Lory Brager was laid off seven months ago as a human resources manager for a large Idaho company when it reorganized. It was the second time she had been laid off due to the economy.
“The first time this happened to me in 2009, I felt so humiliated,” Lory said. “That feeling held me back from doing what had to be done. It was just as painful this time, but I made up my mind to do things differently. This time I was not going to feel like a victim.”
Lory immediately took all of the job search classes available in her area. She targeted her resume for each position for which she applied. Each cover letter was written as a ‘value proposition,’ indicating what she could do for the company.
“I treated searching for work like a full-time job. I also took free online computer classes. As I mastered additional software, I had one more skill to place on my resume,” Lory said. Constant activity helped stave off depression and the feeling of helplessness.
“I learned all about LinkedIn and created my own profile. I was then able to network and search for work through LinkedIn,” Lory said.
She also networked with everyone with whom she came in contact. And by sharing resources or articles about the topic of their conversations, she was able to stand out with those connections.
Lory had business cards made through Vistaprint online for a small fee. She said handing out a card was easier than using a resume to network with contacts.
She also did some of the things that were uncomfortable for her, like cold calling and preparing and using her 60-second commercial so she could easily answer the question “tell me about yourself.” And she practiced interviewing.
After three interviews with a successful legal firm in Spokane, Lory was hired as the director of human resources. She went into the interviews with the self-confidence that the company was making the best decision by hiring her.
Lory emphasized how important it was to send a professional thank you note to each person who interviewed her.
What does Lory think made the difference in getting a job? “Perseverance, optimism and professionalism.”
— Vicki Kunz, workforce consultant,