Is Your Job In Danger

When I was in the workforce, I kept my resume updated--always. It didn't matter if I was happy with my job or not. I wanted to be ready in case there was a better job--or the unthinkable happened.

In today's changing workforce, jobs are downsized, reformulated, and sometimes eliminated all together. The idea of staying with the same company all your life is something from a different generation, so you have to stay on your toes.

Whether you lose a job or change jobs here are some things to consider before you cross that ocean.

• Keep your resume updated.

• Network. I mean really network. Strengthen your relationships with coworkers, people from other departments, people who have left for other jobs, as well as salespeople and vendors for your company. Believe me. They are gold.

• If you've lost your job, tell everyone you know you're looking for a new position.

• If you're changing jobs, be discreet. Your boss might not appreciate you canvassing for a new job while you're on the job.

• If your job looks like it's on shaky legs, go at once to your doctor and get any medical or lab work done before you lose your health insurance. Same goes for vision or dental. Be upfront with your doctor about your imminent job loss. S/he might be able to increase your prescription order or give you free samples to hold you over.

• By the way, unless they've changed the policy, the company can't fire you if you're sick or out on disability. They'll wait until you walk back in the door.

• If you haven't already started your emergency fund, do that now. Go here for tips on how to Grow an Emergency Fund. If you lose your job suddenly, that emergency fund becomes a lifesaver.

• While you're at your job, create a Contacts List with names, phone numbers, and email addresses of all the people you work with, including and especially managers. Keep a running list of vendors too. Vendors come into contact with a lot of other companies in your industry. They're good people to know.

• Always stay on good terms with your boss. You're going to need a good reference.

• Put your resume up at any of the large job sites like, CareerBuilder, or Indeed.

• Run your resume past someone with a good grasp of business writing. Their input could help sharpen your resume.

• If you've lost your job suddenly, immediately cancel all subscriptions including cable. Keep your internet. You'll need that, but if you have a free wifi nearby you might be able to go without it.

• Eat out of your pantry. Now is not the time to be picky.

• Look for ways to cut down on your rent or mortgage. If it looks like a long siege of unemployment, consider taking a roommate, or selling your home and downsizing.

• Spend only what is absolutely necessary. You don't know how long you could be unemployed.

• Do odd jobs to keep some income coming in while you're job hunting. If you're handy, I suggest joining NextDoor. It's a community web site. I'm always seeing posts looking for handy people, caretakers, and drivers.

• When you're jobless, any job will do until you can get back into your industry.

• Don't lose your friends. This is when you need them most. Remember though, that as much as they might love you, you cannot expect them to sympathize forever. Ask them for referrals or to sniff out any potential jobs at their companies.

Have you ever lost your job or jumped ship for another position? Did you do anything ahead of time to prepare?


B.E. Sanderson said…
I haven't had a job - other than writing, of course - in almost 14 years. I still look through the want ads, just in case. The other day I saw one I thought I might like to do, if I were looking for a job, and it said they needed recent job references. I about fell over laughing because there's no way I'd ever be able to provide those. Heck, even old job references are gone or moved or dead. I guess I'd better stick to writing and hope someday it makes enough to support me if I ever need it to.
Mike Keyton said…
Mercifully those days have passed but networking is still very important ref Writing. I've learnt, but still find that hard. I think you need a degree of chutzpah and mine comes and goes
Stacy McKitrick said…
I had a nice comment for you, but when I hit post, I was "told" there was an incomplete token error or some such nonsense (and I'm not sure I can repeat what I wrote earlier, so I'm not). I'm finding it harder and harder to post to wordpress blogs. Especially from Edge (and IE is so freaking slow now, it's frustrating!). We'll see if this posts.

Oh wait, I do remember the most important thing I wanted to tell you. LinkedIn may be a valuable networking tool, too. Used to be people could find jobs that way. Does it still work? I don't know. I haven't been on LinkedIn in years. Had no use for it after I lost my last job.
Angela Brown said…
Keeping your resume up to date - that has been key for me.

The company I currently work for has shown signs of appreciation for those working in the physician positions or those in the upper echelon. For those of us in the grunt worker positions, well, we're glad to have a job and sometimes are reminded of that when "restructuring" occurs.
Maria Zannini said…
BE: I know what you mean. My entire department was dissolved after I left. There's no one left to give me a reference.
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: That's very true. I'm partial to networking with people who work with the public. They've always been a wealth of information because they come across people from all walks of life.
Maria Zannini said…
Stacy: I've always felt disillusioned by LinkedIn ever since they started sending me 'fake' invitations from people I know aren't on LinkedIn.

I've read that they're famous for bait and switches. Who knows how many people they've sent my name out as a LinkedIn member.
Maria Zannini said…
Angela: That reminds me of the orthopedic surgeon I used to see. He got prison for inappropriate behavior with patients. It's bad enough he threw away a promising career just to cop a feel, but he ruined the livelihoods of all the people working for him. He had dozens of office workers, physical therapists, and nurses working in his office. All those poor people were out of a job because of his fetishes.

On the same token, I worked in a large department and we had a custodian who oversaw the building. I was shocked at how some people talked behind his back. In reality he was a great guy and good friend. Every year I bought him a nice Christmas gift. He was my equal in every respect and I genuinely thought he was one of the smarter people in the entire building. I never judge people by the uniform they wear.
LD Masterson said…
Being retired, this isn't a problem for me anymore, but I will offer one suggestion. If you have any advanced warning, transfer all personal stuff from your work complete to your home PC or a flash drive and delete it. Also, make sure you have all those nice contacts you've been developing stored somewhere that goes with you.They won't do you any good sitting on your work PC after you've gone. As an former IT person, I can tell you a lot of people don't think to do this before someone pulls the plug on their work computer access.
Maria Zannini said…
Linda: True. True. I knew I was retiring two months before I told anyone. I slowly and methodically deleted any personal emails, and backed up my flash drive with every bit of information I might need--just in case I decided to go back to work.