November 22, 2017

Case Study: From Layoff to Engaged Pursuit

Michelle thought she had it made. 17 years in a high-tech company and then … BAM … layoff.  Here’s how she approached her Engaged Pursuit (and found something great).

Happy Turkey Week!  Hope you are getting ready for some food, fun, and football!

Be on the lookout for my Black Friday special announcement on Friday morning via Facebook – a great opportunity to give someone the gift of Engaged Pursuit (at a big discount)!

Now back to business … this is the first of a series of Case Studies, focused on success stories in 2017.  I thought it would be useful for you to read about situations, approaches, and (most importantly) wins from clients I’ve worked with throughout the year.  Of course, I’m changing the names of clients to keep everything confidential. I hope you find inspiration from these stories as you (or someone close to you) think about your Engaged Pursuit.

I’d like to start with Michelle…

Here’s what happened:

Michelle thought she had it made – 17 years in a huge tech company here in Seattle. She worked as an Engineer, a Project Manager, and eventually found herself as a Program Manager. She loved the work and could see herself doing it for a while.

Then she experienced a layoff.

“We’re moving in a different direction” was the wording from her manager. Something like that. Devastating after 17 years of “service,” she thought.

Here’s how she started her search:

Michelle took advantage of all the resources given to her from her company. Severance, Healthcare for a while, as well as an appointment at a “big-box” career resource center. She was lucky.  She made her list of priorities, put a lock on her credit card, and started making a list of where she was going to apply – she was a Project/Program Manager after all.

However, Michelle quickly realized that she needed something else. The help given from the big-box resource center wasn’t helpful (only focused on her resume) and she wasn’t getting called-back from any application(s).

Something was missing…

That’s when Michelle remembered working with me in the past and knew that I had started my own Career Consulting gig.

Here’s how Engaged Pursuit came into play:

Michelle and I met for coffee on Capitol Hill here in Seattle and she told me her story. Familiar stuff.  Layoff and frustration, then excitement and motivation. Then … nothing.

We talked about how I could add value (and impact) to this new professional experience.  I started with the foundational question almost always asked of candidates – “So tell me about yourself?”

Her reaction: Deer in headlights.  I knew we had some work to do.

We started working together that afternoon.  Nothing complex or super-long-term: Easy, hourly, and focused on the right elements for her.

Here’s what we did:

We focused on her Professional Story right away.  Using the framework I developed after my 20+ years in advertising and hi-tech, we developed her Professional Dashboard as well as her “Elevator Pitch” – two of the most important products from Engaged Pursuit. We used that as the foundation for where we were looking, how we were presenting Michelle via her resume/Linked-In, and what we were saying to our network (and Hiring Managers) when hitting the pavement. Everything aligned based on this foundational work.  Magic.

Here’s our results:

Michelle was super-inspired by our work, but the final job didn’t come easy. It took a couple months of looking, talking, interviewing, and declining (yes, we declined a couple offers) before she found something great.  And everything just fit with this opportunity – the company, the work, the team, the salary.

We used the Professional Dashboard to confirm it was the right opportunity for her – especially since it was in a completely different industry. Michelle is now in her second year and couldn’t be happier.  More Magic.

Here’s what we learned:

  • Layoffs are a shock. Especially after working with an organization for an extended period of time. But you have to get over it (and own it)
  • The Professional Story foundational work is key
  • An Engaged Pursuit takes time
  • Organizations did NOT seem to care that Michelle was laid-off from her previous gig. We incorporated that into her story since it was part of her experience. We owned it (see above)
  • The perfect fit will come along. You’ll know it when you see it. Don’t expect anything less

Your homework this week: Think about someone who might also need some help as they consider their Engaged Pursuit. Anyone you know? Maybe you? Be on the lookout for my Black Friday special later this week announced on Facebook. Also make sure you enjoy that turkey!

Coming-up next week:  I’ll write about a client who’s Engaged Pursuit turned into something completely surprising – actually staying within his organization!

Here’s to your Engaged Pursuit!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked