“Anatomy of a Landing” by my friend Sam Torrez (a must read)
In the spirit of Tom Leverenz’ previous “Anatomy of a Landing”,
I thought I’d do the same thing, in hopes it will help somebody with
the process and thoughts of looking for work. I hope it helps!
I was let go from Centex Corporation in December 2008. I knew
that it was a disctint possibility, as the homebuilding and mortgage
industries were pretty bad. As always, I kept all my contacts,
eliminated personal items from my company computers and wireless/mobile
phone, and was fully prepared to be let go at anytime.
It was not a surprise I was let go, as I watched colleagues of mine
being let go all during late 2007 thru present day.
In this economy, all of us should realize this, and be prepared for
this possibility. Network, maintain good relationships, keep your
workplace clean of personal files, records, etc., and for goodness
sakes – DOWNLOAD your mobile phone’s contacts to an excel spreadsheet
or some other form of record, and keep it at home. Don’t be caught
flat footed, and please don’t be arrogant about the strength of your
position, as we are all vulnerable at anytime.
My first steps were of course to contact my entire network of
friends, relatives, business partners, colleages, and associates.
As others say – don’t be shy, let everyone know you’re looking,
and be VERY specific about your goals. Don’t badmouth your old
firm, and be positive (more on this later).
My intensity was incredible. I woke up, and pounded the phones,
internet, meetings, and everything I could to find something.
I cross-referenced companies, built my Linkedin network, contacted
recruiters every day, and asked for help wherever I could. Everything
else (almost) went away, and I found it difficult to break away from
However….. .I learned after a month or two – that it’s important
to maintain a perspective about your friends, family, and your health.
I started to continue my Cycling and Yoga workouts, and found a local
course with free golf balls in the short game area, I tried hard to
break away and rest.
I spoke of this during my speech at the Southlake Group, I’m sorry for
my expressiveness, but I feel strongly that your personal
vision, direction, and confidence are critical during a job search.
My favorite movie is “Shawshank Redemption”. For those who have
not seen it, it’s a story of a man in prison, who suffers incredible
hardships, but is also a story of mental freedom, and dreams.
This is the mentality you should take on your job search. No matter
the situations of your release from your last firm, take this as
an opportunity to dream, to think, to visualize where you WANT
to work, the things you WANT to do. Past history, shackles, and
restrictions are behind you now. Let your mind be free to
Think of the things you do best. How it perfectly matches their
opportunity. Tailor your resume’ to fit, get the keywords correct,
and whether over the phone or in person, be super precise to what
you do, and how you address their issues.
The thought you should keep is that you’re a Performer, ready to go
on a broadway stage. You’ve prepared, you know your skillsets,
and you on a stage to perform for others.
I just watched a movie called “What the Bleep do we Know?” that
explains a lot of this. Fundamentally – our thoughts can become
our actions, and feelings. It’s hard to explain, but I would
highly recommend this movie.
Tiger Woods does not go to tournaments with fear. He does not worry
about other competitors, the weather, or his bum knee. He steps
up to the 1st teebox, with confidence of his skills, and the
mentality of ultimate performance. He does not see trouble, water,
or sandbunkers – rather, he visualizes the soaring, beautiful
golf shot towards it’s intended target. THIS should be your thought
See yourself in this role, believe in your Vision, and it will happen.
Practice your “Landing Speech”. Act, and think as if you’re
already the best person for the job, visualize yourself in your
office, and already performing the tasks you wish.
JOB SEARCH TIPS
I won’t elaborate on specific items, as we all get plenty of training
on resume’ skills, networking, focus, and other tips. If you are
reading this, you are an open person who is willing to give and
accept help. Learn as much as you can, attend every meeting you can,
BRAND YOURSELF, and make your contact information readily available.
Get a strong Linked in profile, and a super resume that is targeted,
and focused. Give your resume’ to a child, and ask them to read it,
then tell you what you do. If the child cannot tell you what
you do – your resume is not specific enough.
FOCUS on the job description, tailor your resume’ to fit.
My strategy was “shotgun method”. I networked hard, attended meetings,
online searches, hundreds of recruiters, and all other means.
My landing was from a simple submission to the company’s internet site, which proves you NEVER know how this will happen for you.
As Tom did – I logged all my searches and submissions, which came to
259 specific applications across 4 1/2 months of work. Remember,
the Grand Canyon was formed with pressure and time, through little
droplets of water. Enough time and pressure will succeed for you
The day after the details were finalized, I went to play golf with
a close friend. I shot my all-time best score, a 74. I was so
thrilled and excited I couldn’t sleep half the night.
I am so thankful to everyone I met during this process. I will
be around at various meetings, and will continue to work with the
groups. As we all know, these are tenuous times, and it’s
important to keep good relationships, I will gladly help anyone
who reaches out to me in any way I can.
Sam Torrez, PMP