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by Vault Careers | October 11, 2011


Professionals who are lucky enough to hold on to their jobs during the economic downturn may still feel their job is vulnerable to financial cutbacks.  It’s hard to ignore your gut.  If you are safe at the moment, but still have that uneasy feeling that future unemployment lies just around the corner, there are some steps that can be taken to ease the distress and help land a new job quickly.

Evaluate a move

A pending layoff is a good time to for professionals to take stock of their careers and evaluate where they want to work next if they have to change jobs. Potential job seekers need to assess their skills to decide where they should focus their next search and determine where their qualifications will be best suited, according to Kiplinger Washington.  For well-seasoned professionals, it may also be a good time to evaluate whether they want to become an independent consultant in their field and perhaps work for their current employer in a contract capacity.  Examine your options and after determining the right move for you, don’t second-guess it and just do it, as the saying goes. 

Update and Revive

Before any layoff, professionals should take the time to revive and update their resume to include their current job duties and showcase any newly learned skills.  Potential job seekers should also take the time to update or create their professional social media networking pages, including LinkedIn and Facebook.  But just don’t stick to those social media sites.  Look for niche sites that deal particularly with your industry or skill set.  You might find you have more luck going that route than being pooled together into such a large and diverse crowd of jobseekers. 


While not officially on the market, potential candidates need to increase their networking in order to make professional contacts who can help spread the word that they are looking for a new job.  You shouldn’t be surprised that people are still willing to help others find a job, especially if you have the skills necessary to help another company.  When someone says, “I can use a 100 of you at my company,” they may do so with a laugh, but chances are that if you explore that statement just a little bit, they actually mean it. 


Many people who have not had to search for a new job may not know their current market value. Professionals need to determine an appropriate salary for their level of work experience once they begin looking for another position. There are a number of websites and industry magazines that can offer insight into what the going market rate is for certain fields.  This way, if you are making below-market wages, you don’t just get offered a similar salary with no leverage to make a higher one.  You can argue that although you were making X amount of dollars, the going rate for someone in your position is Z dollars and therefore you feel you at least deserve Y dollars.  Arm yourself with as much intelligence as you can when looking for other jobs, because while you fear you might become unemployed soon, you’re not at the moment and still have some power to negotiate. 

Start looking

A survey by the National Employment Law Project found that a number of companies will only hire people who are currently working, so it only makes sense that people who feel as if they may be displaced soon should start looking for a new job while they are still working.  Potential candidates should start looking at job websites to determine who's hiring and what companies are looking for in terms of qualifications. It's a good way for professionals to test the market waters to see if they can avoid any downtime between jobs. 

--Published Courtesy of Brafton