My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Sunday, Dec 12, 2008

A few things to try if you happen to get fired/laid off this holiday season

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Sometimes I wish I could just turn off my brain and be like regular folks who can take vacations and do “fun stuff”. For me working is fun and I sometimes have trouble not doing it…and this brings to what I am going to rant about tonight.

Over the last two days I have been thinking non stop about how to find a new job.

Not for me thankfully (I have a good one) but for a few friends. Ya see in the last 48 hours I have learned by email or an IM conversation that good friends have lost their job due to the current economic situation.

I am going to share the advice I gave since I was told it was helpful…this is by no means a definitive list of steps but this is a place to begin and if there is anything I have missed please add them in the comments…and I admit some of this advice works better if you still have a job and are just looking to change since some of these steps take some time to do.

(in no particular order)

1-Start Tweeting and/or Stop Tweeting about your penis (or vagina)

  • If you are looking for a new role show a large group of people that you know what you are talking about. Make every tweet count since a savvy HR person may check and see or even better you may catch the eye of a possible new employee by being smart and helpful by talking about your expertise. If you are a marketing guy you should share your thoughts or ideas and post url’s of interesting articles you have come across. Think about what you post before you press send and ask yourself if this is something you would be embarrassed about in a job interview…once you land the job then you can go back to talking about your sex life

2-Get rid of that “Halloween” photo album in Facebook.

  • This isn’t so important as long as your Facebook account is only able to be seen by friends etc and if your idea of a Halloween costume is dressing as Batman then that isn’t such a big deal but you went out for Halloween as a naughty nurse or a male stripper then you have to hide that stuff (at least for the short term). I have been in a hiring capacity for many years and I always try to find stuff about people if they make it to interview #2. More than a year ago I was looking to fill a role and I thought I had found the perfect candidate. After spending 30 minutes tooling around looking for anything I could on this person I wanted to hire I came across lingerie and naked pictures of her that she had posted on her own (worth mentioning so you don’t think it was a vengeful x-boyfriend) site and while the pictures were really nice to find…finding them had nothing to do with why she wasn’t hired. They did however change my line of questioning in the future interview since the role was about understanding the power of the Internet and online branding. Without finding these pictures I probably wouldn’t have asked the type of questions I did and therefor not gotten the answers I needed to make the decision I did. Basically, you never know who is interviewing you and how they prep for meeting you. Most people I have told this story to couldn’t believe I still met her after and never mentioned it or made a big deal about it but to me the pictures themselves were not a big deal…I mean if I had her body I would be doing the same thing, but with better lighting…to me it was more about if she knew they were publically available or was this a mistake. I got the impression she didnt know (even though I didnt ask directly) so she wasnt right for the roll since it directly involved understanding the interweb. I could have just summed this up with “Don’t give anyone reason not to hire you” but I really wanted to tell you that story.

3-Go make some friends and be helpful.

  • If anyone is going to want to hire you it is because you are smart and you know your stuff…so go show people. Set up a LinkedIn account and connect with people…offer to help folks and get a reputation. One of the best ways to touch lots of people at once is to spend some time in the LinkedIn Q&A; section and answer questions. Show people you are the know it all you claim to be and most importantly…ask people for references on LinkedIn. This is not a formal reference that you would bring with you to a final interview but they do look good on a profile to have from a few different folks from different walks of life.

4-Tell everyone you know what happened and don’t be shy about it.

  • One of the people who contacted me to let me know was Warren Sukernek. Warren is a great guy and a very good “ad man”. He went public with his situation and people are ralling around him. His is exactly what should happen when friends are in need and I hope this post helps Warren and anyone else reading it.

5-Getting Fired isnt always a bad thing but it does…..

  • …suck…I have been through it and by the looks if it a lot of people I know will also face this in the coming year. Don’t get yourself down and follow the advice above…and if you want some isight on what to do the moment you are let go you can read a post I wrote a while back on that exact topic called If you havent been fired from a job you just arent trying hard enough.

I hope this was helpful in some way and please I can’t stress enough. If you find yourself in this situation you need to get yourself out there and start helping folks. I am not saying this so you will find good karma but rather if you are good at what you do and you share that wisdom with people then those and other people will notice and you may perhaps find yourself a new gig in a hurry without ever going to

  1. Saul, my friend, you are a true mensch. You always know the right thing to say and you do it with such humor and style. And of course, great advice. Don’t worry, there are no pictures of me out there that I’d regret. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face!

  2. Great advice, and as always, you are thoughtful in sharing 🙂

  3. Saul,

    My quest is over and in record time! I am so happy to say that I have accepted a job with Radian6, a good Canadian company, by the way, as Director of Content Marketing. You can read more about it on my blog,

    I received a lot of interest even during this terrible economy. Most of my job leads and interest came from Twitter and blog posts like this one. It’s all because I had followed your advice, although giving up the Halloween picture on Facebook was hard. Anyhow, having a strong network and lots of great caring people like yourself is critical these days. Once again, I am very appreciative of all of your help and advice. I can’t thank you enough.

    Thank you,


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