5 Post-Layoff Tips

Selena Dehne, JIST Publishing

These days, even the most-talented, hardest-working professionals have discovered that they're not immune from the flood of layoffs sweeping the nation. Unemployment rates are soaring and economists are forecasting that more tough times are ahead.

For many individuals, this means that if they haven't already been laid off, the potential that they may suddenly become unemployed is building every day. Therefore, it's imperative that people -- whether they have a job or not -- know how to bounce back from sudden unemployment.

"Nobody's job is 100 percent secure, and a recession is not the only economic event or trend that can threaten your job. Therefore, you need to develop skills that will make you resilient enough to rebound from a job loss. This way, you'll bounce back from unemployment more quickly and may even find a job that is more rewarding than your last," says Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., co-author of "150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs" (JIST).

In his book, he outlines the following strategies to help individuals maximize their ability to rebound from a job loss:

1. Specialize and focus on a specific goal

Connect the key skills you possess to a niche, and then develop additional skills that will help you stand out from other job seekers. In a shrinking job market, employers have plenty of candidates to choose from and will be most interested in the special few who have developed the exact skill set they are seeking.

2. Be visible beyond your workplace

To bounce back quickly from a layoff, it's not enough to have the respect of former colleagues and supervisors. Today's job seekers need to have already presented themselves as movers and shakers in their occupations and industries. To establish this kind of credibility and enhance your network of contacts, consider joining a professional organization, publishing a blog relevant to your career goals, or offering your expertise to the media. In turn, you'll enhance your brand which will have a long-lasting impact on your future career success.

3. Keep your resume up-to-date

For many career coaches, this piece of advice ranks high on their list of career commandments -- in good and bad times. Whether or not you're unemployed, your resume should include your most recent job title, as well as outstanding accomplishments achieved in that role. This way, you can put your resume to use immediately, rather than having to completely rework it for the job search.

4. Keep your skills up-to-date

It's a no-brainer that you should already possess the skills needed to perform your job. What many individuals overlook, however, is that developing additional skills can go a long way in making them more valuable and attractive to employers.

In his book, Shatkin identifies the most recession-proof skills and encourages individuals to enhance these areas to become more valuable to employers in tough economic times. These skills include the following:

·Social perceptiveness


·Reading comprehension

·Service orientation


·Active listening

·Critical thinking


·Learning strategies


5. Believe in yourself

You can find great opportunities in the job market, regardless of what today's grim headlines may suggest. The key is to stay positive, treat the job search as though you were being paid for your efforts, and think of your layoff as an opportunity to have a fresh start or find more rewarding work.

Selena Dehne is a career writer for JIST Publishing who shares the latest occupational, career and job search information available with job seekers and career changers. She is also the author of JIST's Job Search and Career Blog (http://jistjobsearchandcareer.blogspot.com/).

Copyright 2009 JIST Publishing.

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