Lights! Camera! ACTION! To find your next career

Think of your career search as making a movie of your efforts. You are the writer, producer, director and protagonist (star) of this movie.

The opening scene of your movie finds you diligently working on an important project for your current company. You and your fellow employees feel this important project will raise productivity and profitability for your company.

The hammer falls

You receive a call from the human resource department requesting that you come to their office for an important meeting. As you walk down the hall, you see your manager go into HR. The timing is interesting, but does not cause you any concern. When you arrive at the HR office, they smile and lead you to their conference room. You step into the conference room and see your manager and the human resource manager.

After you sit down and begin to relax, your manager speaks up. She thanks you for your years of faithful service to the company. Then she informs you that your project was dropped this morning. There is no further need for your service. You will be accompanied to your cube where you may remove your personal items. The company will provide you a severance and career coaching.

You are DEVASTATED. Now, you walk back to your cube with zombie motion and clean out your photos, Employee of the Year trophy, and other personal items. You cannot process this information. “How? Why? Did I do something wrong?” are questions that flow unimpeded through your mind.

You are carrying your tote with your belongings as you leave your company’s building. You look back at the building where you have worked faithfully for so many years, knowing that you will not return tomorrow.

Your movie continues

As the star of your movie, you grieve the loss of your job with your family. What are the next steps? You have not searched for a job outside of your company for years. “Where do I begin?”

You research and find that your grieving is normal. Everyone experiences it when they lose their job.

Slowly, you follow the steps in my book and begin to grow out of your funk. As you complete the steps, your confidence begins to return.  People who watch your movie are excited to see your personal growth. They are walking in lockstep with you, even experiencing your emotions with you.

Ups and downs in your movie

All entertaining movies have a flow to them. The protagonists experience highs and lows, just like you in your career search.

You now have the expert knowledge that leads you along the process known as a career search. Of course, you will make mistakes and learn from them. Your fans are rooting for your success. You wrote such an amazing script, the people watching your movie are drawn into your experience.

They experience your excitement when you land your first job interview. Unfortunately, this company does not value your skills and experience and extends a lowball offer. You are disappointed that you must decline the offer — just a blip in your movie that creates interest and draws your audience closer to you.

You continue to network and receive other invitations to interview. The audience enjoys your funny interviews where a manager feels that knowing your favorite color is more important than a discussion of your accomplishments and how they may apply to their projects. They laugh along with you as you relate your funny interview with your family.

Build to a climax

Your confidence has returned. You approach each new interview with your research on the company fresh in your mind. You develop appropriate questions for the manager about their direction, where they feel you may be able to contribute and learn the company’s goals.

FINALLY! You receive an offer that is higher than your last company’s compensation for you. You immediately accept!

The last scene shows the company greeting you with open arms, knowing that you will help lead them to the next level.

The audience stands, claps and cheers for your success as the credits roll. You led them through your downs and ups. They identify with your emotions because many of them have experienced a job loss. They joyfully applaud your success.

Bill Humbert with Provocative Thinking Consulting, Inc. is a speaker, talent attraction consultant, career transition consultant and offers training contracts at