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Case Study Four

"I've just been laid-off from a high-tech firm and I don't know what to do next. I'm not even a "techie" so my path seems so much more unclear."

Issue: Getting laid off is traumatic, no matter how much you tell yourself it's not personal. But with the increasing rate at which employees are being cast out, there is much less stigma today than in earlier generations. The expression "the company man or woman" has little relevance in today's workplace, where changing jobs is often viewed as a logical means to advancement. So now you've lost your job and you feel you have no time to waste and little room for mistakes.

Challenge: The goal is to avoid rehashing the situation you just left by wondering what went wrong or what you might have done differently. Take time to recover and then evaluate your goals. What are you trained to do, what experience do you have that is transferable to other industries, what do you like to do, what limitations do you have that might make you less attractive to a prospective employer? But the biggest challenge is to avoid grabbing the first opportunity. Creatures of habit, we tend to place ourselves in situations that are similar to those that haven't worked for us in the past. We help you resist the urge.

Solution: Whether our clients have been laid-off or fired, we encourage them to contact as many people as possible to let them know they're in the market seeking suitable opportunities. Cultivating long-term business relationships is a strategy that works. We suggest that our clients compile a list of contacts to whom they can begin reaching out. Even if they don't have any openings themselves, they can provide leads to others who might.

For our clients who have been terminated due to organizational turmoil, we suggest they explain their re-entry into the marketplace as a by-product of the new economy and the risks that come with the opportunities. If you've been fired for cause, we still suggest that you be as direct and honest as possible. Asked why you were fired, it's best to acknowledge that there was a difference in philosophy or strategy. Then quickly get past it by telling a prospective employer that you are grateful for everything you learned in the position—that you feel it makes you more valuable to your next employer. Never trash your previous employer and don't get emotional.

Remember there is life after termination. And we all make mistakes in our careers. The trick is to learn from them and not keep repeating the same ones over and over.


Just an e-mail away, at answers@biz-results.com,
LINDA B. RULE & ASSOCIATES is ready to help you get the job done.

Tel: 703-481-5070 * Fax: 703-476-9511

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