Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Career Karma, part 2

I sent my resume in for a job the other day with a quasi-government agency and also sent a note to one of my long lost LinkedIn colleagues who happens to work there. I asked if she could find out anything further about the position (was it new, if not what happened to the previous person who held it). Now this is someone I have not talked to in probably over 20 years, but she went above an beyond for me. She tracked down the department, talked to hiring managers, in short she took time out of her busy day to try to help someone else. See, that is what I mean about karma. Last week I tried to help someone find a job, this week someone does the same for me. I don't know if I'll get called for an interview for this, but it won't be for lack of a recommendation. There's a life lesson here. Be generous, always look for opportunities to help someone out in your community, in your career, in life.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Career Karma

I got a call on the weekend from a friend I hadn't heard from in ages. She wanted to know if I could help her son's girlfriend find a new job. She is worried she'll be laid off from her high tech firm. Now, been there, done that, so I readily offered to help. I will always go out of my way to help anyone in their career. I remember how hard it was when I was in my 20's - hell when I was in my 30's and trying to find and grow a career. I did wonder though, who would find work first, the 20-something girl friend or me, the 50 something senior manager with a wealth of experience. Show of hands, how many of you think it's the latter? I wouldn't be so sure.

I read somewhere that as women age they become invisible. Now, I'd always assumed that this meant sexually invisible, but maybe it just means invisible period. I've been following a series of article in the Ottawa Citizen about how in the next  few years businesses will have to accommodate the older worker as all the boomers turn 65. Really? I have seen precious little of this out there in the real world. In high tech, it seems that once you hit 50 you are marked as on your way out. I've lived through enough lay offs to see that the older the worker, the more likely they are to be shown the door. In fact a good friend was just 'retired' from her job at a very large tech company. She didn't want to go, and was offered out-placement services, but yet it was called retirement. Maybe if you are 60 it's automatically retirement and if you are 30 it's a lay-off who knows. But regardless, she's out of work and having to look for something else at this stage in her life.

But back to the 20-something girl friend. I've sent her Linkedin profile out people I know in her profession, hopefully something will pop up for her soon. And me, well, I'll keep looking, and maybe will have earned some good career karma along the way.

Friday, April 20, 2012

New start or just getting started

A few months back, I was laid off from my job in high tech after 12 years with the same company. I didn't really grieve. I'd long since lost any enthusiasm for the job, and the knowledge that I was part of an mass lay-off kept me from taking it personally, but I did have to face the inevitable question of Now What?

Let me digress a bit. A lot of us go through life working to earn a living, but forgetting to live. That's what I'd been doing for the last decade. I was a working mother in a high-pressure job, and I seemed to be existing on some sort of high-speed autopilot. Get up, get girls ready for school, pack lunches, make breakfast, walk dog, clean up, dash out to work, get to office skim through 250 email that came in overnight (because the company was global and no one ever sleeps), spend 6 hours of the day in meetings, try to manage 5 different projects at once, dash home, make dinner, help with homework, get kids into bed, clean up kitchen, fall into bed, 6:00 am next morning, wake up - repeat.

So after years of this, I was actually looking forward to being laid off,  in an odd sort of way. Which brings me to where I am today. Trying to figure out what to do when  I grow up. Maybe you've felt this way too. If so, I invite you to come along for the ride. Maybe we can figure that out together.