If there's one lesson workers have learned during the economic downturn, it's this: Be prepared. In a recent survey, 39% of workers polled said they are very prepared to conduct a job search if they were to lose their job suddenly; another 41% said they are somewhat ready.
The survey, developed by staffing company OfficeTeam, includes responses from 613 men and women, all 18 years of age or older and employed. Survey respondents were asked, "How prepared are you to conduct a job search if you were to lose your job tomorrow?"
Very prepared 39%
Somewhat prepared 41
Somewhat unprepared 9
Not at all prepared 11
"Many workers have learned firsthand that layoffs can come suddenly and without warning," said Liz Hughes, v-p of OfficeTeam. "While employees cannot control the job market, they can take proactive steps to get organized for their next search."
Hughes added that advanced planning is key to success.
"People who are prepared put time on their side; they can focus their efforts on establishing solid first contact with an employer, versus rushing to update resumes and reference lists."
Hughes suggests focusing on the following four areas to be more prepared:
Your resume: Don't stop at updating the content. Share the document with trusted friends and ask for their feedback. Is the document error-free? Does it emphasize your greatest strengths? Is it compelling enough to cause a hiring manager to call for an interview? Keep working on it until you get a "yes" response to all three questions.
Your references: Do you know who you would tap for your reference list? Call these individuals now so you can update their contact information and gauge their interest. Tell them what type of opportunities you may be targeting.
Your network: It's much easier to ask for help when you keep in touch with your contacts. If you've dropped out of sight from professional organizations, volunteer groups and social circles, make an effort to reconnect.
Your skills: Is your skill set in strong demand right now? Check with your contacts and review current job postings to find out. You may discover that additional training in a certain area would boost your marketability.
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