Companies have already started layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts. There is so much uncertainty and you may be feeling very anxious about the possibility of losing your job. So how do you handle career planning during a crisis like the one we are currently living through? 

By being proactive and intentional. All the same job search and career management activities that normally apply, apply now. The only thing that has changed is you need to think and plan more defensively – control spending, cut costs and start to craft your plan B should you face a job change. Make your budget work for you.

First things first – focus on your job at hand. Do not be paralyzed; be productive. Over-communicate with colleagues, clients and your management team. Remote work takes a little extra effort. Take time to connect and keep your manager in the loop. You want to be seen and heard and relevant right now.

Start with the basics – dust off your resume and clean up your LinkedIn profile. Everyone is online right now and facing the same need to dig deep to keep business moving and/or needing to network in order to find employment. Make sure you are active on LinkedIn! 

You can work on updating your resume and LinkedIn profile at the same time. Your resume will need to be targeted for specific jobs if you find yourself job hunting, but get the basics updated and use LinkedIn to add depth and dimension that a resume can’t provide. 

Take stock – assess your skills. Clearly define what you are best known for, your top skills and areas of expertise. Make your LinkedIn summary about that and not just your current job title. Focus on transferable skills.

Key competencies are what all applicant tracking systems (ATS) use to flag candidates. Key word searches by skills are how recruiters find you on LinkedIn. Your top 50 skills section of your LinkedIn profile will get you endorsements for your skills. 

Remember, in times of uncertainty, the best thing is to be proactive to combat fear and focus on controlling what you can. Think of doing these activities as cleaning out your career closet. You are taking advantage of this time to be better organized and prepared. 

My Virtual Program, Her Career Catalyst, meets every 2nd Wednesday at 6:30 pm CT. This month we’re talking about time management and maintaining balance. Need some help in those areas? Come join us! https://bit.ly/2JqMFOr

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Christine Horstman
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