Recruitment Reimagined Series for LVIMA

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Getting Started:  Steps to Tackle Inertia and Reinvigorate that Job Search!

One of the hardest things to accept about life is that sometimes it is just not fair.  During the past year, many of our LVIMA members either lost their jobs or saw their independent contractor roles disappear, and that happened through no fault of their own.  Not fair.  So the first step towards tackling the inertia (or fear) that descends when your meaningful work is taken away from you is to (cue the violins, but seriously) … feel your feelings. It hurts to lose a job.  It hurts financially.  It hurts emotionally.  It can hurt professionally (although there is good news here – not so much during this unique Covid time).  The bottom line is that it hurts. 

It is perfectly fine to acknowledge those feelings and to wallow around a moment there, because the feelings are real, and they deserve to be acknowledged.  AND – if you do NOT acknowledge them – they will fester, and they will continue to get in your way.  (When unacknowledged and unresolved, these feelings can manifest in interviews, and they look like victimization or whining and a myriad of other unintentional but unpleasant or uncomfortable attitudes.)

Please don’t skip this step, but even more importantly, please then harness that acknowledgement and reckoning and allow it to herald the beginning of one of the most potentially positive adventures you may take in a number of years.  Because…while the downside of looking for a new job is that it is scary and it is hard, the upside is that it provides a rare time in your life when you can actively participate in determining your own future.  Let’s be honest.  Some of you were actually stuck in jobs you didn’t really love but you were afraid to change.  Or stuck in jobs that kept you too busy to think about changing.  Or just stuck.

Here’s the exciting part.  With some focused hard work, you can retake the reins of your own professional career, and you can chart new territory;  you can actually investigate new roles with an eye to what you REALLY want to do next.  It may be a long time before you have this opportunity to rethink things, as I suspect most of you extraordinarily talented LVIMA members will be re-employed very soon.  So don’t waste the moment!

Oh, and don’t get me wrong.  I know the goal is to find a job, to find that job quickly, and to get the paychecks and the benefits that support your life and your family’s life rolling again.  I’m with you.  But I’m also encouraging you to take a breath, to ignite your curiosity, and to check in with your spirit.  This may or may not be the time to follow your dream but if it is, the same suggestions apply. 

As you jump into the new world, there are happily some positive things to note.  For many years now, we have been predicting a sea change in the way people work.  With new technologies that better support remote and work-from-home positions, it has long seemed inevitable that companies would recognize the benefits of offering that kind of flexibility to strong candidates wherever they may be found.  Until this year, however, the reality was not nearly as strong as the hype, but finally, that has begun to change.  Like it or not, we’ve all had to embrace a new level of flexibility in our work environments, and most early reports are positive.  Yes, these changes have brought new challenges which will need to be addressed, but as a grand new experiment, it has worked better than anyone thought it would on such a massive (and immediate) scale.  So if working remotely or working from home (even partially) was always your dream, this is your time to pursue it!

Also, as the weeks and months have ticked by, many of you are afraid that the lengthier-than-planned blank spot on your resume will hurt your search.  In many strong employment years, employers often do look for explanations of lengthy time spent out of the workplace, and the good news is that they have already become more willing to embrace things like personally-chosen sabbaticals (knowing that the workforce is stronger when occasionally refreshed and revitalized). And decisions around tending to family first (whether childcare or elderly parent care) are also now better understood and accepted or encouraged.  If they aren’t, you don’t want to work at those places anyway, right?  But during COVID, I see employers completely understanding any and all decisions candidates have made around staying safe during the pandemic, and I also see a wide acknowledgement that many markets have been harder hit by furloughs and layoffs than others.  With the strong focus on hospitality and entertainment and sports marketing in Las Vegas, this is certainly true of your environment, which has been hard for you to endure.  But there is wide recognition across the industry that people are not out of work because they want to be or because they deserve to be … they are simply out of work because the pandemic has upended many professional lives to a degree that no one could ever have anticipated.  You will get a well-deserved break for the space on your resume this year. 

In the weeks ahead, we’ll be giving you thoughts and suggestions and ideas about how to build a strong resume, what to do about LinkedIn, how to handle tough questions on a job interview and more.  We can’t wait for you to all be back in meaningful work, and we pledge to support those efforts in any way that we can.  We deeply value you and all that you contribute to our market and to our organization. 

Series Overview:  2020 was quite a year.  We’ll be talking about it forever.  Right now, however, it is time to get everyone back to work.  Job searching is a uniquely reaffirming and personal journey to reclaiming one’s rightful place in the workforce, and this series is designed to support and strengthen your efforts.  LVIMA members are a smart and resilient bunch, and Las Vegas is a vibrant and important world market, so this shouldn’t take long.  Strap in for a thoughtful ride, and feel free to reach out personally ([email protected]) if you have any questions or ideas about the kind of information you would find helpful.