Are you Prepared? 3 Must-Have Areas of Focus for Your Career
Are You Prepared?
These days, this question can mean different things. Are you prepared to handle the Covid-19 situation? Do you have food, water, medicine and, of course, enough toilet paper?
Are you prepared for isolation or even semi-isolation by yourself or with your closest family? Do you have games to play, books to read and things to do to keep you mentally and physically sharp?
And are you prepared for what happens when we get the all clear signal and begin to build a “new normal” for ourselves and our families?
We all know the economy is taking a major hit right now, probably bigger than we’ve ever seen. There will be significant changes to the economic environment for a long time to come. Unfortunately, many of these changes will be negative, at least in the short-term. As much as corporate leaders and the government are trying to do the right thing, many companies may not make it and there will be a lot of job loss… projected, conservatively, as high as 20%+… due to the total stoppage of business by the virus.
Prepare for the worst while hoping for the best
Many people are concerned about whether their job will be there when this is over. This is a legitimate concern but worrying about it is a waste of time. First, it will make the unknown even scarier. Secondly, it’s an admission that your career is completely out of your control. True, you can’t know now what things will be like when business starts up again, but you can prepare by doing what you can do to take charge and manage your career… something everyone should do even in the best of times.
Many people haven’t had to look for a job in a while and things might be a bit different for you if you must start looking now. Regardless of your situation, today everybody should act as if they were unemployed. What does that mean? It means you should get all your personal marketing materials together, so you are ready to begin a job search whether you need it or not.
Key components of a job search
- Resume: Arguably the most important marketing piece you must have. It should be filled with key search words and phrases related to your field of interest. It should also have a lot of data or outcomes that show how well you did your job. If you currently have a resume, read each bullet point you’ve written. Is it unique to you or could anyone have written it? Do your bullet points contain words like “Leading to…” or “resulting in…” or “with the outcome of…”?
- LinkedIn®: One could argue this is the most important tool you have. It certainly is of great value so you can be found by recruiters and able to tap into the “hidden job market”. Is your profile as full as you can make it? Is your picture professional looking and does it send an open, friendly message? Or is it more like a mug shot? Do you have accomplishments and results clearly communicated and are there key words throughout…most importantly, in your “Headline” and “About” sections”?
- Networking: Okay, maybe this is most important. Networking can be more challenging for some than for others. But, today, it might be easier than ever. People are not networking in-person currently. So, go to LinkedIn, connect with existing contacts, find old college alumni, past colleagues, new people you want to meet and reach out to them. First, if necessary, send a personal invitation to join your network. Next, reach out to existing and new connections to see about having a short networking conversation for a check-in and/or to learn more about each other. EVERYBODY should be interested in networking for their own sake and to help others if possible.
The above represents key critical pieces of career management and for looking for your next opportunity. The high-level key is to have a plan, like a business plan, to manage your career in a thoughtful and systematic way. If you do this throughout your career, and especially now, you will find that opportunities will come your way more often than you are looking for them.
If you want help identifying the steps of the process to help you plan for winning your next job opportunity, click here to receive a short guide entitled “The Sher Process to Your Next Job”.