Submitted by: Mike Doody, CCC Board Member and CCC Career Coach Volunteer


Last week’s blog I started the conversation about what to do if suddenly you are out of work, including:

Developing a Game Plan
Using your time productively

Let’s continue the discussion on other tools you can do when you find you are out of a job.



Your network of acquaintances, friends, professional collegues, fellow association members, past employers and employees – must be contacted to make them aware of your situation – and to solicit their help and ideas. If you are lucky enough to have a mentor, meet with her/him and seek counsel, encouragement, and ideas.

Develop the list of people to contact; determine how you are going to contact them (e.g., by letter/email, with a follow-phone call, etc.) Prepare specific answers to questions you expect. For example, be prepared to answer:

“What firm are you with?”, when asked by the assistant of Mr. Gottajob, when you call him to inquire about potentials with his company.
“What happened at your last company?”
“What specifically are you looking for in a new position?”
“What could you do for us – bring to our firm?”

The list could go on. The point is that you should think about what you would ask someone if the roles were reversed and think about how you would answer such questions. Be prepared with concise, well thought out answers, but don’t sound like that answers are rehearsed. As you begin contacting people, know exactly what it is you want to achieve with each contact. Do you want to ask that person for a job? For ideas about where you might look? For suggestions of others with whom you might talk? For them to open doors to others they may know and you want to meet?

Many new positions are not posted, so don’t depend solely on the job boards. After you have articulated the kind of position, in the kind of organization, in the part of the country, at the compensation level that is right for you, start letting people know that you are available and what it is that you are looking for. Look at the websites of your target companies to see if they have open positions.

The various people in your network will/may be able to help you in many ways. You need to know how they might be helpful – and then be precise with them in terms of your expectations. After every contact, send a thank you! People are interested and willing to help you, if they can. However, they don’t always know how they can be helpful. And remember, they don’t owe it to you to help. You owe it to them however, to express a sincere thanks no matter what level of help they provided.



One of the ways in which you organize your search is to establish a system by which you keep track of whom you contact, when, what follow-up is required or promised, and other points discussed. Each time you have contact with that person, it becomes part of the record. I suggest you keep a file copy of all your correspondence with everyone you contact. On the file copies, keep notes of subsequent conversations with that person. File the material in an alpha order by last name. Whatever system works best for you – identify, establish, and use it!



There are times in the year when organizations “slow down”, even hiring decisions are delayed. Late summer with vacations and the end of the year holiday season are two examples. Different companies and different industries may have their own slow periods as well. Recognize those slow periods. If you are looking for a job at those times, they will impact your search.



Probably not! Executive search firms are retained by organizations, not individuals, as clients. Their job is not to match individuals with opportunities; their job is to find Ms/Mr. Right for the client.

However, the search firms should be in your list of contacts. You should be sure to make them aware of your availability, as well as your background and experience.  Every six to eight weeks, you should probably let them know that you are still out there. You don’t want them or anyone in your network to fall into the “out of sight, out of mind” trap. At the same time, you don’t want to be a pest – that can be an even bigger negative.


Next week, we will wrap up with:

Your resume
Do you call or write/email first?
Staying visible
Part-time Option
At the end


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