Corporate Outplacement and Career Transition Information

Monday, January 12, 2009

In Times of Uncertain Employment – Don’t Panic

In Times of Uncertain Employment - Don't Panic

As a Career Transition professional with more than twenty years of enterprise-level experience, I know that many individuals will seek career advice during what is certainly a troubling time in our economy.

While the below points are true at any time in an employee's career life, they are particularly important to remember given the current unemployment market and uncertainty in Banking and ancillary financial sectors.

1: Don't Panic. Jumping ship without knowing the depth of the water is never wise. Career Transition takes assessment and planning; use this time for self-review and preparation.

2: Your Company may be in flux, but may also be planning to provide you services should a release of workforce be required. These services may include professional career transition and individual outplacement coaching services, severance and/or early retirement packages, job search workshops, career center services, job fairs, and other programs to assist you should a career transition be required. Take advantage of all services offered.

3: Your State Government will work in concert with your company and an Outplacement Services provider to assure you understand the separation process, and all benefits and services available to you.

4: Do not pull out your old resume and simply add your latest position and title. Resumes must be thoughtful and accomplishment oriented; the thought you put into this document is the foundation for your clear articulation of your value to a future employer in telephone interviews, networking conversations, and the interview itself. More important, it is the first work product example you present to your next employer - give it the effort it deserves.

5: Never underestimate the value of interview practice. Outplacement program providers may include video-taping of your interview practice, and you may be surprised what you see upon playback. It is an invaluable exercise. Never wait until an actual interview to think of your answers to important questions.

6: While at work, do not foster the rumor-mill, do not spend time online posting on job boards, or add negativity to an already highly charged, stressful environment. Continue to contribute in a meaningful way, and document your accomplishments during this time. Should a workforce transition occur, you will transition more easily if you can demonstrate to your future employer, your continued contribution to your present employer's challenges.

7: If you need help, ask for it. Employee Assistance Program (EAP) providers are there to help you. Additionally, Managers can help ease employee concerns by offering seminars covering the support services their companies provide.

8: Do not be defined by your current job title or locked in to your current industry. Look at new ways to use your skill-set within your current company, or should career transition be imminent, in alternate industries and businesses. While legacy positions leave the marketplace, new ones are created.

9: Build and maintain long-term, professional friendships. Do not "use" your network - rather, look for ways you can help others in your network; provide value. You are not alone in your fears, and this is no time to live in a bubble.

10: Learn about Social Media and Networking. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. Explore new tools like to enhance your Network's ability to access your information.

Our team has successfully worked with hundreds of employees and employers through challenging economic times, and we know that Career Transition requires a well-followed plan, not panic. Use your time well, and should a workforce transition occur, you will be ready to move forward successfully.

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