I hope this never happens to you, but it probably will

In September 2014, The Beast 980 went on the air in Los Angeles. Today, just 16 months later, it has been announced that the station has been sold and the sports format is being dropped.

That sucks.

Four-step plan for losing your job

It sucks for Tom Lee who just moved to LA 10 months ago to take over as PD. It sucks for Jeanne Zelasko and Bill Plaschke who just started their new morning show in October. It sucks for Chris Myers and Wes Clements, who just started hosting an afternoon show last month. It sucks for Fred Roggin who moved to PM Drive back in October. It sucks for Sam Farber who had just become the Clippers radio network host this season. It sucks for Pete Arbogast whose AM sports anchoring schedule fit nicely around his gig as voice of USC Trojans football. It sucks for everyone who is losing their job, whether they are on or off the air.

Losing a job stinks. What do you do now?

Here is a four-step plan should you ever lose your job:

1. Tell everyone

If people don’t know you have lost your job, they can’t help you find your next one.

2. Use the referral request technique

This is a great way to build your contact network and uncover potential job leads. The idea is to talk to people — not with the expectation that they will hire you, but that they might be able to refer you to someone who will. Most people will be quite willing to help you. For one thing, you’re not putting them under any pressure because you’re not asking them to hire you. For another, they’ll probably be flattered that you thought to come to them for advice.

Here are the steps:

  • Send an email to someone in the industry you respect. Ask when you can schedule a brief conversation about how to conduct a successful job search.
  • Do not include a resume with your letter. Your purpose is not to ask for a job.
  • At the end of your call, ask who else they recommend that you call for a similar conversation. Then when you contact those folks, you can say you were referred to them by so-and-so. Usually by your third call, someone will tell you where there is an opening.

3. Keep a calendar

Have a calendar that you use only for your job market pursuits. Schedule who you are going to contact and when. You are going to want to stay in touch with these folks every six weeks or so, so put those follow-ups on your schedule as well.

4. Stay busy

Looking for a full-time job IS a full-time job. Have a list of 10 things you are going to do each day in your job search. Staying busy and proactive in the job market will help you keep a positive frame of mind. You might also volunteer somewhere. Helping others will help you continue to feel good about yourself.

The eGuide I wrote about how to get a job by cold contacting employers might be helpful as well.

Finally, you might find inspiration in another of my blog posts, “This is why getting fired can be great for your career”. While the title indicates the post is about getting fired, it’s really about your potential to flourish after losing a job for any reason.

Losing a job isn’t an end. It’s the beginning to the next stage of your career.