In life, the saying goes, bad things happen to good people. That can certainly be the case with careers. Sometimes the adversity does not make sense, it is unfair or financially devastating. Some people are angry and that anger festers as they react to the “what”, not the “what next.” Other people are resilient, they accept the news, they grieve and then they begin looking for a new job with great resolve.
Healthcare, which for more than 25 years was known as the layoff proof industry, has joined the world of other industrial sectors with regular expense cutbacks and reductions in headcount as executives attempt to recalibrate business operations. There is every indication that this the new normal in our industry. In other words, now is the time to step up your game, mentally and emotionally, to prepare for what will be anything but a layoff-proof career choice. It is a lot easier to rebound if you understand today’s job search dynamics.
Here are thoughts from others in the career transition industry I think you should consider:
- One of healthcare’s early outplacement wise men, J. Craig Honaman, LFACHE, of Atlanta, offered this sage advice: always, always be prepared. Keep your resume up to date and do not store that or your professional contact list on your work computer.
- Nancy Swain coaches executives to create their value proposition or their value statement now, do not wait until the layoff announcement has been made. When you do that, you are putting yourself behind the curve which is not where you want to be in a competitive executive job market.
- Jim Wiederhold, an outplacement, network operator in Atlanta, advises executives to proactively build their professional network. Jim has been evangelizing this point for years. If you wait to do this important work it will be too late when you are given the bad news.
- My contributions are these: Keep a career journal — employment dates, salaries, supervisors, peers and subordinates, and, most importantly, your significant accomplishments. This information will help you be a better job applicant when the time comes, and
- Do not treat colleagues like you will never need them again when you leave an organization. Nurturing supportive relationships is akin to building an expanded reference list. In an era where recruiters and employers are more aggressively pursuing secondary references, this is a smart relationship strategy.
We should all remember Winston Churchill’s equally sage advice:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”