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Submitted by: WISE NYC Metro member | 6-15 years professional experience
I have just been laid off from my current job. I love my field but am worried that in these economic times, I will have difficulty finding another opportunity. What advice can you provide in creating opportunities in such a difficult hiring climate?
There is no question that this continues to be a challenging market for job seekers, but many people are landing new roles and transitioning successfully. The key is to be clear on your objectives and to have a thoughtful plan and approach to your job search, particularly in this market. Resist the temptation to send out your updated resume to contacts, post on job sites or apply on-line for jobs until you have a well-thought out plan in place.
Here are a few steps to help you get there:
Take the time to inventory and assess your skills, interests and other qualities you bring to your job search. What are you good at? What do you like to do? There are many on-line tools and assessments (many free) that can guide you through this process, and you may discover some talents and skills that have been dormant — as well as things you liked to do in past roles that you may have forgotten.
Get feedback from others. Ask former colleagues, supervisors, mentors how they see your unique strengths and skills sets. We often have a narrow view of our capabilities — and fear and uncertainty entering a job search can put us at a disadvantage. Try to get a sense of what others see in you; that may open up ideas about possible job types you had not considered before.
Talk with others who have transitioned successfully from similar roles. Who do you know (or can get introduced to) who was in a role like yours but now is doing something different? What was their approach, their journey? See what you can learn from them.
Volunteer. If there is a field or area you are interested in, see if there are volunteer opportunities available so you can get an idea of the work and types of roles. Make contacts in those areas who could lead you to potential opportunities.
Most importantly, be open to opportunities you might not normally consider, or that might not seem like the best fit, particularly at the beginning of your search. You never know where they may lead to and exploring them can be interesting, fun and open your eyes to possibilities you might never have considered — whether it is for your “next step” or somewhere further down the road in your career.
About Bobbie LaPorte
Roberta (Bobbie) LaPorte is founder and principal of RAL & Associates, a consulting firm providing career and leadership development services to technology, financial services and healthcare organizations. Bobbie previously served in GM, COO and CMO roles in several Fortune 50 companies, including IBM and GE. A certified career coach, she has an MBA from Harvard and is a nationally-recognized expert on the powerful relationship between physical fitness and career success, as well as an accomplished triathlete and multi-sport coach.
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