Dealing With The Reality of Unemployment

Having recently been unemployed, I would like to offer the following insight on how to deal with this new reality for so many in our industry. First and foremost, get registered with the Department of Labor immediately, regardless of your severance situation. They will know if, and when, you are eligible to receive an unemployment payment. In Atlanta, the system is backlogged, so it can take over a month to receive your first payment, apply now, before you think you need to.
Next, get out there -- and stay in front of people! Let others know you are looking for a job and get the word out. Attend association meetings, go out to lunch with your peers, keep up with what is going on in the industry, go on interviews - even if you do not believe you are right for that position. You never know what you will learn. And even if it is not the right “fit” for you, someone else you know may be perfect for that role--Pay It Forward!


For those who are employed and want to help, keep in touch with your unemployed friends, colleagues and peers. Most importantly, we are all in this game together, so let them know that they are not alone. Take them out to lunch, offer to pay for their registration to attend an association meeting, and pass along job leads as you hear of them. Write a recommendation of them to post on the SMPS Pay it Forward website, along with their resume.
These times are uncertain, at best. But one thing is certain, SMPS is here to stay, and we are here for our members and colleagues. We get closer to the end of the economic downturn every day. Now is a great time to get in front of those clients who are typically too busy to meet. This is the time to make a plan for “the turnaround”. What is your firm doing now to position itself for new project opportunities? You never know, the person you connect with a new job today, could be your new best client tomorrow. Build those relationships, stay connected, and remember, your friends at SMPS are here for you.


Beth Harris was recently hired by McDonough Bolyard Peck, Inc., as Regional Marketing Manager. MBP is a construction program management, cost estimating, scheduling, litigation/claims support firm in Buckhead.