It’s Time to Bullet-Proof Your Career!

October 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Nervous about your career?  

In today’s increasingly volatile economy, it’s more important than ever to be prepared for any kind of change, should your career take a turn for the worst. 

From a layoff, to a demotion, to a change in your job role – it happens to everyone! And I know from personal experience that when you are prepared for change – you’re more likely to rebound quicker and faster!

Below are five things you can do RIGHT NOW to bullet-proof your career and keep yourself in high demand in today’s job market…
 

  1. Invest in a professionally written resume. Think your resume is good enough?  Think again.  The unemployment pool is getting bigger and your resume must be in the top 2-percent to get noticed. 

    Imagine that a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity comes up and you have one shot to get your resume in front of the hiring manager.  Will your resume help you, or hurt you?  Invest in a professionaly written resume.
     

  2. Create an “Interview Prep Kit” including a polished portfolio, briefcase and power suit.  Make sure you’re prepared for an interview, by having a hefty sample of your best work available including reports, strategic plans, proposals, campaigns or presentations that you created.  This helps validate your successes and what you can do for the next company that hires you.

    Also, invest in interview coaching so you’ll know how to answer those tough questions, and what to say to close the deal. 

    Finally, don’t wait until the night before your interview to go suit shopping.  Make sure you have a smart looking briefcase, power suit, and matching shoes so that you make a great impression when you walk into a room.  You’ll need these for business networking events, plus all of your interviews!
     

  3. Make a list of your high powered references.  Start identifying those who could give you a strong professional recommendation.  Go after those managers and executives with the highest title, biggest influence, and work for the most prestigious companies. 

    If you’ve lost touch with someone on your list, start searching them out now. Professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.com makes it easy to find past colleagues.  Also, consider who you WANT on your list and start looking for opportunities to get connected. 
     

  4. Build a deep and wide professional network.  Don’t wait to start networking – do it now. Send your contacts links to videos, reports, case studies, press releases and websites that you think may interest them.  Invite them to business networking events, and introduce them to other movers and shakers.  Career influencers (those who could hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you) are drawn to those who are resourceful and well connected.

    Make sure you have updated contact information including e-mail address and phone numbers.
     

  5. Develop Your Plan “B”.  What kind of work could you do to generate income if you lost your job right now?  Could you freelance or start consulting?  Would you prefer to work part-time while getting some specialized training or advanced education to help you come back better and stronger?

    Your Plan B is a back-up plan that should include a career strategy, as well as a finance plan with monthly costs you’re prepared to cut immediately if the worst should happen.

Remember, hope is not a strategy.  Nobody else is going to own and drive your career.  It’s yours, and yours alone, to manage. 

By having the right strategies and plans in place, you’ll be better equipped to manage through any career change, as well as come back faster and stronger! 

Your Assignment… 🙂

Start creating your Plan “B” in case you need to make it your Plan “A” 🙂

Start thinking about your next career move. exploring all of the opportunities around you. If you want to change into a freelance or consulting role then create a plan that defines financial budgets, marketing strategies and potential customers.  If you want a new job role, then research companies who are hiring and what their requirements are for that job.  Make a plan on how to fill any skillset gaps with experience or training. 

If you’re feeling ‘stuck’ and not sure what you want to be when you grow up 🙂  then read the business journal, trade magazines, industry publications and your local newspaper to see what kinds of jobs are available and what inspires you. Also, start talking to past and present colleagues, clients and those in your network to learn about their job. 

The point is to become proactive in your career.  Get prepared for any change so that you can rebound quicker and faster, and get into a career that inspires you! 🙂

About Career Coach Sherri Thomas
Sherri Thomas is a leading career coach who helps professionals transform and thrive in their career. She is a leading career coach, Huffington Post writer, globe trotting keynote speaker, and the 2013 Best Career Book author of “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster after a layoff, re-org or career setback.” As a sought after media source, she has been featured in top news outlets including NBC-TV Phoenix, the Wall St. Journal, TIME, New York Daily News, Monster.com and many others. She loves traveling around the world and learning about other cultures, thrives in nature, and will always encourage you to go on what she calls a life changing Kenyan safari because the 30-hour flight journey “isn’t that bad.”

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