Thursday, December 11, 2008

Surviving Layoffs: How-To Guide

The economy has claimed countless jobs and the tech sector is certainly not immune. With a recession on our hands, companies are slashing workforce and tightening their belts. Local employers are also trimming their payrolls.

First, the (grim) news:



The news locally isn't much better:



For those recently unemployed -- my condolences... I've been there. After your week of decompression and relaxation, I'd like to offer some tips for finding that next job (even if you're not subject to a layoff):

A) Network. A tough economy and record-setting jobless rate is no time for being an introvert. Meet as many people as you can and get your name out there. (Why wait for the pink slip? Start networking NOW!) Join a group, attend a meeting, get to know your neighbours (physical or virtual). These are great times for tools such as Twitter (follow me!), social networking sites such as LinkedIn (add me!), Facebook (ditto), and countless professional social networking communities.
B) Attend local events. Important enough to warrant it's own bullet, but extremely related to the above tip -- get out there and meet your local community at area events, many free. Portland is fortunate to have many great meet-ups (I'm a huge fan of Beer & Blog linked to the right) and even more fortunate to have them aggregated in one spot thanks to Calagator: Portland's Tech Calendar.
C) Refresh your skills. Portland is a great place to learn. Teachstreet.com, a Northwest startup in Seattle, Portland, SF Bay Area (and soon more), is one of my favorites: You can literally learn *anything* on this uber-directory-of-all-classes. While the site has lots of yoga and karate instructors, there are also valuable career-oriented classes available.

If you've got more advice, or resources, for jobless listeners... pass them along, I'll post them here.

And if you're hiring, like local techie OpenSourcery (as posted on Silicon Florist), let's spread that news as well...

To hear this story, as broadcast on Newsradio 750 KXL on 11 Dec 2008, click here (MP3)

2 comments:

DaveSchappell said...

Of course, Brian, folks can also list themselves on TeachStreet as teachers to make some extra income -- everyone knows something that they can earn some $ from!

Katie said...

Hey Brian,

Thanks for the tips. I think that in these weird economic times, it's up to all of us to help each other out where we can, so I think that jumping on the networking bandwagon is a great start.

Also, I just wanted to let you know that while lots of folks are using TeachStreet to gain new skills, we've also been surprised by the number of new instructors and experts who've joined the site to start using their skills to make a little extra money part time. For example, if you're awesome at calculus, now might be a good time to start tutoring, etc.

We're happy to help out anyway we can.

Cheers,

Katie Gruver
TeachStreet Community Team