My company appears to be on the brink of failure. It has been apparent for a few months that we were in trouble, but for a little while it appeared like we might be able to pull off a miraculous recovery. No more. As of today our board of directors is weighing several possibilities, none of which are likely to result in long term survival for the company as an independent organization. All is not lost though, at least not yet.
Among the options being considered is the possibility that the board will attempt to sell the company, rather than shutting it down. If that happens, I will probably be asked to stay with the company and lead the selling effort. There is also an outside chance that our investors will decide to keep us running on a semi-normal basis and try to grow the business. I am not holding my breath.
All that aside, I am not sitting around and hoping for the best. Ever since the situation turned decidedly grim earlier this week, I have been formulating my plans, and as of Wednesday I have started to quietly and discretely search for a new position.
Why quietly? I don't want to disrupt the company's few remaining chances, nor do I want to jeopardize my chances to stay with the company if it continues to exist in some form. So what have I done so far? Here's a short list:
1. Update my resume - I didn't have much to do, because I am diligent about keeping my resume more or less current. You never know when an opportunity might crop-up.
2. Call headhunters - I make it a point to always respond to headhunters that try to contact me - whether they are trying to sell me on candidates for hire or on job prospects. If I am not interested, I try to suggest someone who I think would be a good fit or is hiring. As a result, I now have some headhunter contacts that know me and are willing to work with me. One even has a couple of positions he will propose me for (although neither are terribly exciting to me at present).
3. Call trusted network members - as I mentioned, this is a quiet effort so far, so I am only calling a few, carefully selected individuals that I feel are in a position to assist me with minimal risk of disclosure. One of these has a position to offer me, but the details are not yet clear. I should know more next week.
4. Apply for some jobs online - this is mostly a fruitless exercise, no doubt, but I found a few open positions for which my qualifications are perfect. I gave it a shot - but I am not holding my breath. Online job applications are not much different from a black hole. Unfortunately, my network does not extend into the relevant companies, so during the quiet phase of my search, online applications are my only option.
5. Start a War Board - if you've ever been in sales, you might be familiar with an end of quarter "war board" that some companies have. This is a place to monitor all the expected sales and track performance to meet end of quarter sales target. Well, I started a Job Search War Board - it's an excel spread sheet where I will track all of the leads, activities and to-do items related to my job hunt.
In this economy I am preparing for a long, hard slog. I feel ready, nervous, a little worried, and actually quite excited. I feel that I am up for the challenge.
In the coming weeks, I will use this blog as part of my war board, and hope to solicit useful comments, advice and motivation from my readers. In the mean time, if you know of senior level business development or marketing positions in the technology industry, and specifically in Silicon Valley, I would love to know about it. All leads welcome.
Keep your fingers crossed for me, and come back soon for regular updates on the search.
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