It’s hard to imagine that I am coming to the end of my Employment Seeking Leave. It’s a very precise name but an imprecise process. Three months has been ages, but it feels like no time at all.
As I started I had little idea of what to expect, what would happen or even what would be possible. My number one philosophy was to approach Employment Seeking in the same way I approach everything else – with as much energy, optimism, positive thinking and innovation as I can possibly muster. I accepted that I could not control the outcome, but I knew I was going to do everything I possibly could to influence the outcome.
Early on, I wanted to rekindle my external network. And so I have become a ‘super-user’ on LinkedIn. It is the first webpage I connect to every morning; and I stay connected all day. Whatever happens in my future, I know I will stay more ‘LinkedIn’ than I was before. It’s a great way of finding out what people I care about are doing.
An up to date and accurate profile in LinkedIn is essential. There is only up side to this. All recruiters use LinkedIn all the time. This is the first place they (or I) would go to investigate potential candidates.
There is a simple trick to decide if a LinkedIn profile is accurate – I was advised to check the ‘Jobs You May Be Interested In’ section on my LinkedIn page. If the roles listed were the sort I would be interested then my profile was in good shape. If they had little resemblance to what I was doing, or would be interested in doing next, then my profile was in need of an overhaul.
I also thought about the specifics of my network. I knew that referrals by colleagues were of high value in Employment Seeking. Search consultants work by referrals. They have roles they are contracted to fill by specific companies. They use their own network to identify to suitable candidates. I identified the colleagues in my network who I thought would likely be approached by search consultants and I made sure that those colleagues knew I would be grateful if they felt able to refer me if the opportunity arose.
Every opportunity I have seen of genuine interest came to me via a referral from colleagues in my network.
I have organised my time since January as much as possible. Although the focus for my efforts was Employment Seeking…I realised there was only some much I could do in any one day. That having been said, my approach was to ensure that I took at least one action every morning and one every afternoon that would specifically increase the quantity and/or quality of opportunity. That action could be an email. A phone call. A presentation. Or a face to face meeting. Each allowed me to both positively influence the outcome, but also ensured that I kept some structure to my days. I also went to the fitness centre every day…which helped me feel good if nothing else!
I have regularly met with other colleagues who were Employment Seeking. I found it very helpful to share experiences and learning. It felt as good to be helped and supported as it did to offer help and support.
And I applied these strategies as much to Employment Seeking within Pfizer as I did for Employment Seeking outside of Pfizer. I applied them to Employment Seeking within big Pharma as much to small Pharma, Biotech, CROs and academia.
And now I look forward to the moment when I Leave Employment Seeking…