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Four Signs You May Be Targeted for a Lay-Off

As a career coach, one of the questions I get asked the most is, “How do I know if I could be laid off?”

Although there are not any hard and fast rules for companies to warn employees about upcoming layoffs, there were some key indicators that you may be targeted for a lay-off, and that you should start preparing a “Plan B” for your career…

  1. Your Physical Health – Many times, we ignore signs around us that a layoff could be in our future by telling ourselves that we provide too much value, and are too well liked to be laid off.  So even though you may be able to logically dismiss the thought that you could be laid off, there are physical signs that are harder to ignore.For example, if you start getting a pit in your stomach when you drive into work, or your heart beats faster, or you get a headache – these are all physical signs that something in your work environment could be drastically wrong.  Also, if you find yourself hitting the snooze button 46-times, hating Mondays, or having wild mood swings including depression, anger, or becoming introverted – these are all physical signs that something in your work environment may be toxic and that your subconscience is telling you something is wrong.
  2. Your Environment – Look around at the organization where you work.  Have there been layoffs, or talks of layoffs?  Are programs or services being cut? Is funding being reduced in your department?  These are all signs that the company may be in trouble financially, and employee lay-offs could be a next step.Another environmental sign is a shift in management’s attitude.  Right before lay-offs are announced, there is a kind of heaviness in the air throughout the building.  It’s a depressed, shush-shush environment. Is your manager more stressed than usual? Are you getting less face-time with your manager?  Do senior managers seem preoccupied, and not attentive to employee needs or concerns?  These are all environmental signs that a lay-off could be near.
  3. Your Job Role – Have your assignments shifted to performing less valued and lower visibility projects?  Do your deliverables align to the company’s strategic objectives, or department’s quarterly goals?  If not, then here’s what I want you to do… I want you to do everything you can to transition onto more high priority assignments.  I want you to volunteer to get onto those higher profile projects by talking to your manager and the Program Manager telling them how you could add value and make contributions to those projects.
  4. Your Influence – Are you finding that your opinions are no longer valued?  Are you being left out of business decisions or meetings?   Do you find that your sphere of influence is shrinking?  If so, here’s what I want you to do – I want you to increase your visibility and your credibility by talking about the results you’ve helped to achieve on your current or previous projects.  Volunteer to help out on high visibility projects, and ask your manager what you can do to help him out or to help out the department or team members.

Again, these are not sure fire signs that you’re doomed for a lay-off.  However, if you’re experiencing one or more of these changes, then you should definitely be putting together a “Plan B” for your career – an action plan to help you hit the ground running and transition into your next career should you receive a pink slip.

If you’re feeling stuck in your career– get professional help! Take control in your career by investing in some professional advice, such as —

    1. A Professional resume writer
    2. An interview coach
    3. Or a career coach

These are professionals who can accelerate your career change and help you get into a new job faster!

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YOUR ASSIGNMENT:  Invest in yourself and your career, by meeting with a career coach who can give you a proven, step-by-step roadmap that will help you transition into a new career! You’ll see how easy it is to leverage your talents, strengths, and successes and transfer them into a new job role, company, or industry. 

Career Coaching 360 helps professionals and executives change into a more meaningful and inspiring career, and we can help you, too!  Check out our career coaching packages available on-line at:  http://www.careercoaching360.com/careercoaching/ Scroll down the web page to see our complete menu of services!

Career Chat with Sherri

Ask Sherri for advice on breaking through your biggest career challenge.
Are you in a tough situation in career? Want to get some expert advice on how to move your career forward? This is your chance to “Ask Sherri” and get advice from her and Sherri’s network of Career Coaches on your toughest challenge. Sherri will select one question to tackle and give her best advice and strategies to help you move your career forward! Ask away…

Creating a Powerful Personal Brand

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Personal Branding is a hot topic these days, and I have 5 ways you can create a powerful personal brand and leverage it to get into the career you really want…

Step #1. Understand your value.

Having a powerful personal brand means that you consistently deliver what you say you’re going to deliver. In other words, it’s the skills, experience, and value that you provide to your employer or clients. Whether it’s bringing in new streams of revenue, managing highly valued projects, developing creative marketing campaigns, or whatever, your career is fueled by the value that you consistently deliver to employers.

Your value is a unique blend of your strengths, professional accomplishments, and personal characteristics (such as being a good leader, risk taker, problem solver, strategic thinker, etc.). All of these things combined make up your “value package” which makes you truly unique from a crowd of colleagues, business associates, and even job applicants.

Step #2. Get into a career where you can thrive (and not just survive!)

Being in a passionless job is a career killer! If you’re walking around dull and listless (like the Clairol Herbal Essence girl before she shampoos her hair), then others are sure to see you that way. It’s impossible to have a powerful personal brand if you’re just going through the motions at work. You need to be in a career that challenges you, flexes your professional muscles, and excites you!

You want to be working on projects that excite you and teams that energize you! Start gravitating towards those projects and assignments where you can thrive. Or, if you’re in between jobs right now, then you want to focus on talking about those kinds of projects and accomplishments that you worked on in your networking and on your resume.

Step #3 Send the “right” messages.

Everything you do and say sends messages to your manager, senior managers, clients, peers, and potential employers. Your words, actions, presentations, reports, work deliverables, all shape the perceptions others have about you and the value you provide.

So you should take every opportunity to send a very clear message that you are a hiqh quality and results-driven contributor. Talk about the successes of your projects and teams, and the benefit they’re providing to the company. Talk about the obstacles that your team overcame, and the key lessons that you learned.
This is how employers and potential employers can view you as an asset to their company.

Step #4 Act as if your are on a stage.

Think about how you want others to perceive you. Do you want to be recognized as being smart? Strategic? Having specific expertise? A great leader? Whatever it is, you should be striving to send that message loud and clear.

Every day you have opportunities to shape and manage your personal brand. In every presentation that you give, in every meeting you attend, in all your conversations with other professionals – think of yourself as being on a stage. It’s your opportunity to shape and manage the way others are perceiving you.

Step #5 Network strategically.

If you want bigger promotions, better clients, and a richer, more meaningful career you need to work with people who value and appreciate you. So focus on creating a strong support system of what I call, career influencers. These are people who can hire you, promote you, inspire you, teach you, and open doors to new opportunities. Nurture your relationships with these people, and ask about their career path and strategies for blasting through career challenges. Seek out people who can give you the roadmap, guidance, and inspiration to help you advance your career.

Powerful personal brands don’t happen overnight. It takes time, focus, and commitment, but the payoff is huuuuuge. Imagine a world where you wake up every morning excited about your career! 🙂

I found this great article on Monster.com on 5 Industries hiring in 2010. I hope you like it! :)

http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/company-industry-research/job-outlook-industries-hiring-2010/article.aspx?WT.mc_n=CRMUS000096