Next Steps After Being Fired

Based on my own experience as a “Manager in Transition” or MIT – as we say in the profession, I offer the following suggestions to local government managers who find themselves unemployed.
  • Preliminary Steps
  • Get Organized
  • Digital Organization
  • Internet Job Search
  • Headhunters
  • Prepare for the Interview How Do I Explain Being In Transition
    • Sample Questions
    • Due Diligence Questions
  • Above All, KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOR!

PRELIMINARIES

  1. Register with both ICCMA and FCCMA (or your state equivalent) and acquire the job search materials they offer to an MIT.
  2. Read them thoroughly and put those strategies and suggestions to work.
  3. Remain active, attend conferences and network.
  4. Don’t wait for someone to call you, reach out to your professional colleagues via email or phone and ask for their help, send a copy of your résumé.
  5. Apply for unemployment immediately, if you are eligible, and register with Employ Florida for job searches.
  6. Register on the high ranked job sites: LinkedIn and Monster.com as well as your standard government job sites including ICCMA.
  7. Register with all the headhunters.

GET ORGANIZED

  1. Update your résumé. Save it as a PDF.
  2.  Prepare a standard Draft Cover Letter which can be individualized for each job application.
  3.  Prepare a reference list.
  4.  Acquire written letters of reference and save these as a PDF.

DIGITAL ORGANIZATION

  1. Email Applications - Use PDF files to attach to email applications.  This will make sure nothing in your word files gets inadvertently changed.
  2. Prepare a folder on your computer to store your Application package – Resume, Cover Letter, and Reference Letter. This makes it easier to add attachments for email applications.
  3.  Online Applications - Save your résumé as a text file for those jobs that require online applications.  Having a text file you can cut and paste from makes the task easier.  I have also learned that having a simplified short resume with just dates and a short summary of duties is necessary in some cases to make cutting and pasting more efficient.

INTERNET JOB SEARCH

The following sites offer the best resources for jobs that are available in our field.  Check these sites once a week and/or rely on job alerts from these sites to keep informed.
  1. For Unemployment Purposes – set up your account with Employ Florida, https://www.employflorida.com/  and set up a job search that you can use for meeting the weekly requirement of 5 job searches per week.   While this site is not job specific for government, the resources are excellent.  Use the résumé building program to identify your “occupational skills”.  Many of the online applications are now automated, using keywords to determine whether a candidate meets the minimum qualifications for a specific job.  Having your occupational skills correctly identified for automated searches is crucial to getting you to the next step in the review process.
  2. International City County Manager Association (ICMA), http://icma.org/en/icma/career_network/home -  Develop your profile FULLY on this site, with your resume and a picture so that you are visible. Set up a job alert to notify you of new positions.
  3. LinkedIn, http://www.linkedin.com/  Linked In has become the premier site for professional resume sharing and networking. Set up an account using all the features and include your LinkedIn account as part of your signature and reference for folks.  Get ENDORSMENTS!  And Join Groups.
  4. Govtjobs.com, http://www.govtjobs.com/index.html  Set up your profile, with resume and cover letters and set up a job alert.  Sometimes jobs may be listed here that not included on ICMA site.
  5. In addition to these sites, register with GovernmentJobs.com, https://www.governmentjobs.com/.  While this site does not have as many listings as either govtjobs.com or ICMA, many cities and counties are now using this site for their online application process.  Set up your résumé and cover letters ahead of time on this site, so when you find a government that uses this site you are ready to go.
    • Note:  Some governments use this site, but fail to notify you that you are being redirected to this site for the application.  In order to avoid  confusion, use a consistent user name and password across all job site online applications.  Upon entering your user name you will find out very quickly whether you are already registered.
  6. Monster.com  if you are considering leaving the public sector.  This is the highest ranked job site on the internet.

HEADHUNTERS:

Headhunters seems to have their own territory and vary in their approaches to how they fill positions.  Register with all of these headhunters; let them know you are in the market.  Don’t wait for them to come to you!
Springsted ,  http://www.springsted.com/ 
1564 East Parham Road ,  Richmond, VA 23228 
Phone: 804-726-9748,  Fax: 804-726-9752
 
The Mercer Group Inc., http://www.mercergroupinc.com/ 
Address:5579 B Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Suite 511, Atlanta, GA 30338
Phone:770-551-0403,  Fax: 770-399-9749, JMercer@mercergroupinc.com
 
Slavin Management Consultants,  http://www.slavinmanagementconsultants.com/welcome.shtml
3040 Holcomb Bridge Road,  Suite A-1,  Norcross, Georgia 30071
Phone: 770-449-4656,  Fax: 770-416-0848,  slavin@bellsouth.net
 
Voorhees Associates LLC,  http://www.voorheesassociates.com/
500 Lake Cook Road, Suite 350,  Deerfield, IL 60015
Phone:  847-580-4246,  Fax:866-401-3100,  Info@VAresume.com 
 
 Strategic Government Resources,  https://www.governmentresource.com/
PO Box 1642,   Keller, TX 76244
Phone: 817-337-8581,  Fax: 817-796-1228,  ron@governmentresource.com
 
Colin Baenziger & Associates,  http://www.cb-asso.com/index.html
12970 Dartford Trail, Suite 8 Wellington, FL 33414 Phone: 561.707.3537 Colin@cb-asso.com
 
The Waters Consulting Group, http://www.watersconsulting.com/ 
5050 Quorum Dr. - Suite 625, Dallas, TX 75254 Phone: 972.481.1950, Phone: 800.899.1669, Fax: 972.481.1951, mjanes@watersconsulting.com 
 
Ralph Andersen & Associates, http://www.ralphandersen.com/about_our_firm.html
5800 Stanford Ranch Road, Suite 410, Rocklin, CA 95765
Phone: 916.630.4900, Fax: 916.630.4911, info@ralphandersen.com 

PREPARE FOR INTERVIEWS

There are some fairly standard questions for both the verbal interviews and the essays and it is very helpful to prepare in advance, by studying and updating my skills on various subjects and then writing my responses. This process will help you respond faster, in particular to written essay questions, with a simple “cut and paste”. In general the questions seem focus on the following areas:
  • TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
  • WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN WORKING FOR?
  • WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
  • MANAGEMENT STYLE
  • TEAM WORK
  • WHAT MOTIVATES YOU
  • DESCRIBE A DIFFICULT SITUATION OR A SERIOUS CHALLENGES AND HOW YOU HANDLED IT.
Finally, be prepared with a set of serious questions that you have about the employer that reflect you have done your homework.