My name is Mark Wayman, and for the last 15 years I have owned an Executive Recruiting company in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mostly I work in the gaming/casino and high tech industries. The business funds my true passion: Charity and Community. A portion of each placement is donated to a dozen national and local charities.

 Disclaimer #1: Only Represent Candidates I Know Personally or by Referral – My clients expect me to personally vouch for each and every candidate, and I can’t do that with people I don’t know and have never met. No disrespect intended. Currently have a hundred friends in career transition due to the Pandemic, and if nothing else, I’m the most loyal person you ever met.

 Disclaimer #2: I’m Not Here to Judge or Criticize – That’s God’s job. Simply here to communicate valuable lessons I learned that might help someone else.

 Disclaimer #3: Why I Love America – We can agree to disagree and still be friends! I welcome all opinions and viewpoints provided they are professional and respectful. Trolls will be deleted and blocked.

Today’s topic is TWO VALUABLE LESSONS FROM LOSING YOUR JOB DURING THE PANDEMIC. Yes, I high work at very senior levels, however these lessons apply to everyone. And regardless of why you left, I hope you find these lessons of value. Being furloughed, laid off or terminated is difficult under any conditions, however for millions that lost their jobs through no fault of their own during the shutdown, it’s especially challenging. How will I pay the bills? How will I find another job? I deal with an average of 100+ executives in career transition every day. Here are two concepts I stress to my candidates to keep in mind as they undertake a career search.

Concept #1: The company ALWAYS takes care of the company. The days of 30 years, a gold watch and a pension are over. No matter how loyal you are, no matter how many hours you work, when they are done with you…they are done with you. Learned this lesson frist hand when I worked for the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. They started laying off people with 30 and 40 years of tenure. When I asked the CFO how he could do that to people his response was, “Because the company always takes care of the company.” The company will always take actions to protect the company, including layoffs. 

Lesson #1: You are a consulting company of one that just happens to be on someone’s payroll. Watch out for your own best interests, and always have a six to twelve month rainy day fund for the downturns. Also, never fall into the trap of “I’m indispensable.” I assure you – you are not. This is not about you. This is not personal. It’s about companies trying to stay out of bankruptcy so there are jobs to go back to.

Concept #2: When you lose your job, mostly no one returns your calls. A close personal friend lost his Casino President job. This is a guy that did a thousand favors for a thousand people, yet he told me, “Mark, you are the only person that would return my phone call. I thought these guys were my friends, but no one calls me back.” I replied, “You are no longer the Casino President that can get them free rooms and show tickets. Now you are just one more unemployed guy that can’t do them favors, buy their products and services and/or get them jobs.” As my friend Charlie says, “Most people only call you when they need something.” 

Lesson #2: Accept the fact that most people are self-focused and self-serving. You are blessed if you have 5 true friends in life. And you get to find out who they are when you lose your job! Most people are not your friends – they are acquaintances. They have busy lives and other priorities. Your job search does not make their radar. I was an alcoholic for years because I expected everyone to be like me. I stopped drinking the day I realized everyone is on a hard journey, and someone not returning my call does not make them a per person, they just have other priorities. Don’t take it personally, and don’t place high expectations on others. That way you are never disappointed.