In the 15-years I’ve been at the Urbandale Chamber, I have counseled a number of people who have found themselves out of a job.  It isn’t technically in my job description, but when you build so many relationships over the years, it becomes an important part of what I do.  Providing guidance it is one way I can help someone during a time that can be emotional and difficult.

Here are a few tips of advice to help if you have found yourself in this situation.

1.)  Get up, get dressed, and get out of the house!  As much as you may want to sleep in and stay in PJs every day looking for work using only online tools, this approach can bring you down quickly.  Set an alarm, get dressed and head out the door to a local coffee shop.  Being around others is important and you never know who you may bump into who knows about a perfect open position for you.

2.) Leverage your connections.  Time and time again, I’ve watched people find their dream job when they leverage the connections and relationships they have built over the years.  Take time to make calls and meet people for coffee to let them know you are looking for a new career and describe the type of position you are hoping to land.

3.) Make up business cards.  This advice may seem silly, but it is a great leave-behind when you are networking.  Put your contact information on the front and the type of career you are searching for on the back.  These are easier to pass out at networking events and for your connections to pass out to people they hear are looking for someone just like you.

4.) Network, network, network.  The Des Moines metro has a plethora of networking opportunities for you to make connections or reconnect.  At the Urbandale Chamber, we allow guests to come to up to two of our free networking events and of course guests can always come to ribbon cuttings or the membership luncheon.  The fees are different for members versus non-members, but it is still an option.  Most Chambers in the metro have a guest policy you can take advantage of.  Call each individual Chamber to find out what their guest policy is before registering.

5.) Volunteer.  Not only will you feel good about taking time to volunteer for a cause important to you, but it will connect you with like-minded people and it helps to fill your cup.  Be sure to always keep your business cards and resumes in the car/on-hand to pass out to others you meet while you are volunteering!  Volunteers are a critical part of most non-profit organizations, including the Chamber.  (We love our volunteers).

6.) Get your resume to me at the Urbandale Chamber!  We distribute resumes to our member employment agencies and can also send it along to companies you may be interested in working for.

7.) Add your resume to the Greater Des Moines Partnership website and add www.uniquelyurbandale.com, and www.desmoinesmetro.com to your list of websites you search for open positions.  The Partnership site has a resume-match function to help you get noticed by members using the system.

8.) Stop into the Urbandale Chamber and we will give you a complimentary copy of “Between Jobs”, a book written by Billie Sucher, a career transition consultant.  Find out more about Billie at http://www.billiesucher.com.

9.) Use online resources such as LinkedIn to research companies and learn about open positions.  The interview process is just as much about them interviewing you as it is you interviewing the company.  A good fit is important to everyone involved.

10.) Be confident.  I know it can be an emotional, nerve-racking time, but you will find a career that is the best fit for you.  Time and time again, people come back and tell me the new position has been the best thing that has happened to them.  Breathe and be confident knowing you will find something.  It can take a while and that is normal.  “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf”!

~Tiffany Menke

Since 2004, Tiffany Menke, IOM, has been the President of the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce. She has served on the boards of and is a Past President/Past Chair of ICCE, CITR, and IMA. She currently represents Iowa on the MACE Board of Directors and serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Council through the Greater Des Moines Partnership as well as participates in a pilot program through the Evelyn K Davis center to mentor exoffenders. In 2017, Tiffany was honored as a Woman of Influence through the Des Moines Business Record. Other honors include 40 under 40, Des Moines Most Likeable People, and Ovation award from the Iowa Women’s Foundation. She grew up in Newton and went on to Grand View University in Des Moines where she earned a degree in Mass Communications, Journalism and a minor in Photography.