From Furlough to Full Time – Chapter 3


Author: Alice Faile
Contributing Consultant

Posted by: Don Oehlert
Managing Partner/Head Coach

So, you’ve been let go, laid off, furloughed, fired, terminated – whatever word you use all amounts to the same thing – you are now out of work.

And you need to find a full-time position, soon.

This is a picture of a woman that just got fired and is considering the bad news she just heard.
Photo by Anna Shvets on

Now because you’ve had a few days to absorb the bad news and deal with the emotional aftermath, we’re going to look at some job search process ideas.

Right about now, you are probably dusting off your resume, wanting to update it to reflect your last position. You’re thinking about recruiters, HR managers, your former colleagues and friends.

And I get that – you are finally revved back up! You’ve been down in the valley of anger, frustration, and fear.

Now what?  

Obvious answer is “uhhhh, c’mon, Don. Find a new position!”  …

If you’d like to review Chapter 1 of the “From Furlough to Full Time” series, click here.


Your first instinct is probably going to be: get my resume posted to all the big job boards! Call a few recruiters, and let them know you’re available! After all, everyone wants to help, right? And recruiters know where all the good jobs are, right? They have the inside track, right?

And yes, you do need to do all that. And no, not all recruiters know where ALL the jobs are – they do know where a lot of them are, but not all of them. No one knows where all of them are. And that includes Monster, Indeed, Glassdoor, and so on.

Many recruiters work only in specific markets. Others are only out there looking to build up their resume database. Some of them won’t bother to take the time to get to know you well, and then only refer you to good jobs you’d really like.

Are recruiters just bad people? HECK NO. They are incredibly busy people.

OK. Now…

…what words are you going to share with your network?

Go ahead. I’ll wait… (To read Part 2 of “From Furloughed to Full Time,” click here.)

This is a picture of a small Marshall speaker, saying your message won't be very powerful if you don't think it through first.
Photo by Andrey Matveev on

How powerful will your message be? How much rambling will you do when people ask you “what are you looking for?” Most people will go on reciting their resume and professional history as if this were the first real time they’d thought about that question.

Know what? This is the first time many people have seriously thought about that question. So they ramble, hoping something will resonate with the listener. For about 5-7 minutes (time yourself, if you don’t believe me). If you’re really out of practice, you could go on for up to 10 minutes – or even longer!

If you’d read our book (available here), you’d have learned a fact that is pretty scary – right up front, within the first few pages. That fact is that our attention span is only about 27 seconds long anymore. Even less for a lot of us.

So then, what happens to the person that’s trying to help us? I’m gonna put my money on “their eyes will glaze over, and they’ll tune me out.” Because they are mean? Not at all. They are just human, and have this length of attention span. We’ve all been trained by the media, movies, music videos, video games, ads on the radio, etc., etc., etc. to do this to retain our own sanity.

What does that mean?

This picture of Picadilly Circus in London shows a few of the advertising messages we are bombarded by each day. When we are moving from furlough to full time, we have to make sure our unique message stands out.
Photo by Negative Space on

These days, we are exposed to over 3,000 advertising and marketing messages each and every day. We’ve had to shorten our attention spans so that we can get something important done. I dare you to try and count the number of messages you see/hear/touch/smell/taste each day. As you’re counting, think of all of the other things you could be doing with your time.

Why, right here on my desk and without trying very hard, I can see 23 logos or word logos. Yep. Just counted ’em. 23.

Let me ask you…

…do you know your target market? Are there some interesting target companies in that market? Do you know what title this job reports to? Is your market space growing or shrinking? Do you know whether anyone in that space is hiring right now? Do you know whether the companies that you’ve identified are companies that have a culture in which you’d be interested in working?

I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say you are probably saying to yourself “forget all that – let’s just get this resume updated, rewritten, and then blasted everywhere!” And yes – this is indeed one approach – but is it the best one to get you from furlough to full time?


This first aid kit says "Yes! I should do my resume first!" We disagree wholeheartedly. Think first about the best approach to go from furlough to full time.
Photo by Roger Brown on

…but it is the first thing you should do?

To clarify, let me ask you – did you like your last job? Did you do it well? Were you looking forward each Monday, to going to work? Did you like your manager? Did you agree with the mission of the company?

Oh yeah. There’s all that. I’ll ask you some more in a moment.

First, let’s get back to your original thought.


…and tell them you are available and looking for a new position. You do want to post your availability on all of the social media platforms. You do want to call and email the folks in your own Rolodex (if you even have one, or know what one is). And you do want to reach out to other personal and professional contacts. But at the right time.

But should I do that first?

Strange as it may sound, we don’t agree with that approach. 

So what do I do then?

Well, let’s get your thoughts in order.

Now that you’ve done some writing down of thoughts, let’s go back and look at them a bit. Due to that, let’s do a Franklin T chart over some of the decisions you have to make. If you don’t know what one of those is, there’s a template for one in our Companion Workbook, available here. Upshot is, a Franklin T chart helps you take some of the emotion out of the decision-making process. It helps you see that there are logical items to consider when you are making a decision, so you’re not making a move too quickly, just because you feel like you are in a jam right now.

If you have to earn money right now, I get that. In that case, take an hourly job at Home Depot, Starbucks, a cigar store, whatever, so that you can earn some money to keep the wolves at bay. But don’t jump at the first job in your field that you’re offered, because you may find out you don’t like it. And if you don’t like it, you won’t do it well. If you don’t do it well, you will quit or get fired within 6-12 months. I can almost guarantee you that.

And then this job search thing starts all over again. You’ve now lost all of your momentum from the hunt. A lot of your new networking contacts have lapsed. You’ve maybe even lost the files that contained your resume and SAR stories (next issue’s topic).

This picture says "think about things differently." reminding us that we should think before we jump when we are transitioning from furlough to full time.
Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on

Not a good place to be, mentally. As a result, you felt bad when you were laid off, fired, or furloughed right? You don’t want to have to go through that again real soon, right?

the point of the post

Almost any decision made in the heat of the moment is a bad (at least not optimal) decision. So put some thought into it – like you did when you asked your spouse to marry you, or you agreed to buy that new car. Or when you last changed jobs, because the pay was much higher.

Think things through.

#careercoaching #resumewriting #resumes #gethired #legal

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#careercoaching #resumewriting #resumes #gethired #legal