As the economy continues it's downward trend and more and more of my friends are laid off I find myself spending a lot of time - both personally and at work - thinking about how to help people find jobs. I'll be writing a series of posts over the next few weeks about this topic since I'm in the process of putting together materials for the Anita Borg Institute's newest event - Savvy Geek Chix : Weathering the Economic Storm. The event is a combination of networking, a resume clinic and a panel discussion by some very Savvy Geek Chix on what to do while you have a job, how to prepare for a coming layoff and what to do when you are laid off.
I have been through several layoffs and I can tell you - it's never easy. But the most important thing to remember once a layoff happens is that your single most important job after that is to find another job. And that everything you do once the layoff happens is about marketing yourself. Your new job is to market yourself as a product that your potential new employer will hire. You are launching a new start up and you are that startup.
So what's the first thing you do when launching a startup? Create an image, a brand. You need to decide who you are going to be and what you want to do at your next company. Avoid the desire to spray and pray - I'll be anything for anyone who'll hire me. That's one way to guarantee that no one will want you. You are now packaging your expertise as a product to be purchased so think about who you are, what you do, what you are good at and where your expertise is. And be sure to think about what you like to do, what makes you happy. You'll bring real energy to any job that you really enjoy doing.
Next time: Creating your personal collateral