Resources for Unprecedented Times- Advice from our Friends at Amazon, Twitter, TechStars, Foundry Group VC, Colorado’s Top Recruiters and much more

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Alongside our friends in the community and long time hiring experts, we’ve aggregated a TON of resources for you to help in navigating these unprecedented times.

Together – we’ve got this. We promise.

 



For those truly in dire need of assistance here is an important resource on finding the real essentials in your community from our former client
AuntBertha via the awesome Hannah Davis at Techstars “If you need help paying for food, paying bills, or have other needs, go to findhelp.org. It lists free & reduced-cost services in every city in America supporting people who have been impacted by the crisis.  If you are ok but know someone who needs help, please share this actively.”


 

Before we jump into the advice for job seekers, we wanted to share some empathetic and powerful words of wisdom for employers from our friend, Analiese Brown VP Talent and Culture at CampMinder in Boulder.

When all of this is over, your employees will not look back on this time and remember the nuances of the policies you put in place or the details of the analysis informing the company’s strategic pivot.

Here’s what they *will* remember:

How you communicated

How much you cared

How you responded and what you prioritized when times got tough

Act accordingly.

 


 

Alright – let’s dive in on recommendations and resources for job seekers here…

Pragmatic advice 

  • Don’t panic.  Breathe, we are all in this together. There are a ton of resources available- here are some in Colorado and here are opportunities and further help if you are laid off. Remaining calm is key.
  • Be ok asking for help- be transparent, be open, and be vulnerable. People want to help.
  • Focus on your physical and mental health and those around you- #stopthespread
  • Get involved and help others- Giving of your time and expertise with no expectation of anything in return will help others, make you feel better and help us all get through this together
  • Be patient- this will take some time, perhaps months or even a year to get back to ‘normal’, patience is key.
  • Actively reduce your expenses on non essential products to increase your savings/runway
  • Focus on things you love to do or learn a new trade/skill
  • Blog publicly and journal just for yourself. This could help you process the ongoing changes and reality, others understand they aren’t alone.  It will also help you get thoughts on paper so they aren’t keeping you up at night. Dave Bacon, Founder of BWBacon in Denver elaborates on why reading and writing has been important for him.  “I turned to reading some of my old journals this past week and it was extraordinary.  It really gave me a lift. To re-live the pain you once felt in times of stress before really helps because I know I got through tough times then.  But reading alone isn’t complete without spending time to enter more entries about what you’re feeling now. For me, nothing helps frame my reference like reading and writing my own words.”  
  • Here are some nationwide resources and tools that are available for all impacted by this situation
  • Conor Swanson,  Partner at Code Talent notes; if folks are looking ways for ways to assist their communities during this unprecedented time, check out the options coming available through Colorado Helps Now
  • Learn about the breadth of what Colorado is doing to help our communities here
  • Support local food pantries for those in need
  • From our friend Vanessa Tapia at Twitter
    • Drink more water
    • Facetime with loved ones more often
    • Get lost in a good book
  • Meditate- slowing down, focusing on your breath and not being judgemental about your thoughts and emotions is critical to successfully weather difficult times, now and in the future.  We have really been liking the Waking Up app mentioned here among others.

There will be layoffs.  Some will be expected, some will come as a bit of a surprise, regardless of your seniority.  Companies will be reshuffling and reprioritizing constantly in the next year to adapt to market conditions- and just to stay alive.  It’s just our new reality. Being prepared and staying ahead of the curve when it comes to keeping your options open will be key.  

We’ve amassed some thoughts for your daily approach to job seeking on how to be effective and efficient..

Job Hunting advice

  • Remain positive. Create your own luck 
  • There is now a central repository for both job seekers in Colorado and for those interested in hiring- check it out and make sure folks know you are looking
  • Do your homework, and ask companies how you can help them achieve their goals and make the world a better place, don’t just ask for a job
  • Create different resumes for different types of roles, regardless of your seniority
  • Be intentional and differentiate yourself – customize each and every outreach
  • Ask yourself what you really want to be doing with your career going forward- this could be a great opportunity to focus (even on a side hustle) to create your vision for your professional future
  • Ask how you can help existing groups (contact the organizers) to form a rising tide
  • Use Twitter as a real time data feed on what companies are saying about how they are adjusting to the crisis and what that means for their hiring plans- we wrote an extensive blog on organizing your job search a few years back– it still rings true today
  • Host online events with friends and colleagues– There’s a ton of collaborative tools to use in this brave new world of working from home
  • Get creative in your approach – send (GASP!) handwritten notes to hiring managers, write and share blogs, contribute to Open Source projects.
  • Prepare for online interviews for those doing technical interviews this book is a great place to start your preparation Here is more from our friends at Recruiting Innovation on preparing for remote interviews
  • Consider a contract / remote role to bridge the gap if funding is running low while simultaneously looking for your dream job – or the right job for right now. Dave Bacon of BWBacon.com believes that “You may want to make the small investment in starting an LLC or S-Corp with the Secretary of State.  We often see an uptick in contract and contingent labor opportunities after layoffs. Having an established entity in place is a requirement for some companies and can be a catalyst towards smart tax planning with part time or full time contract work.”  
  • Conor Swanson from Code Talent continues; “There are some great resources coming available for folks affected by reductions in force. One of those is the list circulating for remote companies that are currently hiring which you can be found here”. Pascal Wagner at Techstars was instrumental in putting this list together.
  • Mike Starkey, a Recruiter at Amazon, added some helpful strategies for your search here;
    • 1) Get strategic with how you advertise yourself on LinkedIn. Too many people take the easy route = simply changing their tagline or listing “Seeking an opportunity”. Take it one step further and add a few keywords/skills to make yourself a bit more marketable. Add that skill sets that sets you apart from others. Give us the details on projects – explain how and why you had success. 
    • 2) Other than crunching endless hours online – take it elsewhere. Focus on yourself for the time being. Everything will be OK! Take a breath – step outside and remember to focus on your personal health (mental and physical). Practice Self Care.
    • 3) Side projects, networking = Ask questions and become involved and become involved. Websites such as Slack, LinkedIn, quora, Facebook, meetup all have communities. Find your passion and begin to ask questions. I myself am an avid photographer. I have joined countless chat rooms simply to ask questions and educate myself while I have a bit of downtime. I am a firm believer that side projects/interests boost productivity and force you to learn new tactics. I always ask people about their side projects
    • 4) Limit distractions within your home workplace. While we all work from home now – it is key to limit distractions. This stems from the moment you get out of bed. Continue your early morning routine – take a shower, go for a workout, put your work clothes on. ACT AS IF YOU ARE GOING TO WORK. Turn the TV off and continue to keep that routine. 
  • Pace yourself and keep at it”, things will continue to evolve- and other great advice from Seth Levine at Foundry Group
  • See the most in demand jobs and who’s hiring according to Linkedin here 
  • Get to know the specifics of the CARES Act and how they can help you, including for self employed and contractors
  • Join the SBDC for online courses on marketing in a crisis and more
  • Here is a solid master list of resources as well from Rockies Venture Club
  • Again from Vanessa at Twitter;
    • Resume writing: focus on impact you made at the company, quantify when possible
    • For technical jobs – include links to your projects/code if possible on your resume
    • For potential career or job profile changes, focus on transferable skills from seemingly unrelated positions that you will bring with you. We learn and grow from every experience and all experience is valuable.
  • #stopthespread- stay home, insist your employer foster a great WFH environment (in a proactive and helpful manner) stay vigilant even as this crisis begins to abate in the weeks ahead

Remember – we are in this together. Take a deep breath. We’ve got this.

Dave and the Technical Integrity Team 

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