Last week we followed Richard. A Chief Operating Officer made redundant from his company, Richard is highly talented; a great leader who would be an asset to any company. There was just one thing wrong.
Richard was resistant to change. Put simply, he never trusted himself to step outside his comfort zone and frankly, never wanted to, due to his uncompromising beliefs. Sadly, ten months into his financially and emotionally draining job search, Richard was frustrated, humiliated and at a loss to understand where he was going wrong. Read Part 1 to come up to speed now.
Let’s rewind the last ten months, and look at how it could have been a much, much different story.
Richard, a Chief Operating Officer with a multinational company has survived many restructures, mergers and acquisitions in his time, but this time he was out of luck. Fortunately, Richard’s experience with the world told him that C-level roles aren’t often long-term engagements and at his level, the wait for a similar role may be a long one. Consequently, he made sure upon acceptance of this last promotion, that he negotiated a severance package should he be made redundant. It was smart to create a contingency plan. The 52-week payout provided Richard with that important financial buffer that would allow him to sustain his current lifestyle and be strategic about his next job choice. Yes, Richard was smart and intuitive in his negotiations and it has paid off.
Despite only being a few weeks away from work, Richard finds his mind straying now and then to the restructure that brought about his termination and he wonders if he could have done things better. Should he have been more assertive or more of a contributor? Did he not make the right strategic alliances? Increasingly these thoughts appear randomly and he starts to feel a mixture of anger and a little anxiety. While he could keep these feelings hidden to fester over time, he confides in his wife Sally, who is not just supportive—she has an idea. Sally has heard of a job loss recovery program that provides stress relief and guided visualisation through audio tapes that will help Richard work through the confusion of feelings. Of course, Richard is receptive to the idea. Allowing himself to release emotional baggage from his prior employment seems like an important step to him and with an open mind, he begins the two-week program. (Buy here) Rapidly he begins to feel the benefit of visualisation; he sees himself perform well at future interviews—confident of his abilities and free from the self-limiting thoughts that came from grieving the loss of his job.
Richard decides to remain social. It really is a vital part of the job search and as he meets with friends for coffee, he starts to pick up on clues… a project that has soured, a senior executive who is failing or operations in disarray following a merger. Instinctively he knows that he can act on these clues; seek out decision makers and start building a case for his hire. Of course, he’ll need a resume; and he knows just where to go. One of his friends couldn’t stop raving about a resume he had written by a professional resume writer and has passed on the writer’s business card to Richard who immediately checks out her credentials, website and samples and decides on-the-spot to delegate the writing of this important document to an expert.
Meanwhile, as Richard commits to the process of the resume development, he takes advantage of the $3000 worth of outplacement services he was provided by his former company as part of his severance. The central city location, free use of office services, the opportunity to work through the lists of employers provided, and the coaching, counselling and camaraderie found there, makes this a valuable experience for Richard.
Richard’s attitude is good and people warm to his friendly, open demeanour. Being well liked, he is always meeting with friends for coffee, and those friends have provided him with insights to approach decision makers, present his resume and business case and pitch for an opportunity to lend his considerable expertise to solve their problems. His extensive support network on Twitter and Facebook has helped him feel part of a friendly community and he’s been flattered and touched by the amount of people who have offered their help and support.
Tomorrow, Richard is attending a second meeting with the Managing Director of the Asia Pacific region of a multinational company where they will discuss a role that the MD would like to create just for Richard.
Things are going well. Very well. And Richard’s in the right place emotionally and financially to embrace any opportunity that presents itself because he stepped outside his comfort zone and declared himself open to new ideas and new ways.
How do you see yourself? Are you Richard Part 1 or Part 2?