"Laid off, terminated, fired, downsized, let-go"; no matter what the guise, many of us have heard those words spoken. If you have not, consider yourself fortunate because it is common in today's cyclical business environment. We've all seen the headlines, "Local Company Lays Off Workers".
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I'm laid off!

"Laid off, terminated, fired, downsized, let-go"; no matter what the guise, many of us have heard those words spoken. If you have not, consider yourself fortunate because it is common in today's cyclical business environment. We've all seen the headlines, "Local Company Lays Off Workers".

It doesn't matter if you've been with the company two weeks or twenty years, the budget was cut, the position was eliminated, the department moved and your career focus has been altered.

How, if at all, can you adjust to this sudden change? The answer, as any good Scout Leader will tell you, is to be prepared. In today's marketplace, "I'll do this later" is now not an option. There are three areas of preparedness I'd like to stress: mental, physical, and financial. They are in that order intentionally, as one begets another.

Now more than ever, you can put your professional skills to work. Just as a new assignment may be given to us, we must challenge ourselves to be ready for career changes or adjustments at any given time. This is your new assignment, approach it as such.

Mental Preparedness:

  • Don't become too complacent in your work environment. Continue to challenge yourself; continue to survey your surroundings. What is happening in other departments? What is happening in other companies? Where does your profession seem to be going in today's market? Are there areas you can accentuate?

  • Attend at least one educational class a year. This includes seminars, networking groups and the local community college. The goal is to be infused with new ideas and energy. Remember when you first began your job and you witnessed archaic methodologies that no one seemed to notice? This is the fresh set of eyes you want to bring back to your workplace.

  • Those clients and vendors who are challenging? Patience, please. They may just be your next employer or referral!

  • Prepare yourself that you may be challenged with a different assignment at any given time.

Physical Preparedness:

  • Is your resume updated? Now - today? Your resume should be reviewed every six months and updated at least once a year. Even if it involves adding only one line of text describing a new responsibility or adjusting adjectives for a stronger delivery. Revise and have it ready. You will have many more credentials to discuss in your performance reviews as well.

  • Engage in a physical activity at least once a week. This can be as simple as walking the dog (which is also a perfect time to meditate and pray) or as regimented as a health club (another place to network). The benefits of physical activity cannot be discounted; you look healthy, you exert energy, and you tend to be less likely to overindulge.

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