As I reflect on my years and experience as a career coach and a mentor I once again am reminded that there is an obligation to return the favor for the kindness and generosity of the network in securing a new gig. This critical fact hit me like a brick the other day as I reached out to a couple of mentees on their successful landing following their arduous job campaigns. I was woefully disappointed at their lack of response to my message on their new gigs. The silence was deadening. Their courtesy and good sense seems to have been lost in the shuffle of the new change in their fortunes.
With this in mind, I have outlined the following rules of courtesy and kindness to consider in the aftermath of a successful conclusion to the journey for a job. It bears remembering that the career you save may be your own.
1. Say thanks. Express your deep gratitude to those who helped you along the way, particularly to those friends and colleagues who gave you leads, tips, and advice on your resume, interview style, and people and companies to contact. Also pay attention to those patient folks who listened to your questions, rants, pleas, and whines about being unemployed.
2. Pay it forward. Now that you have landed, try to help others who have yet to secure employment. Please don't ignore their requests. Remember you were in the same boat without a paddle. Lend a hand and a kind word or two.
3. Sympathy reigns. I appreciate that you want to focus your energies on the new job. You do need to give 150% to validate your value to the new employer. But don't lose sight of the desperation and uncertainty you experienced during unemployment. If someone asks for your help, be sympathetic.
4. Sustain the network. You have been working your network for months, even years. Stay the course. You never know when you will be back in the unemployment line again. The fact remains that people have long memories when it comes to kindness or lack thereof.
5. Remember your roots. Never lose sight of your origins, where you came from, and how hard you have worked to get to this place in time. Friends, colleagues, and acquaintances likely will emulate what you have achieved. Your model of behavior will be an example for others.
6. Update your content. Keep your platforms and content current. There is nothing like sending the wrong message by overlooking the need to update your Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, About.me, and other platforms on which your profile lives. Make sure folks know how and where to get in touch.
7. Spread the word. Tell your network about your new role and company. Explain how it occurred and what were the chief factors in your hiring and your acceptance. Friends, family and colleagues will appreciate the insight. You will be telling them not just “what” but “why,” highlighting your distinguishing characteristics. And don’t just inform your friends and colleagues; make sure those with whom you are peripherally connected know about your good fortune.
Gerry Corbett is the PRJobCoach at prjobcoach.com and CEO of Redphlag LLC, a strategy consultancy. He has served four decades in senior communications roles at Fortune 100 firms and earlier in his career in aerospace and computer engineering with NASA. He has a B.A. in public relations from San Jose State University and is a member of the International Advertising Association, National Investor Relations Institute; Arthur Page Society, National Association of Science Writers, and International Coaching Federation.
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