Safeguard Your Future


Yesterday, a financial writer interviewed me about ways to safeguard yourself and prepare for job loss. In particular, she wants to reach professionals that have been at one company for many years, who are often ill prepared for the "shock and awe" of the pink slip. What can they do today to get ready for the rollercoaster ride of being "in transition?"

Here are a few of the ideas, that I offered up for the article, for professionals who are still working but who see "the handwriting on the wall:"

- Take training now - Is your employer offering training? Sign up. Take as much as you can.

- Take charge of your own learning - What are the "hot topics" in your field right now? Green? Sustainability? Lean Six Sigma? Sign up for courses. Read books. Get courses "on tape" that you can listen to in your car or on the train while commuting.

- Read outside your field - Are you a chemist? An engineer? Then start reading articles and books from other fields. Art, history, finance, economics, business, strategy, and politics. The great management expert Peter Drucker said that you must develop expertise outside your field.

- Get active in your professional association - Activate your membership. Exploit the offerings. Consider getting more involved in the local chapter.

- Demonstrate your expertise - Offer to give a presentation on a topic you know very well. Offer to teach a class.

- Update your resume - If you do the above, add them to your resume. Be sure your resume exhibits your accomplishments. Strengthen the summary on page one so that it conveys your value proposition.

- Get on LinkedIn and start using it - Build a profile. Start adding contacts. Join some groups. Research companies of interest.

- Start networking now - Remember that networking does NOT mean "not working." The time to start networking is now. Start connecting with people. One simple way to start is to call up former colleagues and bosses to wish them a happy holiday. Ask how they are doing. Find out what they are up to these days. Have a conversation. Simply connect.

Final point: Challenge yourself. Get out of your comfort zone before you are pushed out.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Dec 23, 2009

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