Preparing For The Worst In Your Career / Job Search

Last week I was unexpectedly taken to the emergency room and shorty after taken into surgery. I was not prepared. I remember thinking “these pajama bottoms don’t match my sweater… I really should change.”  But then I just didn’t care what matched what. It was time to go.

The time of preparation was OVER.

After surgery I was told how well I was progressing, which I’m guessing nurses tell you just so you feel good about yourself (positive psychology for quicker healing).  I thought that even though I had slacked off over time, my workouts were finally coming in handy.

It made me think what workouts I wish I would have done before I got laid off.  In other words, what could I have done to prepare for a layoff so that the time in transition would have been less, and the experience could have been less painful?  Here are my thoughts:

  1. Network.  I know, I know, everyone is going to say that.  But I mean really do it.  I had been talking to my dad for a couple of years about the networking that he should have done, and when I lost my job I sat down with a blank sheet of paper to list my contacts and I think I might have come up with six people.  I knew it but I didn’t do it.  Just like people know they should walk or do pushups or yoga or eat better, but they don’t do it.  And when the consequences come it is too late to try to do it all at once.
  2. Brand myself.  When I started my job search I was a complete “unknown.”  No one in my are knew who I was, and no one was talking about me to the right people.  I should have helped people understand who I was.  What was my story?  Why should they want to talk about me to others?  My branding strategy was non-existent, and it took over a year to figure out how to fix that.
  3. Prepare financially.  I had $1k savings in the bank. I celebrated that I had four figures in the bank.  Wow, what an accomplishment!  I got laid off on Monday and on Saturday both cars where in the shop.  Total bill?  $1,000. Now I had no savings.  Get serious about living below your income and putting money away for a rainy day.  You know it is going to come, why not seriously prepare for it?

I think those are my top three.  What would you add?

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