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Dangerously Unprepared for Your Next Job?

You may need to make a job move sooner than you think. Are you prepared? 

For some people, a layoff of firing is a disaster, while others step nimbly from one job to the next, often without losing a day’s pay.

Planning for our next career move is like flossing our teeth. We know we should do it, but it’s tempting to not take the time. But it’s dangerous to be unprepared. Even people who know better often neglect this preparation and find themselves in sudden career crisis.

It's easy to get busy with the day-to-day

A prime example is an unhappy salesman we met with a while back. He wasn’t making his quotas, he was fighting with the sales manager, his territory had been reduced, and he found work so depressing that he often came in late. He said, “I’ll probably do something about starting a job campaign soon, but I’m quite busy for the next couple months.”

Just how many red flags can a person ignore?

We told him chances are good that he will soon be laid off or fired soon, but like a lot of people, he procrastinated. He didn’t do anything until he got the pink slip. Being let go made him even more depressed, and it was almost a year before he was able to find another decent job.

But maybe you say, “I’m doing really well on your job. I’m secure.” This can be just as dangerous. You’re busy. You don’t have time to think about the future. Unfortunately, the work world is too volatile to get real comfortable. Even top performers can get tossed out in the street as companies downsize, merge, expand, reorganize, get spun off, change focus, or go out of business.


Dangerously unprepared for your next job move? Is it time to be moving on, give us a call:  847-673-0339 or send us a note.

So what are some things you can be doing to prepare?

 ♦ Maintain contact with people you met while networking for your job. Make sure they know where you’re working and offer to reciprocate for their assistance.

 ♦ Keep a job journal to record and document your successes. As time goes by, memories can blur, so record your success right when it happens at a time you feel really good about yourself.

 ♦ Be sure your resume is up to date, allowing you to quickly respond to opportunities.

 ♦ Make it a point to keep your network vital and expanding. Resist the temptation to retreat into your cocoon and be “too busy” to get to know others. Connect with people, both inside and outside your company, and keep abreast of what’s going on.
Actively participate in professional associations and other community organizations. We stress that this doesn’t mean just passively attend events. Most organizations are crying for people who will serve on committees, take leadership roles, right for the newsletter, or assist in other ways.

Don't isolate
If work isn’t going well, and you’re depressed, don’t isolate yourself. Talk with a friend or get a good therapist. Low-cost counseling services are available. Many churches and colleges have job support groups. Caution: find out if the group is run well or if it is just a pity party that won’t be helpful.

A professional career counselor can help you get in action and hold you accountable. Plus, people often need an outsider’s objectivity. It can be really difficult and time consuming doing some of this work alone. Even though I’ve written thousands of resumes for others, I have more than once hired a resume writer for myself. It was just too much time wasted trying to write it myself.

So whether you’re in danger or doing really well on the job, be in action to prepare for the next job. Don’t get taken by surprise.


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