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Doing a good job, producing budgeted results is not a guarantee that you can avoid a layoff.  Believing that myth is one of the most prominent mistakes managers and executives make with their careers.  

“I don’t need to worry about a strategic career plan.  I am doing a good job.  I have great numbers”.  

Then the merger closes, or the pandemic spreads.

                                                                        Daily Career Management Tip

It is a blinding flash of the obvious to say that we live and work in an uncertain world.  

Last week I wrote about the job search challenges imposed by our sputtering economy. This week I am adding six steps you can take to get prepared.

 A surprising number of executives and managers continue to believe that a good job performance will serve as an insurance policy against being laid off. That is just not so. 

This week several CEOs have confided to me that many executives and managers who lost their jobs over the last three months did so through no fault of their own.  

Jim Hinton, Chief Executive Officer of Baylor Scott & White Health, an integrated network with 52 hospitals, more than 800 patient care sites, 7,300 active physicians, and 49,000 employees, believes the key to success in this uncertain business environment is a constant state of preparedness.  You cannot wait for unexpected events to occur before you take actions to weather the storm, he said during a recent interview with Modern Healthcare.  

Just as businesses must plan for the unexpected, so, too, must executives and managers.

Here are six steps that can help you achieve constant preparedness:

  1. Keep your Personal Vision Statement up to date.  When the unexpected happens, you need to know what your next steps will be.  If you do not have a clear vision for your career, it is hard to have a cohesive strategy.  
  2. Understand your value.  When a prospective employer asks, What can you do for our organization, you must be locked in with your answer.  Composing an answer at that very moment is a terrible idea, and it probably will sound like it too. 
  3. Develop a career management plan.  If you do not know where you are going, virtually every road you take will be wrong unless you want to rely on good fortune.
  4. Maintain your professional journal.  Having a ready record of your recent accomplishments with specific supporting data is vital.  Reflecting on other accomplishments and events will, in all likelihood, help you prepare for job interviews. 
  5. Keep your resume up to date.  Although your resume design must be easily customizable, keeping it updated with your most recent impressive accomplishments will save time.  If you are forced to recreate your resume from scratch, shame on you. More than likely it will not be as strong as it should be. 
  6. Stay in touch with your professional network.  A smaller more focused network, populated with executives in targeted organizations and/or geographic areas, makes it easier to build and sustain relationships.  Consider using a very brief introductory video when you connect with someone.  Initial research suggests videos can accelerate engagement.  

If you have questions, or would like additional information, call or email me: