Escaping the 9 to 5 assumes a certain degree of planning.  Then there is simply being thrown out a window.   And it’s probably not even open.  Sound familiar?

I have the distinction of being in the middle of just about every major market job market layoff of the last 20 years.  Most people don’t realize that the military did annual reductions in force for the three years following the Gulf War.  We called the first announcement black thursday.  I was in Korea at the time and 7 of 11 of us that were eligible were told that their military career was over.  I actually survived until year three when they started offering bonuses to get out.  It got to the point that there weren’t enough people in my unit to do the job.  On the day I left, 32 walked out the doors with their boxes of stuff.  A lot of expertise walked out the door in one day.  So the second time we went back into Iraq, they had to learn everything all over again.  But that’s another topic.

Next came the Internet bubble bursting.  I was working on prototypes for new internet startups.  Then more recently everyone’s favorite of late – sub prime mortgages.   I was a project manager implementing IT solutions and building out new offices.  It was a great group of people to work with.  Then one day someone mispriced a loan offering and within a month the whole thing fell apart.

Fast forward to the present.  I’m back in financial services and I’m looking at roughly 25% turnover on my projects because of the monthly layoffs.  Then I get the “important matter” email and it’s my turn.  To apply logic to it is somewhat futile.  And getting mad doesn’t help.  And to be quite honest I was more disappointed because I did have things I wanted to do where I was, and I like the people I worked with.  I actually felt bad for the department head who had to make the decision and give me the bad news.  I think she was more upset than I was.   I think in part because she knows she will have to do it again, and at a point it becomes an exercise in weight loss through amputation.  Someone higher in the foodchain tells you that you need to hit a number and you make some tough decisions.  Unfortunately, the less people you have, the les you can do, the less revenue you can generate, and the less people you need.   Rinse and repeat!

So if your job no longer exists, and you haven’t done this in a while, here are a few starting points.

http://www.indeed.com – the nice thing about this site is that it pulls jobs from lots of other site

http://www.linkedin.com – if you don’t have a profile yet, set one up and start linking.  Networking is ultimately your best resource for finding a new job.   I think Linkedin is definitely the place to be for professional networking.  It’s also important to get recommendations.  There are priority job listings that you have to have recommendations for in order to respond to.

http://www.craigslist.com – There are jobs listed here you won’t find other places.  There is a fair amount of “”business opportunity” things, but still some good listings to check out.

http://www.4jobs.com – this is part of a network of sites.  I actually ended up creating my own site through them, but it is just for people in Connecticut.  http://www.connecticutemployment.com

http://www.dice.com – This is primarily for IT jobs, but there is one feature of Dice that I want to point out and that is the telecommuting jobs search function.  You can just search for jobs where you might be able to work at home in some capacity.  For those of you who might feel tied to a regional market, you might want to think again.  I’m sure other specialty job boards also have telecommuting search options so give that a thought.

As for me, I checked out the local market and found it flooded with people looking for similar jobs to what Icame from.  I try to take losing a job as a sign from the universe that it’s time to do something different.  So I did.   Thanks to my diverse background and networking, my search for what’s next lasted less than a month.  It’s definitely not a 9 to 5 job, and I’m looking forward to the change.

I know my experience is probably not a realistic benchmark for a lot of people, but if you have been out of work for a while and are still wondering “where did my job go?” , the answer is that it went away to make room for something else.  Sorry if that sounds too much like a cliche, but many people find that it is true.

If for some reason you can’t picture what that next thing might be for you, I would be happy to give you some ideas.  Feel free to email me at rob@escapee925.com and I’ll see what I can do.