It started off as any other Wednesday, but I soon realized the day was not going to be the normal grind. Today is the day I would be losing my job. Co-workers grouped together in the far corners of the office and spoke in hushed tones. They occasionally pointed to various cubicles with solemn gazes before glumly looking down at the floor and shaking their heads. As the day grew older, the groups grew larger as more staff members learned the news. Before too long, nearly everyone in the office had received their fate. Gatherings migrated to the local pubs to support one another and nurse their sorrows. After learning I would be losing my job, perhaps I should join them for a drink!
Have you ever been laid off? Losing my Job was an Unexpected Shock!
It’s common to think that only those who don’t meet expectations are the first ones to go, but the grim reality is that anyone, regardless of their standing or track record of success, is susceptible.
Steve Jobs was famously fired from the company he founded! I’ve seen the folks let go from the world-class, industry-leading teams they built, and ultimately it’s the way of the world. Businesses will forever operate in their best interests, and tough decisions are a part of playing the game.
But what can you do to prepare for that moment before it happens? How can you stay ahead of the curve? How can you see imminent change before it hits you? It’s easy to get comfortable in a role and to feel like you’re good enough to rest easy each night. The truth is that if you are not continually reinventing yourself and making time to grow your skills, that your ticket could be punched when you least expect it.
There are standard and unsurprising practices for keeping yourself ready for new opportunities. These items have been the gold standard for generations and have proved effective over the years:
- Keep your resume/ LinkedIn information updated
- Stay in touch with your extended network
- Stay up to date on your licenses and certifications
What you may not know is that these habits alone may not be enough to get you back on your feet in today’s industries. The world today is changing at a faster pace than ever before. Efficient and minimal-downtime robots are taking over the jobs of factory workers. Computers are now able to do the basic work of engineers while software coders are programming machines that can create their own software. Cars are on the brink of driving themselves, and a continually decreasing percent of the population still files their taxes with a human accountant each Spring. Needless to say that this is only the beginning of a new age of digital innovations that will continue changing the face of workforces everywhere.