For those of you, who are mid-lifers and have found themselves fallen foul of furlough or a similar situation meaning, this is for you… let’s action plan together - you need to assess where you are and take action, quickly.
My story began back in 2008 and the rather large recession that took place that year. I was made redundant and consequently, my world came tumbling down. I was 48 and did not have a clue as to how the recruitment network worked.
I initially engaged with a pity party, blamed everyone else then realised that the only person who was going to sort this was that bloke who stared back at me from the bathroom mirror. So, what to do? Well, first I decided that I was going to treat finding a job as a job in itself and got up early, got dressed as I would to go into an office and start using what I had available to me that was free.
Straight away you have Google which is a great resource and an excellent starting point. I decided to join as many job boards, head-hunter sites etc to get my name in front as many people as possible. I rewrote my CV having looked for free resources online and constructed a generic cover letter. I uploaded to 15+ sites and set up alarms to have jobs sent to me daily.
The reality, however, was just playing a numbers game where the odds weren’t that great. A new tactic was required and through Google, I found a local Executive Job Club, joined and attended. It was charity based and gave you an overview of the skills required to find those elusive opportunities. The two pointers that seemed to matter most then, and I know now, were to go networking and to use LinkedIn.
What was this ‘networking’? It had two main threads; making all family and acquaintances know what you are looking for - your personal network, and the second, more powerful version – business networking. What was this? Well in short to attend meetings run for business people in venues, where they may have speakers but nearly all have “Networking time” which allows you to speak to others and let them know what you are looking for. Now I will be very honest and say that this is very scary initially, but you MUST persist as the more people know what it is that you are looking for, the more likely it is that you will find the holy grail.
LinkedIn was something I had been on for 2 years but was I using it? No not really… so I got some training and a combination of networking and LinkedIn got me a very large network leading to a job. Which shows… it works!
If I can do this at 48, then so can you. But you must be resilient. There will be some bad days, but with persistence it does work. 10 years after my original date I launched my own company and 2 ¾ years later, it is doing very well, and how was this possible? Yup, you guessed it… networking, and using LinkedIn.
You can be older, you can be feeling down but you can most certainly achieve. Look at me, a council estate kid with a comprehensive education, who was a senior account director at 47. Redundancy changed my path, I bounced back and now am in a position where I am happier in my business life than I have ever been, so where is that opportunity for you? Keep your eyes open and keep looking, then you might have the same success. You need persistence and the right mindset – have you got what it takes?
Written by Tony K Silver - Solid Silver Solutions