How to cope with unexpected career change

At some point in your life, you will face unexpected career change. Depending on your skill sets, age, and connections, you may weather this change differently.

How does unexpected career change from normal career change?

As I said before, the days of the 30 year job is long gone. Very few people think they will graduate from high school or college, get a job with one company, and stay there until they retire. Most people don’t even want to stay with the same company forever.

However, most people want to be in charge of their own career destiny.

They don’t want unexpected career change. Most people want to choose when they face a career change.

How long can I stay in a job?

If you generally perform your job well, you will feel safe that your job is yours until you decide you want to move on.

Unfortunately, many people don’t feel that sense of safety anymore especially if they have already been a victim of a merger/acquisition or corporate downsizing. People who have lived through corporate change are more likely to watch for the signs of change within their company.

Create a continuous career marketing plan

Many people have heard of continuous improvement. I suggest you should also look into continuous career marketing.

How do you do that?

Prepare as if your job could end tomorrow. Don’t think about this with a feeling of dread but rather think of this as an opportunity for strategic career planning.

  • Your resume should always be up to date.
    • Advantage — you will never be the one panicking when someone says, “Hey, I have this great opportunity and you would be perfect! Can you get me your resume?” (Your resume is the one from college 20 years ago – now you are stuck and have to stall this great opportunity)
  • You created a LinkedIn profile that sells your best skills and talents.
    • Advantage — you will be visible when someone searches for your talents. LinkedIn is one of the first places searched for new talent.
  • Your network is alive.
    • Advantage — you know who to call to help you with anything and your network knows to call you if they have a problem.

Is it time for you to plan?

I strongly recommend that everyone from 20 to 62 be prepared. Not out of fear but because planning ahead is the path to success.

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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