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7: I Was Just Laid Off. Who Can I Ask for Help and Guidance?

Whether you are being laid off, looking to change jobs, or very comfortable in your current position, the key to this obstacle is to make friends—network with others in your field. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable and ask for help. Don't be haughty and avoid offering help. I know a lot of proud people who are out of work and many who are working because of a friend's recommendation.

Two of my current income sources are directly related to friends and associations that I have formed over the last seven years. I am a Content Developer for MeasureUp.com because a friend of mine, in 1998, was also a friend of the CEO of MeasureUp and thought that we should talk. Right after the first conversation, I was working with Measureup.com. I am writing this Now What? series of articles because one of the principals of InformIT read a review I wrote for another publication on a CCNP bootcamp. That review caught his attention, and he e-mailed me with a question. One e-mail lead to another, and I was asked to come up with some ideas for future contributions to InformIT.com. You never know who your friends are. Keep an attitude of openness.

I always view my students, vendors, training partners, and colleagues as friends. I try not to burn bridges, although occasionally I have. I have grown to realize that these people that I work with and teach might provide an employment opportunity for me in the future. I might be able to help them in return. I have taken the attitude that we all work together, whether we are contractors or are in an employer-employee relationship. If I get laid off, I will in all likelihood be back at work within a week because of my friends and associations. My friends also know that if they get laid off and I know of an opening, I will gladly share it—as I have in the past.

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