Don’t be fooled by the recent small improvement in employment numbers. If you are in a company, division, industry, or type of job that is at risk for reduction, get moving NOW to be prepared if you are impacted. Current employees should get a “Plan B” ready now.
After coaching hundreds of people during my 30 year sales and marketing career and now as a professional coach, I have heard it all. Here are the top three excuses why they are not preparing for their next career move:
“It won’t happen to me; I’ve been here a long time.”
“I have no idea what I would do next.”
“Our business/company is doing just fine.”
Here are the top 3 things you should do right NOW, while you’re still employed:
1. AIM: Write out your “next job” goal with great precision, including target functions, industries, and companies. Avoid squishy goals such as “leverage my background in blah, blah, blah” or “I’m flexible so something in the retail space.” If you don’t have a list of 10 target companies, subscribe to your city’s local Business Journal and invest in their Book of Lists, as well. They have a jobs board, as well.
Why do I mention jobs boards when you aren’t even looking? Because they are the best resource to do your homework. Take your next-career-move goal statement and go and window shop on the jobs boards. Monster.com, Indeed.com , and many others are ideal for just checking out what is out there that meets your goal profile. If it doesn’t exist, then you’ve set a target on a unicorn. Change your goal so you are stating a target that exists as a real job.
2. UPDATE: Re-boot your résumé. Don’t just add your current position; give it a face-lift with keywords, power verbs, relevant skills, and metrics.
But, remember: résumés don’t get you jobs. It’s how you present yourself on top of the résumé, so prepare a draft cover letter and think about how you would position yourself to an executive of that company if you were looking.
3. NETWORK: Combine social media with face-to-face connections. Start attending industry or association events, alumni events, and any other relevant events you can identify. Use your local Business Journal to find the best events, job leads, fast-moving companies and much more.
It is more urgent now than ever before that you be ready today for something that could happen to you tomorrow. The job market is already highly competitive and job searches are taking much longer than in the past (an estimated one month for every $10K in annual pay).
We have car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, but no “Job Insurance”… build it now. There are things you should and could be doing to prepare for your next career move.
Don’t worry; you’re not sneaking behind anyone’s back. The activities you should be involved in are everyday business behavior and don’t have to be “hidden” from the public or your employer. For example, using LinkedIn. Many companies see the value of great LinkedIn profiles for their employees; they’re even teaching how to build one! However, you can still make huge progress by learning how to conduct a confidential career-building set of activities.
Don’t be caught without a “Plan B” for your career. It’s nobody’s responsibility but yours. – Dana Manciagli