Anyone who has never watched the Shawshank Redemption, stop reading, get a grip on your life, go watch it, and come back to read this later. During the movie, the protagonist Andy Dufresne is wrongly accused of murdering his wife and is sentenced to serve hard time. I’m sitting here on 3/20/20 and thinking of Dufresne because we’ve all now been sentenced to de facto white-collar prisons without committing a crime, but like Dufresne if we all show some resilience, we will end up free, and better off than before. So, I’d like to share a couple of thoughts from a headhunter’s perspective on what I think is necessary to do in times like these and remember what great things can come from tragedy.
Of course, we all have some level of fear and panic, and it’s easy to go to a dark place, but you’re not alone. You can test this by getting back in touch with your network. You don’t need to have an agenda, only be genuine and take an interest in asking someone how they’re doing. From my experience, it’s times like these that can deepen relationships. You’ll find out that everyone is feeling the same level of fear and dread that you are. I learned a simple thing early in my sales career from a complete animal who was religious about “five after five”. It’s really just a simple exercise in making five calls after 5 o’clock. Since it’s now 5 o’clock all day, get on it. And, for my millennial friends, it’s five actual calls, not tweets, texts, Snapchats, smoke signals, carrier pigeons or whatever the latest trend is. We want to hear your voice, and ideally see your face.
LinkedIn, LinkedIn, and more LinkedIn…. It’s time to take a look at what’s really the de facto resume for everyone now, and make it pop. Take a look at what it really says about you, one piece at a time. Take each section and make it compelling. For the life of me, I don’t know why I still get asked if I can look at people’s resumes. I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m going to tell you it looks great, though I will have not even opened it. The best hiring managers I’ve seen are trying to figure out two basic criteria: how smart are you, and how tenacious are you? They’re also inundated with data and profiles coming at them, so it’s critical that you differentiate yourself. So, yes, I think it’s important to add your hobbies and interests–the things that make you, you! Show what makes you tick.
Market contractions happen, most of us have now been through three in our adult lives, and it’s really not hyperbole to say that it will get better–because it always does. The dotcom bust, 9/11, and the ’08 housing collapse all impacted every level of our society. However, just like those catastrophic events, normal life and normal business will come back. And, when it does you want to be ready so that you can end up just like our buddy Dufresne–on the other side of the sewer-pipe, in the river, with the rain on your face, laughing again.