According to a news release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average 1.6 million people lose their jobs each month through layoffs or termination.
In the majority of cases, finding yourself in the unemployment line will not be the result of poor performance. A merger or acquisition, as well as a change in leadership, can also signal a change in your job status. The new boss may want to change the direction of the company or, surround themselves with people with whom they are already familiar – perhaps even a combination of both.
What would you do if you found yourself in a position in which your job was in jeopardy?
How can you be proactive, and manage the situation so that you set yourself up for success?
Here are four essential tips for dealing with job uncertainty:
1. Your network is your networth: Long before the ominous signs of career change emerge on your horizon, you should build a strong network of contacts. Networking is not an option. Your next job is more likely to come through an existing relationship as opposed to cold calling with a great resume. You need sponsors who can toot your horn.
2. Never believe in your “Own” press: In more cases than not, I have encountered people who have been sideswiped by assuming that following their job description is their ticket to job security. In reality, rarely will the loss of your job come out of nowhere. Even if you are a force within your company, embrace each day as an opportunity to showcase your value and make a difference.
3. As the adage in real estate about location being critical to selling a house, regular communication with your boss will ensure that you align your efforts with both their personal goals and corporate goals. Don’t limit your interaction to annual reviews. Seek out opportunities to connect on a regular basis. To learn how your boss will measure your success, simply ask this question; “Boss, what would have to happen over the coming year for you to see me as being essential to your business?”
4. Sell your potential, not your past. Learn to adjust to your current work environment by selling your future potential, not your past accomplishments. Don’t rest on your laurels. If you expect success, you must differentiate yourself. You can’t merely sharpen your skills to stay competitive. Focus on transformation and offer cutting edge seasoned expertise that positions you to be in alignment with where the company needs to go.