I got laid off from my job. Twenty years of service, and I’m packing my office with someone watching and then walking me out of the building. And as I’ve previously written Conducting a Job Search During a Pandemic, this is not an ideal time to be looking for a job.
As I talked about in my previous article and have heard repeatedly, networking is the key. I’m not sure the exact statistics, but I’ve heard that over 60% of jobs never make it to LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, or any of the online job sites: they are filled with people that have the proper connections. Like the adage says
It’s not what you know; it’s who you know
So, networking, even for an introvert like me is the answer. Because of that, I have been doing my best to network, mostly through LinkedIn.
I’ll be honest with you; I am fighting depression. I have had a job for my entire adult life, and after finding my first one out of college have never had much trouble finding a new job.
I have historically gotten interviews from the majority of the applications I have filed.
I have worked hard and always done my best, and never received a bad yearly review.
Right or wrong, I have assigned a lot of self-worth to myself based on my jobs.
And now, I don’t have a job.
Not only that, I can’t find one.
It is taking every bit of mental toughness I have just to get out of bed in the morning and complete even more useless job applications.
Note to employers: You usually know who is acceptable and who isn’t within a matter of days. Please let the applicants know as soon as possible, even if the answer is no.
The Secondary Benefit of Networking
So what is this benefit?
I have reached out to a lot of people. People I haven’t seen since high school and college (trust me, a long time ago), people I haven’t worked with in over twenty years, old bosses, people that used to report to me, even salespeople from vendors which I’ve known for years.
And even though I haven’t yet found a job with their help, something amazing has happened:
They’ve encouraged me. They’ve suggested jobs and companies to look at. They’ve told me how they enjoyed working with me in the past. But most importantly:
They’ve told me I matter.
I hope I get a new job soon (and that COVID is over) because I’ve promised lunch to so many people who have encouraged me. I’m not sure how I would be doing mentally without the network of people I have interacted with over my lifetime.
If you are one of those people, even if you have not been able to help me find that next great job, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done.