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Friday, July 22, 2011

Being Laid-off feels like....

I have been writing about how to bolster your job search, how to use social media to build your personal brand, how to go to job fairs to look for a new job, and just about everything else related to job search.

Now I want to talk about how it feels on the other side of the coin - when you get laid-off.

Due to a $1.1million budget cut and the elimination of ARRA stimulus monies, our agency KCDEE just released 5 employees and will be experiencing a reorganization to do more with less.  I happen to be one of those who will be leaving on July 29, 2011.

I want to spend a paragraph about the feelings, then I want to share some profile information with you.

The first feeling I felt was disbelief.  I couldn't quite hear what was being said to me.  I felt tears welling up in my eyes and the thought that went through my brain was how am I going to pay my bills.  Right after that I decided that my faith would take me through this and that with any door that closes, another one opens.  I heard my supervisor say to me that she would support me with a recommendation and we brainstormed about people to contact.  Not until today did I realize some of the grief of losing my job - the people that I work with everyday, the camaraderie that you feel when you are in a cubefarm.  I sort of skipped that step of the process of loss until now.  I didn't every really get angry, what good would it do anyway. I sort of settled into the acceptance relatively rapidly and decided I needed to take action to find myself the next "open door".

So, following are the profiles and connections to the talented people who have been released in the lay-off:

Dee Reinhardt - Marketing and Social Media Specialist - find me at
Key talents include: marketing, social media, community relations, photography, graphic design, web design, public speaking, event planning, teaching, writing and project management.

Lillie Glover - Executive Assistant - find her at
Key talents include: administrative support, organization, editing, planning, coordinating, Microsoft Office 2007, customer service, customer relations, schedule management and more

Maria Galvan - Program Assistant - find her at
Key talents include: administrative support, graphic design, Microsoft Office 2007, bilingual Spanish

Arlene Hibbard - Program Assistant - find her at
Key talents include: administrative support, Microsoft Office 2007, typing, organization

Lugenia Thomas - EEO/Human Resources - find her at
Key talents included: customer service, human resources, Equal Opportunity compliance, customer relations, adminstrative support

If you know of any positions for any of these fine people, contact them through their LinkedIn profiles.

What sort of feelings have you experienced with a lay-off?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Professional Social Media Networking

Are you using LinkedIn?  There are over 100million users currently using this professional social network.  It is a well established resource for networking, finding out information and staying connected.  You control all of the aspects of your profile, you see who you have invited, and once you know your way around, LinkedIn is an incredibly valuable tool to build your personal and business brand. LinkedIn recently went public on the stock exchange and wowed the world with its initial IPO offerings of $82 a share. Currently trading around $76.

Within the past year, BranchOut became more popular as a job search network application on Facebook.  I set up a profile.  As it is trying to be like LinkedIn, you have the ability to import items from your LinkedIn profile.  It has a game type feel to me, you have badges that you "earn" with more connections or honor badges you can give to your contacts.  I haven't experienced the same value from BranchOut that I have from LinkedIn.  The one recent benefit to BranchOut is the ability to post a job for free to a jobs tab in BranchOut on your Facebook Fan Page.  If you have a person handling your web/social media development, that isn't so useful, but if you are a small company without that type of staff, it is a good feature. Mashable's take on Branchout

On June 26, 2001, a new application from showed up on the Facebook scene. BeKnown is the latest (and late in the game) social media for professionals to appear. To test it out, I set up a profile.  You have the option of uploading your Monster profile, if you have one, or your LinkedIn profile.  I tried to upload the LinkedIn profile and either my computer didn't like it or the widgit isn't functioning properly.  BeKnown promised to let you connect with people to whom you are not connected on Facebook, but when I tried to find one such person, I was unable to do so.  Someone had sent me an invitation to connect on BeKnown and I couldn't see where to "accept" it. Mashable's take on BeKnown

I think I will concentrate my efforts on LinkedIn until I see more substance from either of these other products.

What have you tried?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Social Media and the job search

Are you using social media in your job search? If not, why not?

Over 100 million users are on LinkedIn, 700 million users are on Facebook and 175 million users on Twitter. Now assuming that each of those networks only has 80% of those users who are active, that is still a BIG number. Of people using social networking sites, the use breaks down this way: 92% use Facebook, 18% use LinkedIn, 13% use Twitter. [Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project, Social networking sites and our lives, June 16, 2011]

LinkedIn is the biggest source of professional networking. You can follow companies, find jobs, and build your level of expertise. Facebook now has an answer to LinkedIn called Branchout. You can ask your Facebook friends to join you in your professional network and receive recommendations. Twitter has post after post of jobs that you can find even if you don't tweet yourself. Just go to

LinkedIn has a search component that will show you who is posting about a particular term like "hiring" that you can drill down and get to your local area. Did you know that more men 63% vs. 37% women use LinkedIn.[Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project, Social networking sites and our lives, June 16, 2011] Women tend to be bigger users of the other social networks.

Remember, you can't just create a profile and let it hang there on the web, you must work at it, as you must with any job search process.  If you need to learn more about using social media, you can visit our website. OR you can sign up for one of our hands-on LinkedIn workshops - check our calendar for the next session.

What are you doing with social media and your job search?