Credit goes to Donald Trump for popularising the statement ‘You are Fired’ in the popular TV reality show, The Apprentice. Now that Trump has secured Republican nomination for the president of the United States, in the 2016 election, this rhetoric will gain more popularity and prominence.
Every once in a while, I come across candidates who seek our assistance in job search because this is exactly what they have been told. Isn’t it important to know how to handle such a situation? Here are few things that you can do:
Stop blaming: Nothing will change, no matter how hard you try to blame anyone, including yourself. You may have the best reasoning and justification for blaming the organisation, boss or yourself, but that is not going to get you your next job. All it can do is waste your precious time and depress or frustrate you.
Count your strengths: It is important for you to be aware of your strengths, both functionally and behaviourally. The more you play on them, higher will be your chances of success.
Focus on powerful self-representation: Prepare your resume carefully. Take expert help, if required. It needs to represent you in the best possible way, highlighting your strengths and accomplishment. A generic resume, just mentioning the list of activities you did, usually fails to highlight you as a candidate that stands out of the crowd. Prepare well for the interview. Make an extensive list of questions that you can be asked by the hiring manager and HR to assess your suitability. Prepare and rehearse your answers well in advance. You need to project the right mix of knowledge, skills and attitude to get your next assignment quickly.
Find ideal buyers for your services: Make a list of organisations that are similar to your present one and would ideally like to hire you, if they have relevant vacancy. Reaching out to them directly and quickly can help you reduce the time required to get hired again. Update your resume on their career site. Find their landline numbers through their website and speak to their HR to find out if they are hiring for your role.
Be willing to relocate: You need to expand your search. It includes applying to organisations established in different regions of the country or abroad. Sometimes, even they are struggling to hire good employees and would be glad to recruit you.
Be willing to switch tracks: Often, you may be working in a very niche technology segment that does not have many competitors, who may benefit from your expertise. Be willing to re-educate yourself and switch tracks to a new career path. Many candidates have shifted from manufacturing to business development roles, mid-career, and done so successfully.
Use networking skills extensively: Bigger your network, luckier you get. Let people in your network know that you are looking for a job opportunity by communicating to them clearly and directly. Giving them hints or shying away from sharing your situation with them, will not win you anything. Everyone likes to help, especially when we speak to them directly.
Be willing to compromise: Let’s face it. It’s been a couple of months and you have not been able to win a single interview. Now what? It’s time to understand that we need to communicate that we are willing to compromise on role, designation, salary, perks or what it takes to win the next assignment. Let’s not wait forever for the right/ideal opportunity to come your way. With the passage of time, without being on a job, the probability only keeps reducing.
Work on an alternative career plan parallely: It’s been six months and you are still searching. Wouldn’t it make sense to have worked on an alternate self-employment plan all along the way? It would have saved you these six months. Start exploring self-employment opportunities from the beginning. You never know, you could become the next Murthy or Bansal.
Remember, being fired does not imply failure; it’s only an opportunity to re-engineer your career.
(The author is an HR consultant.)