Being Pushed Outside Your Comfort Zone
The advice was given to me by a former colleague, Halyna Mekker, another person recently downsized. When I got cut loose, Halyna called me and said, “True greatness often resides just outside of your comfort zone.” I relayed this message to an executive who got laid off. In response, she wrote, “It is a fascinating journey. I'm thinking the majority of the best and brightest are out on the street. I have met the most amazing people at outplacement. At every session I think we should just start working on something because we have everything we need to start our own company, except capital of course. I have also found it interesting to talk to companies who have positions posted. I've learned posting positions in no way means a person for that job — or any other — will be hired. Sometimes I think the company just needs some new people to talk to, and what better way than bringing in a few overqualified, but still unacceptable, applicants. They even have a name for this activity, something about a ‘purple squirrel.’ And many of the interviews feel like dating someone who has a phobia about commitment — just can't get serious, and the next candidate might be so much better. Then there are the poor people who need someone desperately but don't have time to interview anyone. I sometimes wonder if I just showed up and start working to help them if they would then pay me?”
I am happy to report that the woman who wrote the above info and the former colleague who asked for a letter of recommendation have both found new jobs. For those still looking, keep your chin up.
Narrow Minded Management
A leadership expert and bestselling author recently informed me about a rather disturbing trend — hiring managers are taking the approach that they will not hire anyone who has been out of work for more than six months. This makes no sense when you consider that millions of people have been laid off in recent years. In my opinion, by taking this approach you may be missing the opportunity to add some top talent to your organization. For example, I spoke with a former executive today who started his own consulting business when he got laid off. He thought it would be a temporary thing while he looked for other jobs. Well, Mike Silvon, with 30 years of industry experience, three degrees, and two post docs is approaching having been “unemployed” for around 17 months. Mike is hoping to get back in the saddle soon. I told him that perhaps he should focus more on his consulting gig. The hours, money, and job satisfaction are good, and you don’t have to deal with someone of narrow mindedness not willing to give you an interview simply because you exceeded an arbitrary unemployment threshold. When I was let go, I approached my job search as a job. I wasn’t running my own consulting business like Mike, and yet, it still took me 11 months. So, to all those hiring managers out there, push yourself outside of your comfort zones. Don’t pass over interviewing someone based on their having been unemployed for a certain period of time. When you find that diamond in the rough, be sure to drop me an email to share your hiring success story.