It was in December when I received a notice from our HR Department that employees with my years of service are being offered an early retirement package. The package was too good to pass up and I felt at that time that the timing couldn’t be better. I wanted to change careers anyway so what better time than to take a package and look for a job that I really love, right?
Well, it’s not that easy. What if I can’t find a job? What if the package I took was not enough to carry me through? All these questions come to mind. I had to make a very hard decision during that time. It was weighing heavily on my mind.
I did a lot of soul-searching and praying to come to the decision that I made. I took the package and put my trust in God.
I started polishing my resume. It hasn’t been updated for years. I had to research and read what effective resumes look like. Should it be one page or multiple pages? Should I put references or do I just say “Available upon request.”? I had to look for a career coach that would provide service “pro bono” so that I don’t have to pay the rate of $150-$300 per hour.
A lot of preparation came with the job applications. I needed to make sure that I am confident enough to go to interviews. I had to learn what my strengths are and what I can offer to the table.
The real key is to network, network, and network. The people you know are the most reliable resource for jobs that are available in your field and in your area. I found more solid recommendations from my network of people than HR managers from employment websites that are available out there.
Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date! Make sure you have 500 or more connections and at least three recommendations for each of the last three positions you’ve held. That makes your profile more attractive to employers and recruiters alike.
After a few months of receiving rejections after rejections, I finally received two offers on the same week. It was unbelievable. It took a lot of friends and colleagues to encourage me and build my self-confidence to get through the interviews. Getting these offers were some sort of a miracle and I will tell you how in my next post. I accepted the position and I have to tell you, if I didn’t take the package, I wouldn’t have received the raise that I am getting now. It was purely a blessing in disguise.
If you’re out there looking for a job right now, don’t be discouraged. There are jobs out there. You just have to find that area what you feel most comfortable in doing and that will get you the job that you want. Keep the faith.