Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Laid Off? Take Stock of Your Skills!

This is my series of blogs on what to do when you are laid off. Look for a new blog every other day.

Based on my experience as RecruiterGuy and my personal experience, there are a number of check list items that you need to prepare.

One of the most important is to understand that you will go through the steps of grieving: grief and disbelief, anger, depression, and acceptance. It takes some people longer to work through these steps than others. Actually some people need some psychological support before they get to acceptance. We are all different and it’s no reflection on you.

Next, you want to develop a skills inventory. What skills are very strong for you? Develop examples to demonstrate those skills. What attributes belong to you – honesty, integrity, loyalty, etc. Develop examples that demonstrate those attributes. Write all of these skills, attributes, and examples down. Review them before every interview.

Of those skills that are very strong, what do you enjoy doing and what would you prefer not to do. For instance, I am very good doing Employee Relations work. However, I would not be happy doing Employee Relations every day. What types of work do you despise?

Now that you have taken stock of your skills, what types of work requires those skills. I’ve heard a layoff euphemistically called a “career enlargement” meaning now you have an opportunity to do anything that you really want to earn money.

Decide on your next career and set a goal. Many people do not understand the elements of a goal. First of all, a goal must be specific. It must be measurable. It must be challenging, not something that you can do right this minute. It must be realistic. Finally it must have a stated completions date that you commit to achieving that goal.

In your job search your goal could be “By May 30, I will be working as an _______. I will get this position by contacting at least 20 new networking contacts per week to discuss my background.” This is a realistic goal as long as the position could be available by then. You also are giving yourself a way of measuring your activity.

Next develop a list of your accomplishments in your jobs over the past 5 years. We will discuss this list and the next steps in our next blog – Laid Off? Developing a Resume