By Gayle Hallgren-Rezac co-author Work The Pond! and Darcy Rezac
The latest statistics on job losses in the U.S. and Canada are staggering. If you are someone who has lost your job, it is essential to get out there and start reconnecting immediately. We know this is easier said than done. Who likes to put themselves ‘out there’ when they’ve just had the stuffing kicked out of them, but there’s an essential thing to be done immediately after losing your job.
As soon as you receive the bad news, inform all your friends, family and business contacts. Recognize that how you tell your story of your job loss may vary slightly, but share this news with as many people as possible because they’ll then be on the lookout for opportunities for you. It is human nature to want to help, so ‘put it out there to the universe.’
Do not forget your weak links, those people you’ve mentally edit out of your list because you think they don’t need to know. Research shows that 84% of the time people who find a job through networking find it through a weak link rather than through a close contact.
Choose how to share your message–by email, phone or in person? It cannot be stressed enough that you should do this ASAP because you don’t want people finding out another way, such as through the receptionist or a bounced-back email. Try to send out each email individually, but access to your company database may be shut down so act quickly.
CRAFT YOUR MESSAGE
What if writing that email is not something you feel comfortable doing? If it’s because you don’t want people to know, well suck up your pride and do it. (Sorry, there is no other way of saying it—it has got to be done.) If it’s because you wonder what to say, here’s an example of an email to business contact:
I wanted to inform you that I am not longer with SG Industries. Due to my company’s need to make some very difficult business decisions I, along with a number of other very good people, have left SG Industries. (avoid words like fired, let go, etc.) I wish to continue in my field and I am immediately ready for a new opportunity. I’m reaching out to my network to help make that happen. It’s been a pleasure working with you (something specific here that may remind them of the good relationship you had). If something comes to mind, please contact me. Here is my new contact information.
GIVE THEM AN EASY WAY TO CONTACT YOU
Make sure you put your new contact information into the signature of this email. Perhaps add a vCard, an electronic business card, so that the person receiving your email can just drag your new contact information into their database. (To find out how to do this, go to “HELP Using vCard, in your email program.) A vCard allows you to put in a photo of yourself, and if the contact is a weak link you might want to consider this. You new contact information should have your own personal email address, not a family one, and the telephone number should be your own private cell phone. Note: when you answer this phone, it should not be ‘hello.’ Answer it in a more professional manner, ‘Simon Johnson.’
In some cases you will want to inform people with a phone call. If you are doing it by phone it’s a good idea to have talking points or a scripted outline. You don’t want to get off track, sharing war stories, inadvertently showing anger or fear, or taking too much of that other person’s time. You may also want to send out an email first, and then contact the person by phone.
SEND RESUME OR NOT?
If you saw ‘the writing on the wall’ and had been preparing your resume, by all means send it out as an attachment. But do not hold up sending this all-important email because your resume isn’t ready.
While this may not be one of the best times of your life, to paraphrase Aldous Huxley, ?”Experience is not what happens to a man (or woman.)?It is what a man (or woman) does with what happens to him (or her).”
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