That Unexpected Conversation: Next Steps You Must Take

What are your next steps when you find yourself in complete uncertainty about your future?

Today we’re going to deal with what happens when you experience something that comes completely out of left field and leaves you with uncertainty about your future. You thought everything was going great in your current situation, and all of a sudden you get that dreaded phone call; HR wants to talk to you. Another example would be your hiring manager, your friend, or the closest person you have at the company reaching out to you and starting a conversation with, “I really feel bad about what I have to do…”

The Feeling Of Uncertainty About Your Future & Being Blind-Sided

So, you’ve been blindsided and find yourself in complete uncertainty about your future. You had no idea your head was potentially on the chopping block; how do you respond? What do you do first? How do you tell your family? Lots of questions. Your emotions, which were usually stable, are now in flux. Maybe this has turned out to be something that you wanted, and now you can find the position that truly makes you happy. Maybe on the converse, this was the position that made you happy and now suddenly you must deal with the uncertainty of your future. If you’ve never experienced this, congratulations! You’re one of the few. However, if on the converse you have experienced this or are going through this right now, what are the steps to moving forward?

Those First Next Steps When You Find Yourself With Uncertainty About Your Future

I’m not going to deal with the emotional issues since I am not an expert in that area; although, what I am going to deal with is how you move forward looking for a new position. Most people at this point would immediately get on the phone and start calling everybody they know looking for that next opening. Starting this way to get your next position is the farthest thing you should do. What’s the first thing you should do instead? You must take time off before you even begin doing anything. I’m not saying a month, but I am saying at least a good couple of days (maybe even a week) to get your head on straight. The old adage that “you have to look for a job immediately upon losing a job” is not applicable in this situation. It’s understandable to feel a sense of urgency since there is uncertainty about your future but taking a couple of days for yourself to sort things out mentally will not hurt your ability to get rehired swiftly. During this time of reflection, come to terms with the emotional aspect of what has happened to you. Then, and only then, you should begin in earnest the process of looking for your next position. Your emotions must be intact for the interview process.

Relax & Remain Selective To Firms

I cannot stress enough: do not get on the phone and start calling everyone you know announcing that you are available to hire. Getting your emotions in balance first when you have uncertainty about your future is the best thing you can do for yourself and potential firms. When you announce that you’re in the marketplace, you lose the edge you want from firms to want you. As a recruiter, if someone calls me and says they’ve just lost their job and they have reached out to everybody they know, I most likely (unless I have a personal relationship with them) will choose not to work with them. It’s not that I don’t want to help them. It’s that it diminishes my ability to make them special in the hiring person’s eyes by them doing what they’ve done already. For example, if I can share with a client that they have a potential exclusive with this particular candidate, they’re going to feel much more valued and realize that the candidate wants to go to work for them. It’s not just to get a new position. As a candidate, you want to make the company that you were talking to feel special and that they are getting the opportunity to work with you in the future. Plus, they know that you are 100% dedicated to this particular firm. The only way that you can accomplish this is to be selective about who you reach out to. Should you choose to work with a recruiter, the recruiter should in turn be extremely specific as to who the best firm is for them to introduce you to – not to send your resume out to everybody in the marketplace sending the alarm of your uncertainty about your future. I cannot stress this enough when it comes to something happening to you unexpectedly: take this misfortune and capitalize on it for your future.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.