Sunday, February 28, 2010

What Employed People Need to Know

Even though you are employed today, you probably know people who are not. You could be in the ranks of the unemployed one day. Are you prepared? There are things you should be doing now to make the job transition easier.

The Realities of the New Job Market

The first thing you need to do to be prepared for a job transition is understand how the job market has changed. Job seekers can only be successful if they adapt.
One of the truths about the new job market is that your next job will not be your last. People will average 13 jobs and 4 careers in a lifetime. There are not many industries left that are safe from reductions in force (RIFs).

To read more about the realities of the new job market, click this link:

Develop New Contacts and Maintain Your Existing Ones

Since networking is the number one way to find that next opportunity, now is the time to develop and maintain your network. In addition to developing contacts where you work, develop and maintain contacts within the industry. To do this, be active in industry networking groups, stay in touch with every contact at least once a year, and keep your Linked In profile current.

Maintain Your Marketable Skills

Do not let your skills get stale. If your company offers training, take it. If they don’t offer training, take it anyway by investing in yourself. Be sure the first training you take increases your marketability before you take training that is of general interest.

Maintain a List of Your Accomplishments

Every day, or at a minimum every week, record your accomplishments, the training you have taken (including webinars), and the technical skills you have developed.
There are two uses for this information. First, you will have a record of your accomplishments to use to update your resume and to use in answering behavioral interview questions. Second, you can offer a copy of the list to your manager before it is time for your performance review. Downplay the list (“I do this for me; if this is helpful to you, great”) and the manager, if he /she is smart, will appreciate having the details of this information. You may even get a better review out of it.

Keep Up on Your Industry

Keep up on the industry. If there is something new in your industry, get training in that new area and then offer to your management to teach your peers what you have learned about the subject, setting you up as the subject matter expert. Also keep an eye on the industry so you know when the industry is starting to falter and change jobs before everyone else does.

Grow or Go

Jim Collins, the author of the wonderful book Good to Great said at a seminar luncheon, “Do not spend 5 years getting 2 years worth of experience”. If you are not growing in your current position, offer to take on new tasks or move into a different group to serve in a new role that will increase your marketability. If there is no place to move to in the existing company where you can continue to grow, you need to move to another company where you can. You do not want to let your skills stagnate, making you less marketable.

Save Between 8 and 12 Months of Ready Cash

Experts are now saying we should have between 8 and 12 months of cash available in the event of a job transition; that is the money needed to cover the time you may be looking for the next opportunity. If you do not have 8 months of cash saved, begin saving what you can until you do.

Keep Up Your Appearance

If there are any areas you want to address before you need to go on an interview, whether it is your weight, your haircut or hair color, or your wardrobe, now is the time. Be sure you are confident enough in your appearance that you would not hesitate to go on an interview should the call come tomorrow.

Assist Others

One day you will want and need the assistance of others to network into a company or to provide information through an informational interview so you can land that next job. This is a great time to be the kind of person you want others to be and do the things you will want others to do when you need them.

• Make time to meet with job seekers when they want to ask questions about the company you work for.

To learn more about the informational interview, check out these links.

• Offer to give the hiring manager a copy of a job seeker’s resume (Note: there is a different between referring someone and recommending someone).

• Volunteer to mentor a job seeker who is in the same industry.

• Volunteer at a job networking group.

Do for others what you hope they will do for you one day.

Your current job, even your next job, will not be your last. Start today preparing for the transition.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Judi, first for finding out such a good question. This has open the avenues of thinking - Am I supporting my colleagues in growing in there career. How strong is my social network? What level of support I can get incase of crunch situation etc.....

    Apart from finding more questions & answers to them; One thing I can feel is, it helps in building the great level of confidence & Job security being in touch with Industry people.

    People usually understand when at the verge of loosing or changing the Job.

    I am very impressed with your thinking and putting across such a question. This has really pushed me thinking of "Am I looking around at my unemployed friends or colleagues".