'Tis the season for lay offs
'Twas the season of Christmas and all over the land.
Bosses were slashing jobs to get budgets in hand.
Our resumes were snuggled in our laptops with care.
In hopes that if we get fired a new job would be there.
Bad news came to me via e-mail a few days ago. It seems that we are in the season when some of us may not be jolly. Seems the fourth quarter is the favorite time for companies to dismiss employees, according to career coach and author Ford R. Meyers. Meyers, who wrote "Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring," which I previously blogged about, sent me a list of six tips to help fight the "Pink Slip Blues." He warned us not to be caught unawares, so here is my effort to help you get ready. Has your boss been looking at you funny, not returning telephone calls or e-mails or generally evasive? Are you getting a vibe that disaster is about to strike? Are some of the managers taking off more sick days, and/or coming in late, and/or leaving early dressed particularly fetchingly these days? If so, they may know something you don't know.
Pay attention to what Meyers said:
1. Perform an honest assessment of the situation and of yourself. Although most layoffs have nothing to do with individual performance, you should still determine if you could have done anything differently to hold onto your job.
2. Take a short mental vacation. Take off a few days to a week to take stock of your career situation, clear your mind and consider your options. Only then should you begin planning your next career moves.
3. Research the market. Spend time researching the employment trends in your industry and geographic area. This will help you to identify the best companies to work for in your field, which companies are growing and which are contracting.
4. Update your "Career Tool Kit." Finding a new job is easier when you have the right tools! Now is the time to develop some new "Accomplishment Stories" about which you feel proud. Polish-up that "15-second commercial" (a short verbal presentation about who you are professionally). Bring your resume and all your other job-seeking documents up-to-date.
5. Reach out and network...Your network - personal and professional contacts - is your most valuable career asset.
6. Practice your interviewing and negotiating skills. It's a fact: better interviews get better offers! Take the time to prepare questions in advance to ask the interviewer; even role play with a friend to get comfortable answering tough interview questions. In addition, devote time to performing diligent salary research. Make it a point to know what you're really worth so when you reach the salary negotiation stage, you'll be well-prepared and ready to win!
And, even if the ax doesn't fall this year, stay alert. "It's always best to 'stay ahead of the game' - making sure all your career documents and job search skills are current, just in case that pink slip finds its way onto your desk at the end of NEXT year," Meyers said.
Avis Thomas-Lester| October 18, 2010; 6:03 AM ET Save & Share:
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