DISCLAIMER: Only represent executives I know personally or by referral. No online job postings, no candidate databases, no unsolicited resumes or cold calls.  No disrespect intended!

My name is Mark Wayman, and my day job is Executive Recruiter specializing in gaming/casinos and high tech. Over the last 15 years I have placed 900+ executives between $100,000 and $2,000,000 with the average being $250,000 base salary.

Today’s topic, unfortunately, is layoffs. They are back like a bad habit. Having lived through Depression 2.0 in 2008, I am intimately familiar with how this movie ends. The good news is I can also give you a few tips that will optimize your ability to find a new career opportunity. Hear are five things that will keep you finding a new job.

Bitterness Towards Your Previous Employer – Let it go! This is my number one piece of advice to candidates that were laid off. There is nothing that ends an interview quicker than bitterness and hostility towards your former employer. Or boss. You MUST let it go! I know good executives that just can’t get past their bitterness. They never worked again. Happy, smiley candidates are far more attractive. Trust me, your old company and boss are not obsessing about you.

Unreasonable Compensation Demands – Super important! If you are gainfully employed, asking for a 10% to 20% bump in compensation is reasonable. When you are unemployed, all jobs are good jobs. Had a candidate this morning that was $200,000 at his last job; however he got laid off and is now seeking $250,000. What? You have a better chance of hitting the lottery. Companies want gainfully employed candidates. The right number is a lateral from your previous compensation. That guy may want $250,000, however if he is unemployed for a year, $150,000 will sound great. You are laughing, however back in 2008 everyone was laughing too. Until they weren’t.

A Lack of Executive Recruiter Relationship – Recruiting 101: Executive Recruiters get people for jobs, NOT jobs for people. If they don’t fill their existing roles…they don’t eat. It’s unfair to ask an Executive Recruiter to drop everything they are doing to handle your job crisis. Recruiting 101: The wrong time to meet an Executive Recruiter is when you are unemployed. Make sure you have a strong relationship with one or two while you are gainfully employed. If you don’t know a good Executive Recruiter, ask your peers for a referral.

Don’t Stay on the Beach Too Long – The most attractive candidates are gainfully employed. After that, candidates that were laid off this week. Once an executive is on the beach (unemployed) for three months their market value drops dramatically. At six months on the beach you will no longer be getting interviews. Which leads us to…

Putting Too Many Boundaries on Your Job Search – One of the big challenges with Las Vegas for 2018 was a lack of senior level jobs. There are roughly a dozen good employers. Then you have the “B” players, and there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone can’t work at MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment. So here is the challenge – if most of the companies are laying off, where are you going to work? If you are going to move your career forward, you will most likely need to relocate. I get candidates on regular basis that say, “I want A, B, C, D, E.” By putting several boundaries around your job search you are minimizing your changes of finding a new career opportunity.