Chris Dessi on unemployment

The No. 1 Thing You Need to Do Right Now If You’re Unemployed

I have lots of experience being out of work. It happened to me three times in a two-year span. Five times total throughout my career. I’m only 40, so that’s a pretty impressive streak.

Also – I split up a business partnership. I didn’t read the fine print of our contract. I battled my partner for almost a year. I made almost no money.

When Buddy Media fired me I bought 1/4 of my vested options on my way out the door. Salesforce bought Buddy Media later that year. I made some money. That money kept me from having to sell my house and file bankruptcy. When I got the check in the mail I collapsed in the foyer of my home and wept. I had survived.

Getting let go/ fired or whatever you want to call it hurts. Acknowledge that hurt. Take a week. Do what you have to do. Drink some scotch. Sleep until 10am. Go for a walk. File for your unemployment benefits.  Talk to your family. After you dust yourself off, do this one thing and you’ll be fine.

Start a blog.

I started my blog in 2007. I did it because I was a Director of Sales, and I wanted to be a Vice President of Sales. It dawned on me that the only people who knew how good I was at my job were my boss and my clients. I knew they weren’t going to help me get that VP job. So I started to blog about my industry.

When I finally got interviews to be a VP, something had happened. Instead of making small talk, all they wanted to do was discuss my blog. I had turned the tide.

Over the years my blog has taken many forms. At it’s worst it’s become a marketing hub.  At it’s best it’s become a place for me to spread joy, love and admiration forthose who have helped me along the way.

For you, right now – a blog will become your best friend. Applying for jobs is tedious. You will get discouraged. Your blog will help. When I was out of work I would try to post every day. I would take a small industry article, and comment on it. If I agreed, I would talk about why. If I disagreed, I would tell my side of the story. When I was down in the dumps, I still wrote. I just didn’t publish it. It gave me purpose. I had applied to every conceivable job. I started to investigate which companies were getting Venture Capital. I started blogging about those companies. It kept me sharp. It kept me from slipping into a depression. It gave me purpose. It helped me to focus my energy on something other than “why aren’t they calling me back?”

Start a blog because you need to write right now. Start a blog because as you start to interview, people will Google your name. They will do this now more than they have ever. When they Google you, they must see you active in your community. They must see you contributing. They must see that you have a thought in your head. They must see that.

Your blog can live on Linkedin. Or Medium. Or WordPress. Or whatever is the easiest platform for you.

You don’t have to know how to code. You don’t have to be a tech whiz. Breathe

If you don’t blog, you won’t be able to compete.

If you don’t blog you don’t exist.

If you tell a headhunter about your blog it will differentiate you.

If in that blog you offer your opinions about your industry, it pushes you to the top.

If on that blog you speak about solutions for the company that headhunter is going to send you for an interview – you will get that job.

If you have a specific company you would like to work for. Blog about that business or job you want.

When I wanted to work for Facebook, I bought the URLFacebookShouldHireMe.com and started blogging there.

Talk about the problems you can fix for them. Talk about your experience. Show them on your blog that you have what it takes.

If this all terrifies you start small. Start a discussion in a group on Linkedin. If you’re good at your job people will chime in. I promise. Get that feedback and feed off it. Use it as fuel to keep you going through this difficult time.

My blog save my career. I hope it does the same for you. I wish you luck, and I look forward to reading your blog.

Do you have a blog? Are you unemployed right now?  Have you recently started a blog? Which platform works best for you? Do you post content on Linkedin? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Hey there – my name is Chris Dessi. I’m the founder and CEO of Silverback Social. I’m also the founder of the Westchester Digital Summit, and the author of Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything-and how you need to Change with it. 

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