Losing a job can certainly be a painful experience. However, if you get a sense that things are changing in your workplace and your job is in jeopardy, there are ways to prepare for your next step.
Debra Feldman, an executive talent agent, recently shared 14 ways job seekers can prepare for their next career move in uncertain times. Though her advice is targeted at people who work at businesses, nonprofit employees can certainly benefit from her emphasis on financial preparation, networking, and job searching.
- Heed the warnings! If things seem uncertain at work, start your job search engine in time to motor safely away from career danger. Don’t deny the signs of impending waves of reductions in force, an announced or recent merger or acquisition, appointment of new management, a new owner or controlling interest, the logical consequences of a poor performance review or Board meeting decision, being passed over for a promotion, more responsibility or authority, and so on. Start job-searching; that is, launch a proactive networking-based campaign while you are still employed. Buy yourself time in addition to severance by initiating job search activities while still in your current role.
- Review your employment benefits, especially the status of your health insurance, disability coverage, life insurance, unused vacation or personal days, and the like. Make inquiries to secure bridge coverage if you need it.
- Make a list of people you can rely on for support, advice, and mentoring. Start to reach out to them with a clear, compelling message that describes your professional image (e.g., Head of retail operations reporting to the COO at a large, global manufacturer and distributor in the beauty industry, with extensive experience breaking into new international markets, launching new products and integrating acquisitions) and specify how they can assist you (name specific target companies, or ask for a referral to a person you don’t know to whom they can recommend you).