A common story in the current economic environment is this: One day, you notice signs that your company might be in trouble. Soon after, the company begins layoffs.
Rather than wait for the ax to fall, prepare yourself at the first signs of trouble.
1. Trust your gut and put out feelers. If you feel something amiss, start looking for a new job. Searching while you’re still employed will make you seem more attractive to employers. “Employers assume that people with a job are generally of higher quality than unemployed people,” says career coach Marty Nemko.
2. Update your résumé before a mass exodus. That way, you’re ready to hit the ground running, says Beth Ross, an executive career coach in New York City.
3. Consider hiring a professional résumé writer or career coach. In a tough market, he or she can help you hone your interview skills and target your job search. People who use a career coach find jobs 15 to 46% faster than those who don’t, according to one study.
4. Network. As in the first tip, put out feelers while you can still refer to your current position. Let people know that you’re “open to exploring your options.”
5. Do your research. Find out what sectors are in growth mode, rather than staying in a shrinking industry.
6. Consider sticking around. Even if your company experiences layoffs, you can still find ways to contribute to the bottom line. If you act like everything is going to change for the worse, says one expert, it will, and it will affect your productivity.
— Adapted from “When Your Employer Is About to Hit Rough Seas,” Elizabeth Garone, The Wall Street Journal.
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