Six Strategies For Dealing With Unexpected Job Termination
With over 15 million people unemployed in the USA in late 2009, many people have been faced with unexpected job termination. It is a very rare situation when it is welcome news to learn you are unemployed, but in some circumstances the situation may result in opening a new door of opportunity.
Opportunities for new careers, training, retraining, and career counseling are likely available within the resources of your state or county, local colleges or workforce centers. Sometimes we just need to be reminded to look for new options. This article provides six strategies that people can consider to help cope with unexpected job termination.
- File and Freshen. In the face of sudden employment, of course the first step of self-preservation is to register for unemployment. However we must remember not to stop there. Instead, individuals with initiative will want to immediately begin looking for opportunities to refresh their skills, update their resume and interview skills even while beginning their job hunt.
- Upgrade or New Direction. If you have been searching for jobs for a few weeks and are not having luck finding a new position, it may be an opportunity to consider a career upgrade or new career direction. The state or county Workforce Centers, or One Stops, as they are often called, will have career advising services which may assist in such valuable roles as career aptitude testing, and career preferences evaluations. You might also consider whether your career aspirations and goals have shifted since you were last hired. Maybe this is a chance for significant change of direction. If career change seems promising, there are many resources for retraining.
- Outlooks on Occupations. Occupational profiles, demands and salaries are listed in an easily searchable database at Occupational Outlook Handbook (see link in resource list below). Using this online resource you can explore the occupations which have surfaced as you moved through the previous steps. In addition, be sure to access not just national statistics, but also statewide and county data which are linked to this same resource.
- Short-term Retraining. Watch out that you are not deceived by the myth of lengthy retraining. Many people may be concerned that retraining is a lengthy process. Instead, workplace experts suggest that adults pursue short term certifications (30-day to 6 month certifications) due to the rapidly changing economy and workplace demands. Consider the opportunity that awaits you to upgrade your skills or enter a new field with just 1-2 months of certification before immediate placement in the workplace to see if the career is what you really enjoy. At this point, one has a much better vantage point to make an informed choice about pursuing degree study, if needed, to further advance a new career.
- Qualified Programs. The OCO and state databases will also link job seekers to training programs related to each occupation. It is important to verify that the program you investigate will fulfill any possible requirements for a state based extension of your unemployment. (Please note that this option is not available in all states.) In New Jersey, for instance, traditional unemployment benefits may be extended up to 6 months for continuing your education in a qualifying educational program: specific bachelor’s degrees or high demand trade degrees. In most states which offer this extension, it is not an automatic extension. Instead, unemployed people must meet with a counselor, apply for this benefit, and wait for approval.
- VA Opportunities. If the job seeker is a military veteran, check with the veterans’ administration to see what benefits are available to support your job hunt and/or retraining. Basic veterans’ educational benefits are substantial, but there are new benefits which have recently been made available. Check your your local VA office and also the online resources listed below.
For more information about this topic you may want to visit the following websites.
Certified Coach, Author, Keynote Speaker, Professor of Education
Dr. King is a dynamic, interactive keynoter, and author who invigorates audiences on a variety of professional topics. From coping with changes in the workplace, to navigating organizational demands, developing leadership, meeting the needs of 21st century learners, and distance learning, she is always “Helping Professionals Reach Their Dreams.” Contact Kathy to discuss speaking engagements, coaching and consulting services.