This week's theme was clearly that too many media pro's are waiting too long before starting their job search at the end of their current contract.
Check out this short video and then print the checklist below for your transition plan.
12 - 9 months out:
Decision needs to be made about staying in same industry/position or moving out. Transitions that require a transfer of skills to a new industry and company can take considerable time branding, packaging, and networking.
Titles, Descriptions, Skills ..... all need to be evaluated for change on resumes, reels, and social media, especially LinkedIn
Begin to connect with influencers beyond your current industry. Target potential industries and companies and connect with principals there. Invites should be well scripted and thought out.
Elevator pitch and Reason for Change statements completed. Language should be applied to elements of social media, specifically the 'Summary' section in LinkedIn
Investigate and gain commitments/sponsorship for coaches, mentors, and other formal or informal resources you can use for proof reading, role playing, guidance.
9 - 6 months out:
If an agent, manager, recruiter or coach needs to be retained, they should be up and running by month 6. Getting your package on their platform and program will take 2-3 months.
You should be having preliminary conversation with your current employer about their intent to retain you and in what role.
This is the time to change your social media strategy if necessary. Start branding profiles and handles with your brand. Now is a great time to take station call letters or company designations out of handles. (if possible).
Do a survey of changes in other professionals contracts since the last time you signed - allowances, non-competes, etc.
Begin to button up your finances. It's possible you could see 3-6 months of transition without a steady paycheck. Your next role could be a lateral move or even starting over. Your compensation can be significantly less initially!
6 - 3 months out:
Decision needs to be finalized on whether you have an opportunity to stay where you are as a primary job target or as a back-up, if it's even an option.
If you haven't been offered an extension or a new contract, best to assume you are leaving.
Schedule networking meetings both inside and outside your industry and company. If you want to stay in-market, begin to explore a non-profit to get involved in. This is a great use of your free time, an opportunity to network in the community, and a terrific distraction to the stress of managing your transition. This will help you bridge between roles.
IMPORTANT: You need to be securing content for reels and resumes NOW. The biggest challenge we have is when MMJ's haven't backed up content in an accessible post-employment location.
3 months out:
The time is now. You should be in full job search mode if it doesn't look like you are signing. The tendency of the management team will be to string you along until they can figure out what to do.
Business cards, websites, social media is all taking on transition language.
You should have informal networking interviews scheduled. You should be having weekly calls with your agent, recruiter, mentor or coach.
You need to be preparing family for change. Begin to set expectations with those very close. Plan for financial hardship. Now is not the time to take on more revolving debt, subscriptions, etc. You are beginning to live with less.
If you are leaving your current role or even if you are staying in place, begin to think about how you are going to 're-invent' yourself. What do you want to change about how people perceive you and your work? What does your coach or mentor tell you that you HAVE TO change before your next role?
Don't forget that no matter how dark the days can appear, businesses in every industry need people. Your current employer included. If you can stay positive, flexible, and sell your value, your next career home is right around the corner.
Ground Zero / D Day:
Stay busy. Schedule time with the non-profit you chose months ago. Take an extra shift or two in the food pantry or thrift shop. Network with other professionals both virtually and in-person. Consider a hustle, part time at something you are passionate about - golf shop, fitness center, daycare, Sunday school.
Stay positive. You image, both as a potential employee or as a role model to children, friends, and other junior professionals it critical. VERY bad mouth your employer or industry.
Stay flexible. You should be tweaking your approach to everything. Social media, interviewing, networking, etc. Think about this as an exercise of continuous improvement. We hit, we shift, we move, we strike, we repeat.
In Summary, if you have started far enough out you have laid a solid foundation by the end. If you stayed on, you reinvent. If you have moved on you reinvent. If you find yourself unemployed and in transition, you reinvent. This is a terrific opportunity to really keep your career moving with industry and technology changes. Celebrate it!