The endless search
If you do a Google search on the terms “job search,” or “how to get a job” you know there are thousands of results. You can Bing your way to “network to get a job” as well. As candidates search for a job, they also search for advice to be a better choice and stand out from the heard.
“But what do I do now?”
The question remains and is so often not a main topic of discussion: What do I do when I get that job? What happens when all the hard work comes to an end? When I close on the offer? What do I do to finish out my time being unemployed? How should I stop unemployment benefits? How do I prepare for the job I have obtained before I start? What do I do when I start? What, how, who, when… etc, etc.
Advice from some of the best!
We are all given advice and tend to focus on the “how to’s” of getting that job. However, it is rare that we focus on “what we do” once we receive a position.
Your skill and performance in obtaining a job does not stop with the offer.
Now that you have started, you have to perform!
Have no fear because if you need some advice or next steps after you have the job offer… here you go. From some of the best!
In this article you will find approaches and answers to the following questions:
- What is the first thing you should do when you have a solid offer for a position?
- How should you close your time being unemployed? Should you take time off before you start?
- What are the top 3 things that you have to think about when starting at the office?
Your online panelists include:
- LANCE HAUN is the Community Director for ERE Media and Managing Editor of ReHaul. Follow him on Twitter.
- SHAUNA MOERKE is an HR professional with a Master’s degree, and a PHR! You can review her thoughts at HR Minion. Follow her on Twitter.
- ALISON GREEN is a management consultant and offers some great advice on all things work at Ask A Manager! Follow her on Twitter.
- CHARLIE JUDY from HR FishBowl and is the Global Director of HR Strategic Development and Operations for Navigant Consulting, Inc. Follow him on Twitter.
- SHARLYN LAUBY is President of Internal Talent Management (ITM) Group and writes at HRBartender. Follow her on Twitter and me…
- BENJAMIN MCCALL is a Leadership Performance Consultant and managing editor of ReThinkHR.org. You can follow him on Twitter and Here.
All the contributors have experienced the transition and came out alive. So let’s begin!
1. What is the first thing I should do when I have a solid offer for a position?
Lance Haun – Step back and discuss it with someone who is familiar with your industry. You can discuss it with your spouse and friends too but listen closely to what your industry colleague says, Probe them for thoughts about the offer, the company, and the type of work you’ll be doing. You might be excited to have a job now but six months down the line, you’ll be thankful.
Shauna Moerke – Give ‘you’ a moment to feel relief, laugh, and cry, whatever. Do a little dance even? Any job offer represents a lot of hard work, stress, and effort. Acknowledge that.
Charlie Judy – After thanking whatever almighty power you worship for giving you a real opportunity, scrub that offer top to bottom. Pull the key provisions of the offer out (i.e. remove the fat from the meat) and make a list of those key provisions. Go through each one and make sure you don’t take any exception to them. If you do take exception and want to “negotiate” prepare your business case behind the negotiation (salary, start date, restrictive covenants, whatever)
Sharlyn Lauby – Read and evaluate the offer thoroughly. If you have any questions, ask them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a candidate just sign an offer without considering it. Make sure you know what is expected of you. Understand what your benefits are and when you will receive them so you can make some decisions about COBRA, etc.
Benjamin McCall – Say “Thank You” and as Sharlyn said – “Evaluate” the offer! Before you accept don’t get too excited. Be sure that what you were so happy about in the interview process they can and will actually deliver in your time there. Look deeply at the offer and if their needs to be clarification ask those questions. Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate. If you are someone that can prove the value you provide and they want you… ask for an extra week of vacation or a little more pay. Just because it is a tough economy don’t be afraid to at least ask.
2. How should I close out my time being unemployed? Should I Take time off before I start?
Lance Haun – Do what feels comfortable to you. For me, I wanted to get started right away. For others, they may want to take a long weekend or similarly relaxing break away before the difficult task of starting a job hits them.
Shauna Moerke - Connect with all those who supported you and thank them, get yourself back into work mode by learning even more about the company and team you are about to join, and do something fun that you won’t get a chance to do again for a while, like go see a movie matinee in the middle of the week. Should you get back to work quickly or take a break? I say get back into work as soon as you can! Not only will it feel great to jump right in when you are already excited about your new role, you’ll be earning money again and that is always a good thing.
Alison Green – Do all the stuff that you said you were going to do while you were unemployed but never got around to — doctor’s appointments, camping trip, going to that museum exhibit, whatever you had planned on. You’ll be glad you did!
Charlie Judy – I bought a bottle of 1996 Dom Paragon when I lost my job. I put it in the cellar with the express purpose of opening it once I had actually landed somewhere legit. My wife and I put it in the fridge the day I signed and accepted the offer and we drank it that night. Celebrate, for goodness sakes! As a matter of personal preference – I think you need a couple of weeks to get everything in order, and to start getting back into the mindset of the work world. Be deliberate about doing everything you now know you have limited time to do (e.g. spend time with kids, that last home improvement, etc)
Sharlyn Lauby – Interesting question. First, wrap up projects you might be working on. For example, if you need to renegotiate volunteer commitments you’ve made while looking for work…this is the time. Get family members ready for when you return to work and can’t grocery shop in the middle of a weekday. There are adjustments to be made. Take care of them so you can focus on your new position. As far as taking time before you start I believe some of this is driven by personal finances and circumstances. If you’ve been out of work for a while, taking more time off might not be important. But then again, you might need time to find after-school care for the kids, etc.
Benjamin McCall – (1) Send an email and make calls to your core network. The people that supported you along the way. Thank them. (2) If you were on unemployment, call your states unemployment office – here is a list – and let them know you will begin working soon. (3) Take a mini-vacation. This will allow you to clear your mind and prepare for the job to come. You may want to take a break but for some the unemployment time was enough of a break and you want to dive in and get started!
3. What are the top 3 things that I have to think about when starting at the office?
Lance Haun – (1) Thinking about yourself, the role you will be filling and what will be the long term impact of what you achieve there. (2) Thinking about your team, your manager, your peers and your subordinates and the role they play in your future. (3) Thinking about your company, how it functions, how departments interact and how you plan to use it to your advantage.
Shauna Moerke – (1) With whom do I need to meet and connect with. (2) What are the team/company dynamics like now that I’m here and how can I best fit in with the team and (3) Is there a nap room?
Alison Green – (1) Research your new company. (2) Read the hell out of their website and research some of their staff on LinkedIn so you know who you’re going to be working with. Things will feel slightly less unfamiliar on your first day. (3) Ask your new boss if there’s anything you can read ahead of time to start preparing — even if they say no, they’ll love that you asked!
Charlie Judy – (1) where’s the bathroom, (2) who do I need to know and how am I going to get to know them and (3) are there any “sacred cows,” stuff that’s off limits, stuff that will get me into trouble, stuff to avoid entirely.
Sharlyn Lauby - (1) Getting back into a work routine. If you’ve been unemployed for any length of time, it’s likely you’ve developed a different routine. Put some thought into a new routine for yourself and do it quickly. It will help make the transition smoother. (2) Pay attention. You’ll be exposed to new people, new situations and new processes. Before trying to change the world, understand the corporate culture – who are the players and what is the best way to approach them with your thoughts and ideas. Avoid the temptation to talk about all the great ways you did things in previous jobs and drawing comparisons to how things are done at your new company. (3 ) Take notes. I never understood how new hires can keep track of all the information they are given without taking notes. It’s not a sign of weakness. Get a pad and pen and use them.
Benjamin McCall – (1) I agree with Alison, ask your boss if there are any projects that you can begin to think about before you start. If there is nothing then think about them anyway. This will help you get in the mindset for starting your first day. (2) Know your role – you did the interview so you have an idea of what you will be doing, but think about your role within the organization and how you can begin to make them be happy they went with you versus the others and finally (3) PERFORM! Chances are they are expecting you to hit the ground running. You have been diligent about coming off attractive to employers. You are polished in your experience and answers. Al that no longer matters! What you need to do now is perform in the role you have obtained. You wanted that job hooray… and you got it Yippeee… but it will all be for nothing if you don’t perform and succeed in that role. You have the job (and hopefully a career), now do great things!
So there you have it. More advice just from a different angle. Feel free to add your own advice or resources in the comments section below!
Some further resources and pointers:
- If you are leaving your current job for another what should you do to your work laptop before you leave?
- If you are going to move for a job? Need to evaluate salary, location, etc. Here is a great Cost of Living calculator.
- You don’t have to read the Layoff List anymore… yeaahhhh But still pay attention to it.
- Make an Impression: Your First Days Working at a New Job
- Starting a New Job – Getting Used to Your New Role
- If you did not get a job were you Underqualified for that particular role?
- Continue to network and Maintain it!
- Finally, never forget how you felt when you first heard you would be unemployed, denied a job or were overqualified or under! Treat others that were in your situation with respect!
Don’t forget the fact that you might have to reinstate some luxuries that you have gone without for so long. Like eating and having fun! Be sure to enjoy the work you are doing but most of all enjoy the rewards that come with that work.