikes. These memberships often have job boards, and getting to know others in your field will be invaluable in getting the jump on jobs that are about to open up, or are currently unadvertised.

Activity in an alumni group. Attending the same school inspires a lot of loyalty, and alumni’s often reach out to one another in the professional arena. Alumni groups also often offer job and career resources, and have vast networks that can really help your search.

A support system. Having mentors in place will not only help you professionally, but personally. Look for people who are good listeners, self-starters, have made positive decisions in their lives and are committed to helping others.

Of course, the key to this disaster kit is that you do not wait until the lights have gone out before you start putting it together. Planning for it now will mean you give it careful thought and ensure it will be the most useful to you in your moment of need. The great thing is that by keeping it fresh and updated, you benefit your career now and in the future.

Now that we have discussed the possibility of a job loss, let us look at something that all of us can do in the age of the internet and establishing a brand and and your career capabilities..

For example, when Jason Alba found himself laid off from his job a couple of years ago, he came to an important realization: While he was a manager and had an MBA, he was competing against those with much more experience in the job market.

“People I was competing against had a lot more depth,” he says. “Most of the recruiters were looking at people with a lot more years than me.”

That experience impressed upon him the need to continually manage his own career by networking more effectively and establishing his own personal brand so that he would stand out to potential employers now and in the future, even if he didn’t have decades of experience.

Alba, founder of JibberJobber (www.jibberjobber.com) says that it’s the need for breadth and depth in the job market that spurred him into creating the “You Get It” award http://www.jibberjobber.com/blog/?p=87 , for someone who is doing a great job to develop their professional presence, often through a blog and Web site.

“You can quantify your depth and breadth of experience through a blog over time, to show what you can do,” Alba says. “It’s not a job seeker blog. I do not like those. It’s more a way to show what your passions are, how good you are at what you do.”

That said, Alba cautions that anyone blogging should do it wisely, avoiding the all-too-common pitfall of “using bad language and being screwy and unfocused,” he says.

“You want to see someone’s personality, and show your depth and breadth as your blog is developed,” he says. “But you don’t want to stand out in the wrong way.”

Moreover, my final word of advice as we wrap up this topic deals with the way you do leave your job as you are being fired or laid off is to remember a few key points. These key points include:

It is a small world. If you work in a specific industry, you are going to run into many of the same people throughout the course of your career. That means that you do not muddy the waters with nasty comments about people you might come to work with again in the future. Keep in mind that someone you badmouth today may be someone who can hire you in the future — or be your boss.

You are often remembered more for how you leave a job than anything else. No matter how angry you might be at other people when you walk out that door, keep your mouth shut. Offer a handshake and a smile and just leave. Anything you say otherwise will be gossiped about for weeks or years to come. Washington’s name will forever be linked with not only what he said to start the gossip, but also what he did to perpetuate it. Trust me; the man’s obit in 50 years will mention the spat.

Let it go for your own peace of mind. Dwelling on the past, does not help you get another job. You need to be upbeat, enthusiastic and focused on the future — not past problems. Whether he has a legitimate gripe or not, he is not helping himself or his family by trying to rewrite history.

Melvin Feller Business Consultants Ministries Group in Texas and Oklahoma. Melvin Feller founded Melvin Feller Business Consultants Group Ministries in the 1970s to help individuals and organizations achieve their specific Victory. Victory as defined by the individual or organization are achieving strategic objectives, exceeding goals, getting results or desired outcomes. He has extensive experience assisting businesses achieve top and bottom line results. He has broad practical experience creating WINNERS in many organizations and industries. He has hands-on experience in executive leadership, operations, logistics, sales, program management, organizational development, training, and customer service. He has coached teams to achieve results in strategic planning, business development, organizational design, sales, and customer response and business process improvement. He has prepared and presented many workshops nationally and internationally.

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