Just like with any emergency situation it’s critical to have a plan, an exit strategy, and a toolkit with all the essentials to help you land back on your feet. So to help you bounce back quickly from any career setback, here are five essentials to have in your “career emergency toolkit”.
- A professionally critiqued resume. Many times your resume is the “first impression” a hiring manager has of you, so it needs to be spectacular! In order to get noticed in this tough job market, your resume must be in the top 2-percent of all submitted resumes. Does your resume measure up?
- 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.
- List of 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.
- A Deep and Wide Professional Network. Don’t wait to start networking – do it now. Send your contacts links to 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.
- Your Plan “B”. What is your back-up plan 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? Create a contingency plan to help you land back on your feet quickly should your career take an unexpected turn.
The key is to always be prepared for the worst – always. By having the right tools and plans in your Career Emergency First Aid Kit, you’ll be better equipped to manage through any career setback, as well as come back faster and stronger!