Open Manholes

“It happens an instant.  One minute you are walking and whistling, the next you are wide-eyed and falling.  Satan yanks back the manhole cover and an innocent afternoon stroll becomes a horror story.  Helplessly you tumble, aware of the fall but unable to gain control. You crash at the bottom and stare blankly into the darkness.  You inhale the evil stench and sit in Satan’s sewage until he spits you out and you land dumbfounded and shell-shocked…”  This is the opening paragraph of Open Manholes and Sudden Sin in the book “On The Anvil—Stories On Being Shaped Into God’s Image” by  Max Lucado .

Max Lucado is the author of numerous best-selling books. This book was his first and I make it a practice to read it every year since its publication in 1994.  Checkout various topics contained within the book:

  • I AM Very Weary
  • Eyes That Never See; Ears That Never Hear
  • Who Pushes Your Swing?
  • The Poison Tongue
  • An Instrument For Nobel Purposes
  • God Don’t You Care?
  • …and others

The principles in this book are so deep and profound and easily applied to life.  So, what does that have to do with this post? 

I received many emails since writing “Don’t Waste This Recession” and thank you so very much.  I sincerely appreciate hearing from you.  In them, many of you expressed the falling, sinking, unable to control feeling after hearing the news of losing a job; then feeling shell-shocked to face an employment market disproportionally and adversely affecting people of color—kind of like the opening narrative to Open Manholes.  You shared that in the area of developing “deeper roots” and furthering your network, feeling stymied.  You asked for one or two key steps to move profitably ahead–emphasis on profitably.  I believe these two areas will bring about the greatest lift for your journey.

Number 1

Gather information about the organizations you are pursuing—social media style.

LinkedIn Company Pages  is a great place to see an overview of a given organization; checkout careers and follow the company to gain access to positions as soon as they are posted.  You can also view the list of their employees who are also on Linkedin—you may be connected & checkout the company’s common schools from which they hire.  When you checkout an organization, use your network to learn more about the organization from the inside/out.  You will make a better impression when talking to people about job opportunities when you have that data. 

If you are NOT on Linkedin, and the statistics show that people-of-color are underrepresented, signup & setup a professional profile. 75% of the people who contact Altruistic Leadership are not on Linkedin–not good!

Also, Branch Out .  BranchOut  is Facebook’s Job & Career Networking application.  This tool allows you to tap into your friend network & checkout opportunities at target companies.  I’m not as familiar with this application and its success, but it is worth checking out.  Now, the next suggestion is a little more challenging. 

 

 

Number 2

Talk to people & get the word out.

Sounds simple, yet we know that for many there’s a sense of unease about sharing your current situation, be it unemployed or underemployed with your network.  It’s OK.  During this time of recession, EVERYONE has been affected.  Your talents are your tools; get on the anvil, allow the kinks to be hammered out and GET OUT THERE.  Number 2 is much harder than Number 1—you learned that as a child, but you did it anyway: same here.  I apologize for the imaginary but you get the picture.

Start talking to people who are in your profession, industry, or target company.  Share your quest with least 20+ people on a continual basis.  Share with people who can help you connect with potential hiring managers. You will reap the rewards of what you sow quicker and richer than you think.    

Those are the two key areas that deserve your time & attention.  I hope this helps & please continue to send us your comments.

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