Customer Experiences

Out of work after 17 years: taking my own advice

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October 26, 2009


Last year I became one of the many casualties of the economy. I was downsized from an Indianapolis Staffing company where I had spent the last 17 years. This was not only a blow to my ego but also stressful to be searching for HR jobs in Indianapolis in a very bleak economy.


After feeling sorry for myself and spending a short amount of time being the youngest snowbird on the Gulf Coast (this was actually a boost to my bruised ego!), I decided to practice what I had been preaching for the last 17 years in my staffing and HR roles:

1)  Do not solely rely on job boards to find your new career. While sites such as CareerBuilder and Monster are valuable, do not assume that only submitting your resume through these sites will land you your dream job.

2)  Network, Network, Network!

o     Reach out to any and all personal and professional contacts. Referrals are a very valuable tool in searching for positions. Your neighbor may know of a position opening up within his company or your former employer may be hiring. People who know you want to help.

o     Contact your college placement department.

o        Contact your former employer’s competitors. You have the industry experience and knowledge they are looking for and you can add new insight to their business.

o        Join professional organizations in your area. There are organizations for HR , Accounting and many other professionals in Indianapolis. There is also the Business Network International Organization (BNI) which is the largest business networking organization in the world and The Network of Women in Business. There are also website groups for Administrative professionals and "virtually" any other type of professional on websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace.  These organizations enable you to network yourself directly to hiring officials.

o       Many churches in the Indianapolis area have networking groups which is another great way to market yourself.

o         Volunteer. This is a great way to not only network but to also turn the negative of finding yourself with too much time on your hands into making a positive impact in your community.

3)   Follow the news. Know what companies are coming to your area. While they may not have jobs posted yet, you can proactively market yourself ahead of the pack!

4)  Contact Indianapolis staffing companies. I know of a really GREAT staffing company, called That’s Good HR! Indianapolis Staffing companies work for you. Whether you are looking for Federal Government Contract jobs, Accounting jobs, Administrative jobs or Six Figure jobs in Indianapolis, Indianapolis staffing companies have many contacts within many companies. While you are networking yourself to one company at a time, Indianapolis staffing companies are networking you to many direct hiring sources.

5)  Above all else, stay positive and open-minded. What may appear to be a less than ideal job opportunity could end up being a better career fit for you.  For example, you may start at a more entry-level position than where you previously were.  This may enable you to learn about the company from the ground up. You may have employment offers that are “temporary to hire”. This is an opportunity for you to try out a new company or industry.