Market Me First - The Positive Career and Work Action Plan Market Yourself | Make Money | Be Happy

------------------ In Black and White -------------------------------

Since 2005. Market yourself. Find better work. Make a name. Survive Layoffs. Be successful.


The Bad

The focus of my hiring plan involved calling and emailing a large number of contacts in a short period of time. The majority of my calls were fantastic. Most people are good and want to help others in any way they can.

There are exceptions.

To begin, I would never call and ask for a job. Rather, I would ask for advice, feedback or information. What's more, I would try and schedule a face to face meeting for this very purpose.

I followed this approach when I called "Bob" with Big Company A.

Me: "Bob" this is John formerly with "Company X" how are you?

Bob: Fine, what can I do for you? Why are you no longer with Company X?

Me: Company X is having some financial issues which resulted in a reduction of staff. Why I called you Bob, is I realize you will be attending the Big Trade Show later this month and I was wondering if I could schedule an appointment with you at the show?

Bob: Why? What do you want?

Me: Well, with your position and the fact we are both in the same industry, you would be a great place to learn about other companies in our space.

Bob: We aren't hiring.

Me: I understand Bob, and please understand that is not why I called. There are so many great opportunities out there and I believe you are a central figure in this industry. Therefore, I think it would be great to meet with you and get your opinion on our industry and who the dominant players are.

Bob: Um, OK. I don't know what I can do for you or what you want, but you can look me up at the show.

Me: How about we schedule a time? I was thinking Wednesday afternoon at 2 PM?

Bob: No, just come find me. I will be pretty busy. We can talk then. Well I gotta get going. Talk to you later.

Needless to say, "Bob" avoided me at the show. No big deal, I had several other meetings and interviews which resulted in my current position.

All the same, about a third of my calls were similar (though not as negative) as the above call. The good news is the other two thirds were positive and rewarding.

Be prepared for calls and meetings which go bad. Know the difference between what is your fault and the world view of the person you are meeting.


A sidenote

First, everything I write about really happened. I was laid off from my job in September of 2005. In 30 days I literally reinvented myself and started a new career.

After I started at my new job (I hate saying "job" as much as I hate the terms "supervisor", "wages", and "grievance"), I made it a point to get on a daily, weekly and monthly schedule of emails, phone calls and hand written notes to the contacts I have made and continue to make. I schedule at least two lunches a week with someone - a vendor, competitor, former co-worker, or person I would really like to get to know

Finally, winning the lottery is great. You get a big fat check (or several over the years) and you don't go to work any longer. (Un)fortunately, most of us will never go through this. We have to make our money one small check at a time and then carefully budget the proceeds.

Life and work are the same way.

We have to work at and plan all of our actions carefully and thoughtfully. And then wisely use the results of our work.



When I woke up on Wednesday morning, it dawned on me: I had been fired the day before. As I lay in bed I realized I had no where to go that day. No meetings to attend, no emails to send, nothing. Panic began to set in.

I made a decision that morning which probably saved me from losing my mind.

I got up, showered, shaved and got dressed in my business clothes. I helped my wife with the kids. I took my daughter to school. I made a list of supplies I would need for my job search. I went to the office supply store. I picked up a new hard drive for my wife's old laptop (soon to be my "new" work computer). I bought a copy of Windows XP (overpriced but necessary for building my new computer). Basically, I went to work.

Unlike the past, however, I went to work for Me, Inc.

When I got home, I commandeered the home office which, up until now, had been my wife's base of operations. (She was none too happy about this state of affairs!).

I made a list of people I was going to contact.
- My customers from my former job.
- Professional contacts related to my former job and position.
- Professionals in related fields in which I had interest.
- Other friends and contacts.

My strategy:
- Inform all I am no longer with Company X.
- Let them know specifically what I would like to do "commissioned and quota driven technology sales related specifically to the field I was in".
- In all dealings remain positive, honest and ethical.
- I would not ask for a job - rather I would let them know of my situation and what my plans were.
- No whining allowed!


1) Act as though you still have a job - stay busy and keep a schedule.
2) Focus on both immediate and short term goals and see them through.
3) Remain positive and honest - with yourself and others.
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