If Your Job Was Eliminated Tomorrow, Would You Be Prepared?

By Gerald Walsh ©

Scary thought, isn’t it? What would you do? Are you ready to launch a search for another job – one that (hopefully) would give you the same level of satisfaction and reward as your current job?

It might be time to start preparing for that right now. Just in case.

Here’s a checklist of 20 things you might consider:

1. Are you clear in your own mind, and can you describe to someone else, the sort of job you would be looking for?

2. Do you have some money set aside or could you trim your family budget so you could stay afloat for three or even six months while you found another job?

3. Are your skills up-to-date and marketable? Might this be the time to do some additional training?

4. If somebody asked you how your skills could be transferred to another job or industry, could you answer that question?

5. Can you describe the type of organization you would like to work for?

6. Is your resume up-to-date, including your current job?

7. Do you know how to write a cover letter that clearly conveys how you are qualified for a particular job?

8. Do you have a list of references, including their up-to-date contact information, ready to go?

9. Do you have an established social media presence, particularly with LinkedIn and Twitter, and do you actively participate with discussions and posts?

10. Do you have a well-developed network of contacts that you could immediately tap into?

11. Are you already a member of any professional or business associations to help with your networking?

12. Are you familiar with online job boards and how they work?

13. Do you know the recruiters in your area and their particular fields of expertise?

14. Would you be comfortable making cold calls to employers you might like to work for but may not know?

15. Are your interviewing skills well-polished? Are you prepared to answer difficult interview questions?

16. Do you know the technique for making a strong and favourable first impression in an interview?

17. Do you know the types of questions you can ask in an interview and the ones that will most impress the interviewer?

18. Can you confidently state your salary expectations and support this with credible external research for comparison?

19. Do you exercise regularly and live a healthy lifestyle? Are there other personal habits you can develop to help you through a stressful and perhaps prolonged job search.

20. And lastly, do you look good? Is your wardrobe and overall appearance appropriate for your age and industry?

Print this checklist as a PDF


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Gerald Walsh is an executive recruiter, career coach, public speaker and author. During a 25+ year career, he has interviewed more than 10,000 job candidates, completed hundreds of successful searches for a range of organizations and guided many individuals – from young professionals to senior executives – to successful career change. He is the author of “PINNACLE: How to Land the Right Job and Find Fulfillment in Your Career.” You can follow Gerry on Twitter @@Gerald_Walsh and LinkedIn.