Preparing For Possible Job Loss Before It Happens
Jenny Smatt, MSc.
In this article, we will explore some easy-to-understand insights to help you find and hire successful leaders who will lead your team to victory.
In today’s marketplace, businesses are constantly changing and evolving and employee
transition is a part of the day-to-day landscape.
At Ontru, we work with companies to support the employment transition process, which
includes helping employees manage the shock of redundancy while preparing for and
participating in the active search for a new job.
Even in an environment of heightened awareness and anxiety surrounding job security,
we continue to encounter clients who never thought they would be selected to leave their
current employer. There are also those who knew it could be a possibility, but couldn’t
imagine what their next step could be and chose instead to bury their heads in the sand.
And finally, there are those who simply believed they didn’t have enough time to
dedicate to preparing for what could be their next phase of life.
While this type of change may seem too overwhelming to consider, it doesn’t have to be.
Here are seven tips to focus on now, to ensure you are prepared if you lose your job:
1. Keep your resume current and accessible
Even if you are not searching for a job, it is important to keep your resume (and
biography) current. Make it your business to be informed about the types of resume
formats that are preferred for your level and industry in addition to key words and
search terms. Don’t be shy about your career achievements and highlights!
2. Personal brand
When in transition, it may be difficult to think about how you wish to represent and
differentiate yourself in such a competitive marketplace. While you are employed, reflect
on your strengths i.e. things that make you unique and why you would be an asset to a
future organization. Once you are clear on all you have to offer, craft a brief and concise
summary of your professional profile or “elevator pitch”. You never know when the
opportunity may present itself!
This is an integral part of staying ahead of the curve. Networking is about increasing the
number of contacts and people who know about your skills, what you have to offer and
even how you might be of value to them. Oftentimes, we assume even those closest to us
- personally and professionally - already know what we have to offer. In actuality, they
may know our job title or even the company we work for, but very seldom can they
accurately articulate a summary of your career highlights and value. Try conducting
your own informal survey of key contacts and see what they say!
4. Ongoing development and learning
Money and time are simply excuses for avoiding participating in ongoing development.
In our experience, there are typically two main barriers to identifying and executing on
development. The first is that there isn’t clarity on what areas can or need to be
developed. The second is regarding development options - other than training - to
expand and strengthen skills, knowledge and experience. Our rule of thumb is the 1:3:5
ratio: one overarching development goal per year, three development objectives and five
development activities. This approach is sure to keep you current and sharp.
Many of our clients were immersed in the routine of their roles and on auto-pilot for the
majority of their career, when times were good. We encourage “out of the box” thinking
when it comes to self-reflection. Consider your interests, your strengths and how you
can build on what you already do well. Still disconnected and unsure? Ontru offers a
number of assessment tools that can increase your awareness of your strengths and
interests and shed light on possible next steps.
6. Personal financial planning & preparation
Here’s the big one. Most people don’t start preparing financially for a job loss until it
happens, even in today’s economy. It can be tough thinking about or even considering
making cuts if you are already financially challenged or in debt, a family member has
already lost their job or in contrast you’re just enjoying your current lifestyle
tremendously. The reality is that if you were to lose your job tomorrow, you would have
to make adjustments. Consider what they would be and start to make them now. It’s
time and money well spent!
7. Market intelligence
Lastly, understand the market trends and data. Stay informed about how competitive
your industry is – is it expanding or is it contracting? What are employers looking for
when they are hiring? What are new hires getting paid for similar roles compared to
those who have been in their positions for three years or more? How long does it take to
get a job in your field of expertise? Being informed will allow you to see things clearly
and accurately and prepare accordingly.
The only thing that is certain is change. How we manage through it depends largely on
how we prepare for it. At Ontru, we provide several individual and group development
options that can assist.