By Michael Shmarak
A weird thing happened when I went to work a few weeks ago—I got laid off.
I say “weird” knowing full well layoffs are not all weird or humorous—they stink badly. Having been laid off before, I find solace that I have been through this process once before, and know I will get through it again.
I find inspiration from many sources in my life—some of my now former coworkers, past mentors and (of course) my amazing family. This time around, I am channeling someone as my new “search consultant”—Marshall Bruce Mathers III.
The world knows him as Eminem. I look at him as one of the most influential artists of our generation. Those who have worked with me know I love pop culture, relevant trends and “the real world”—and I often enlist and integrate it my final work product.
When you work in communications and marketing, you realize early on that creativity is a crucial pivot point and differentiator. While there are several trends that are top-of-mind (AI is really hot right now), musicians, actors and other artists allow me to draw inspiration.
So as I laid out my job search strategy this time around, Eminem provided me the right and best strategy:
“If you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment…
...would you capture it or just let it slip?” I know the jobs I want. I know who I want to work for. I have targeted companies and a list. I am researching all of those companies and the people associated with them because that is where I want to be, and I know the work I do going after those companies will result in what I want.
“My Name Is…”
By the end of this song, you KNOW Eminem is Slim Shady; he reinforces his identity and what he is known for. When you have experience in a marketplace, you should have a badge. The best badge one could have is the one given to us by our parents—your name and reputation should stand for something, so prove it and validate it. Similarly…
Don’t fall for the “This looks like a job for me…
…so everybody just follow me” way of life. The worst thing you can do is apply for a roster of jobs that won’t interest you. That is a bad source of energy and focus; if you only spend a few minutes submitting an application, your response will most likely be as immediate—and as negative, thereby dragging you down the abyss you don’t want to travel. Focus on jobs that inspire, that invigorate and prove you are the right candidate.
“I’m not afraid, to take a stand…”
Not Afraid has so many strong messages in it; the one that I take each time is avoiding self-doubt. It is one of those emotions that can take hold of you during a search, but thanks to a great coach, I learned that you need to reinforce to yourself that SOMEONE out there is looking for what you can offer and how you offer it. Own what you know you are good at and prove it to people. Don’t let excuses—ageism, for example—dictate your search. Taking a stand means finding a way to get around obstacles.
I have one shot to seize what I want—and I won’t let it slip. Thanks for your help, Slim.