Thursday, October 30, 2008

Surviving a Layoff as an Older Worker

Surviving a layoff can be a challenge at any age, but especially if you're close to retirement. Tune in to hear my advice live on CNN Newsroom Friday October 31st at 2:30pm eastern. And read below for specific, practical steps you can take to land a new career and take control of your job security.

--Focus on your employability: When your work plays to your strengths, interests and natural talents, you have no problem demonstrating specific ways you are the BEST at what you do. Even in bad times, employers will hire and retain their best and brightest. Make a list of your top strengths and identify careers where those are key required skills. You'll be a perfect match at any age. Click here for more on landing a job over 50.
--Convert your skills: Opportunities still exist in industries such as healthcare, education, oil & gas, and green power. Identify the skills you have that are transferrable and you'll broaden the career possibilities available. Functional skills such as technology, human resources and finance/accounting exist in all types of businesses. Other skills such as project management, communication, and teamwork apply across industries as well.
--Get creative with packaging your experience: If you are open to consulting, freelancing or project-based work you may have an easier time finding opportunities. Companies may be more apt to commit to a project than a full-time position during the downturn. It may require starting your own consulting business, but you'll be able to continue building your resume and earn an income. Click here for more advice and resources on starting your own business.

I know it can be tough to go through a career crisis (read my story). But you can prevail if you take action with your career. Writer Art Buchwald puts it all in perpective, "Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got."

Share your comments, questions and concerns if you're going through a layoff. And if you've got a survival story from your own experience, share that too. We're all in this together!

No comments: