Christopher Penn had a great job working for an online academic services website until he got laid off. He also did a lot of blogging, tweeting, and online networking. He put the word out to all his avenues of communication and landed a new position in less than 3 months.
The average search is taking anywhere from 3 to 6 months depending on level and position. Christopher did well and I attribute that to his use of social media and social networking.
After finding a new position, he let everyone in his network know where he landed. But more than that, he offered help to others in the same boat. He has continued to make good on that offer in his blog http://is.gd/eO1ue and newsletter.
He offers to forward to his network of 5000+ connections on linkedin.com any job postings. He also will post jobs on his Marketing Over Coffee forum, http://is.gd/eO2fA .
I call that paying it forward. All the people he helps now will be of even greater help to him at a later date.
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