Job Search Tip
Previous BossesDid you know that there are a lot of things your previous bosses can do for you in your quest to find a job? They might have a job lead for you, they can definitely offer insight you can use to be a better job seeker, and they are excellent references.
If I were looking for a job, I would call all the bosses I’ve ever had. They know me better than anyone else, and they remember things about me and my work. And, they probably have a network at a higher level than I do—they know the people I need to be talking to about getting hired. Even if they can’t hand you a job, they may be able to hand you a lead. They just might know exactly who you should call.
Even if they don’t have a lead for you at that moment, they’re still a good call to make. Why? Because in most cases, because that person knows you so well from working with you, they can boost your morale or help you refine your pitch for the job search. Ask them what they liked about working with you, or get brave and ask what they didn’t like about you, so you can be better employee going forward. Always ask for a recommendation from them. Don’t be shy about asking them what they would say if they were recommending you or describing you to someone else. Those are things you need to know. And you don’t want to set them up as a reference if you don’t know what they’re going to say, anyway.
And guess what? Even if they fired you for doing a poor job for them, it’s entirely possible they would recommend you for another kind of job. I have had people working for me that I have let go that I would recommend for a different kind of job, even if I wouldn’t recommend them for the specific job they did for me. Just because you got fired doesn’t mean that your old boss wouldn’t recommend you for a different kind of job. It’s very possible that they thought you just weren’t a good fit for their job, but you’d be a great fit for another one. You need to ask to find out.
Hopefully, you have kept a good relationship with all of your previous bosses, but many people haven’t. If that’s you, right now is the time to rip off the Band-Aid and get that going again. I talk to job seekers all the time who are reluctant to call their previous boss because they’re not sure if they will get a positive reference from that person. The truth is that 50% of those people probably would have a wildly positive reference from that boss, but for whatever reason, they just don’t have an accurate picture of how that person felt or feels about them.
The other 50% have probably burned a bridge. But guess what? You need to start working hard now to do the best job you can to repair that relationship. In many cases, it’s not even that difficult to do. If enough time has passed, it’s likely that that person has forgotten about whatever it is that soured the relationship. If they haven’t forgotten, now is a good time to do what you can to mend fences.
Don’t get me wrong: I completely understand that when you are unsure about the relationship, calling that previous boss is going to be very difficult. This is a Band-Aid situation. Rip it off and realize that the worst thing that could happen is that they will say that they don’t think much of you and never will. That might be hard to hear, but what does it really hurt (other than your self-esteem)? At least you’ll know. You have a decent chance of being wrong about what they think of you, and that will be a pleasant and extremely helpful surprise.
And either way, you will be doing the things that you need to be doing for yourself and your career so you can find a job fast.
Do you need a new job fast? Discover the most effective job search method ever in my free webinar, Get a Great Job in 6 Weeks.
You’ll get powerful strategies for resumes, cover letters and networking to find hidden jobs and get more interviews.