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5 Takeaways from Job Loss and Starting on a New Adventure

Ivan Zoot | September 24, 2014 | 1:41 PM
Ivan Zoot

I am excited to share the news that I am well on my way into my next adventure, already. The earpiece of my desk phone was still warm from the call of my last job going away when I began reaching out to friends and associates. I shared the news, not that my last job was gone, but of the good fortune that I was available to take on opportunities and new adventures. Putting a positive spin on things is just my way. If you are seeking your next great opportunity in the professional beauty industry, or any industry for that matter, perhaps the things I have learned in the past few weeks can be of help to you.

Here is my list of top 5 takeaways from my job loss experience and the start of my latest adventure.

Leave well – I accepted my last job in a professional manner. I departed the same way. Do not burn bridges. You never know when you will need or want to cross back. The company that had to let me go has identified contract opportunities to feed me some work and some money. This is valuable to me and brings value to them. Everyone wins. Ours is a small business. It is a small world. You never know who you will be working with, working for, hiring or asking for your next job. Build your network. Value the relationships when things are going well and when they are not.

Enjoy some time off – There is no better time to be unemployed than late July and August. The kids are out of school. The weather is beautiful. This was a great time to cut way back, all the way to zero, on my out-of-town business travel. We enjoyed more family dinners at home. My wife and I went for a walk after dinner every night.

It is hard to truly relax with a job hunt hanging over your head. It is even harder if you are me. I managed to use the time well and I am better off for it. To have a few weeks off in the summer as a full grown adult can be seen as a tragedy or a treat. You can decide how it goes for you.

Circle the wagons – This is a great time to rally your troops and bond with your tribe. Every friend I called was fighting to pay for lunch when we got together. Friends and business associates will make calls, write recommendations and facilitate introductions. The secret here is to have cultivated and maintained a strong network of friends and associates BEFORE you needed to be on the receiving end of their kindness and support. The key is having been the one providing the assistance when you could in the past. What goes around comes around. Yes, there are a few people I reached out to who still have not returned the call or answered the email. Some will not even acknowledge my situation. It is as if they think unemployment is contagious. No worries. I will be there for them. It is an investment in my future… and theirs. Remember to support your network whether you think you need it or not.

Double down, or don’t – Go to what you know. Exploit your core skills and passions. Right away I got busy leveraging the things I have going on that I can build on to create my next adventure. I updated my web site. I cleaned up my social media presences. I began planning for my next chapter… even before I knew how that chapter would read. I have a commanding presence in the guy portion of the professional beauty industry. I got my guy hair game on in a big way to identify my next opportunity.

I also looked into opportunities far outside the hair business. I discovered an idea that I am passionate about and I can cultivate for future growth and exploration. Maybe what is next for me has nothing to do with pro beauty. You will have to stay tuned for more on that.

Do what you do… or do something totally different. Just do yourself the service of exploring both.

Get creative – I read a statistic the other day stating that 34% of the U.S. workforce is not employed in a traditional manner. Over one third of the working population is made up of contractors, freelancers, independent business owners or part timers. The old way to get a job and have a career is becoming the old way. The new way just might look very different for many of us. You will do well for yourself to look at the hunt and what you are hunting form a creative angle.

I discovered pretty quickly that opportunities at my level, that meet my needs, are few and far between. My needs, specifically, include things like a high level of entertainment. I must have fun at work. I crave the opportunity to truly move the needle and change the game. I expect and am worthy of receiving a huge pile of dollars. It became pretty clear, pretty quickly that I would have more success building my next opportunity than hunting it down.

I made the decision to go out on my own. I have built a platform of contract services to the professional beauty industry. I am offering my support in education, training, sales, marketing, management, and social media, specifically focusing on men’s hair, my area of expertise. I have already secured a few contracts and I am in discussions with several more. I hope to work with salons and chains, schools, dealers, manufacturers and associations, too. My prospects are looking good. My time is filling nicely. If I can be valuable to you, let’s have a conversation.

If you find yourself in the job market, as I did, you will find it to be Interesting, challenging, and rewarding. Most of all you will find it to be changing… different from what it was the last time you looked for a job… and different from what it will look like the next time you go looking, too.

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