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1 April, 2020 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management, Interviewing Skills, Job Search, Strategic Networking
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As Company’s Announce Layoffs, Furloughs Time to Prepare for Recovery Is Now

Posted April 1st, 2020 | Author: John G. Self

The furloughs and layoffs have begun.

Retail is leading the way as neighborhood shops and department stores across much of the country are shutting down either in abundance of caution or governmental order.  The unemployment numbers are staggering.  Not in modern history has  the US economy, and most of the rest of the world, shut down so quickly.  Last week’s unemployment numbers, 3.25 million claims filed, exceeded expectations.   The latest numbers, scheduled to be announced Thursday morning, could top 4.25 million, some analysts caution.

Now the rolling impact has hit healthcare providers.  Hospitals have been canceling elective surgeries and other profitable ambulatory services to prepare for the surge in patients with the coronavirus.  Reports began to trickle in on Monday and Tuesday of furloughs and impending layoffs, primarily on the East Coast and in the Midwest. The reductions in force of non-essential personnel will probably migrate west as the virus takes hold across the rest of the country.

There are two important questions, one you have some control over, the other you do not.  First, the question over which you have no control – How long will this all last?  The short answer, no one knows.  The hopeful one, not long.  The shorter the slide the quicker we can recover.  A prolonged deep recession or, God forbid, a depression, will probably take years for the economy to bounce back.  Ten years after the Great Recession of 2009, America’s economy was still on the rebound. 

Now the question you can control:  How are you going to respond to this crisis?  What  steps are you going to take to prepare your career for today and the future?

The personnel most likely to be furloughed or laid off are new hires, middle managers whose responsibilities are similar to others in the organization and those whose performance has been lackluster. However, executives are not immune.  The longer the virus maintains its grip, the longer the slide, the deeper these cuts will be.  

Just as waiting too long to implement social distancing mandates has produced dire consequences, so, too, can delaying to plan your career response strategy.

Just as waiting too long to implement social distancing mandates has produced dire consequences, so, too, can delaying to plan your career response strategy.

Strategy:  Carpe Diem.  Seize the day.

Five Tactics:  

  1. Revise your resume to reflect your value brand statement.  Updating the older “tried and tested” version is a waste of your time.  ATS and employer expectations have dramatically changed the role of the resume.
  2. Develop and execute a strategic networking plan.  The best jobs are rarely posted.  Recruiters handle only a small portion of the executive searches.  In other words, a job search is now a contact sport. Sitting back, waiting for someone to call, will dramatically lengthen your job search.
  3. Perfect your story.  Many applicants do a very so-so job in answering some of the best questions for selling themselves.  Understand what your brand stands for and how you can explain it in a compelling way.
  4. Prepare for interviews.  There are two types of interview questions, Core and Categorical.  Core questions are those that allow you to sell your value.  Categorical questions are those aimed at your past performance and usually require relevant quantifiable metrics to answer successfully. You can never successfully anticipate every question that you will be asked but thinking about these two categories will dramatically improve your confidence and performance.
  5. Master the art of video interviews. Corporate recruiters and search firm consultants all say that this candidate screen ing medium will become an essential tool. Just showing up and answering questions will not get you the job, In fact, it could get you eliminated. You must master to dos and don’ts of this medium.

Just as waiting too long to implement social distancing mandates has produced dire consequences, so, too, can delaying to plan your career response strategy.

If you are laid off or terminated, sitting back waiting for the economy to improve is not an option.  Whenever that happens, sooner or later, there will be a logjam of applicants seeking to re-enter the workforce.  If you are not prepared to compete against dozens upon dozens of applicants for every job you seek out, your career recovery time will be prolonged as well. 

It is time to seize the day. remember, you are the CEO of a one-person company. It is up to you.

© 2021 John Gregory Self

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