Mind the Gap: Three Steps to Take You From Fired to Hired

By Nancy Harris
Strategic Chair, Education Committee


If you’ve ever been downsized, right-sized, merged or acquired…whatever you call it, you know that losing your job is always difficult.

I’ve had my fair share of job transitions throughout my career and despite the initial shock, I’ve always landed in a better place. After reflecting on what’s helped me quickly move from transition to full-time employment, I’ve identified three tips to share:

  1. Know Thyself

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” I am fairly certain Aristotle was not referring to a job search when he penned this quote, but self-awareness is a fundamental first step in your transition.

Before you embark on a flurry of activities, get crystal clear about what you desire and value in your next job.

Ask yourself these key questions:

  • What did you like or not like about your last job?
  • What do your friends, family, and colleagues say are your strengths?
  • How does your life look now, versus when you took your previous job? For example, did you get married or have a child? These life changes impact how you approach your job search and what you will value in your next role.

When you truthfully answer these questions, the foundation is in place to finding the RIGHT job, and not just ANY job.

  1. Know Others

“The opposite of networking is NOT working.” I don’t know who wrote this but I wholeheartedly agree. Networking is imperative to any successful job, career, or business endeavor.

I won’t spend time telling you how to network but I will suggest you remember these letters, “ABC” which stand for Always Be Networking…mismatched letters aside, this is essential. Whether you are currently employed, underemployed, or passively looking for work, networking is essential.

  1. Keep the Flame Burning

If you are only networking during job transitions, your search will be much longer because you must re-establish relationships.

We all know what happens when you start a new job—you become consumed with meetings, family, and life. It’s only natural. Then one day, down the road, you look up and BAM! You are in job search mode again and trying to frantically rekindle relationships that you’ve let fizzle.

When you are not in job-search mode, remember to connect or reconnect with at least one person a day. If you can’t commit to one per day, shoot for one a week or one a month. Put it in your calendar, or use the LinkedIn reminder tool. This small step keeps your relationships alive and thriving because you don’t want to be “that person” who only connects with your network when you need something.

The next time you find yourself in the gap between employed and unemployed, remember these steps to help guide you to successfully landing your new and better job.

Nancy Harris is principal consultant and CEO at Restart Consulting. Her mission is to reimagine the way we work. Her expertise is leader development, organizational change, and strategic human resources.

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