Former Time Inc. Employee Offers to Coach Laid-Off Staffers
Stacey Staaterman Feeney, a career and business leadership coach, knows what it’s like to work for Time Inc. She actually held positions there in marketing and sales on three separate occasions. (Her most recent role was as VP, Business Development & Strategic Partnerships with Time Inc.’s Corporate Advertising Sales and Branded Solutions division.) So when she heard the news of last week’s layoffs, she was concerned and took to LinkedIn to offer those impacted a free coaching session.
While each session is tailored to individual needs, Feeney will advise those who take her up on the offer to “take a deep breath and huddle up with your power posse—the 5 to 6 people whom you trust and can lean on for advice or a pick-me-up conversation. Your power posse is a source of positive, building energy, which critical to successfully navigating the stress of job loss,” she says.
Many longtime employees who are facing a very different job market than when they started at the company may feel ill-equipped to deal with job hunting. But Feeney suggests they do more than just research companies. “Knowing what keeps you engaged is more important. When I’m coaching unemployed (or unhappily employed) media people, we spend time developing a career vision that is clearly linked to an internal compass of personal values and passions.” She considers this the “secret sauce of a happy work life.”
She adds that there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed or embarrased about, since “most employers are used to change and restructures that leave talented people on the road side. A lay off of this magnitude creates buzz and curiosity among people in the media industry, and that leads to conversation and meetings.”
One thing Feeney advises clients not to do: “Don’t jump on the bandwagon of critics and complainers. It’s completely normal to have reactions of anger or disappointment, but it is better to vent with a few close contacts or your power posse. Negative thinking erodes confidence and optimism and that is never good when job searching.”
As for rebuilding confidence after a blow to the ego, Feeney advises clients to recognize how truly rare and unique they are in the world of work. “There are over 400 million people on LinkedIn, a small fraction of whom have worked in the global media industry,” she points out. “An even tinier selection of top talent has worked for Time Inc. and its iconic brands.”
For any doubters out there, Feeney quotes Rishad Tobaccowala, respected futurist and media expert from Publicis, whom she believes says it best: “The future does not fit into the containers of the past. Embrace that truth and go find your next container.” That’s priceless advice for job seekers in any field.