Y’all remember Christina Binkley. She’s the super-savvy Wall Street Journal columnist who quoted me awhile back regarding key economic indicators (in this case, Ben Bernanke’s beard — don’t ask me to explain; follow the link).
Anyway, today she’s giving advice on how to be unemployed with style, so of course I paid close attention:
Newly Jobless Update Wardrobes, Rein In Resentment and Embrace Punctuation
… In the aftermath of a layoff, style is critical. And it’s about more than the decision to polish a wardrobe. The way people comport themselves after losing a job can make all the difference in what comes next. From how they convey the news to colleagues, to the type of clothes they wear and how they punctuate their emails, the newly jobless must use careful footwork to navigate the job hunt.
When in doubt, it’s a safe bet to retreat to conservative styles. After Michael Bragg was downsized from his New York-based job at a high-end European fashion brand, he went out and bought a new pair of shoes—lace-up, American-made Aldens. Play it straight with email, too. Sure, sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable to shoot off a short, all lowercase missive to a colleague. But punctuation is a risk-free option. The same goes for social-networking. Now is not the time to post pics from a beer-sodden barbecue and share them with everyone in your network….
Good advice, that last bit. Hang on a sec while I go pull a couple of things off of YouTube…
…OK, I’m back. (While I was there, I updated my channel so it no longer says I’m “the VP/Editorial Page Editor of The State, the largest newspaper in South Carolina.” Along with style and attitude, I’m assuming accuracy is also important.)
Back to Christina’s piece today … I hope bud will take careful note of the advice therein. bud doesn’t seem to think I should be wearing clothing that requires dry-cleaning while unemployed. I disagree. Christina’s with me. Folks, I get up every morning, put on my coat and tie (shirt and pants, too — details are important), and go downtown to have breakfast at the usual place (Doug knows where). Only way I know to stay in the game and maintain contacts. To me, networking seems key. Looking like you’re ready to go to work this minute also seems advisable.
As for attitude — I think I’m OK there, too. I didn’t get upset and cuss anybody out when I got laid off. I mean, y’all can go back and see what I said at the time, here and here and here (I even said nice stuff about Mark Sanford). Maybe there will be a delayed reaction sometime, but I haven’t really worked up a good mad yet (which is actually sort of out of character for me, but there it is). I guess as a vice president of the company I understood the situation too well. Thirty-eight people were getting the ax that day, and they needed some of them to be top management. I got picked (and had the honor of being the one mentioned in the news story). Way of the world. Stiff upper lip and all that. A chap must face facts, and other pseudo-British mumbo-jumbo…
So I’m doing everything right. Of course, it hasn’t produced full-time permanent employment yet, so after a few more dry-cleaning bills maybe I’ll try bud’s approach, but for the moment I still think Christina knows the score.