By Brenda L. Peterson, The Layoff Lady
Preparing for a Positive Scenario
Many times, when we think of the idea of contingency planning, we’re making a backup plan just in case something bad happens. So far, I’ve shared articles on possible next steps in case your job unexpectedly ends, or you realize it’s time to leave a role.
Let’s look at a more positive scenario: an intriguing job opportunity presents itself.
An Opportunity Presents Itself
Even when you like your current company, position, or coworkers, sometimes you become aware of an opportunity that might be the right next step for you in your career. Here's what that might look like:
In each of these cases, you weren't actively looking for a new role. However, once you heard about the opening, you decided to find out more.
Opportunity readiness is a part of career resilience that may not always occur to us. When people are not actively job searching, sometimes they neglect to make new networking connections, keep in touch with people they know, update their LinkedIn, or update their resume. However, these are EXACTLY the things you should stay on top of in case something unexpectedly bad--or good--happens.
In this case, if you find out about an opportunity, you need to be ready to move quickly. Here are my recommendations for your top three focus areas.
Your resume is the main document potential employers want to see. Even if someone contacts you about an opening, you’ll need an up-to-date resume to be considered further. This document needs to summarize who you are as a candidate as well as your most relevant skills, work history, education, professional affiliations, and accomplishments.
Keeping your resume current is a crucial first step. Including details on your current role, adding newly earned credentials, and highlighting recently used skills can help you shine. Getting a resume out the door within a couple of hours can improve your chances of being seriously considered.
Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is your professional billboard to the working world. It is an all-purpose marketing tool where people can view information beyond your resume, see which other people and companies you may have in common, and read the content you share in your posts.
When people are gainfully employed, they often stop fine-tuning their profiles and interacting with their professional connections. Taking time to polish your LinkedIn profile and posting content on your areas of expertise is a way to remind people of you and your professional value. In fact, continuing to be active on LinkedIn may very well be why someone contacts you about what might be the perfect opportunity for you.
Your Work Samples
Your work samples, often called your portfolio, are a way to demonstrate the skills you mention in your resume or LinkedIn profile. These work samples should give the hiring team an idea of your process and finished product examples.
Creating a portfolio is not something that most people can quickly throw together. There are several steps, including identifying your overall portfolio goals, developing or selecting work samples, positioning each work sample to showcase your professional capabilities, and determining the technological aspects of how you might set up your portfolio. Since some employers may require a portfolio before seriously considering you for a role, pulling this together ahead of time and updating it as needed can help make you success-ready.
What Do You Think?
What do you think would prepare you to move quickly on an opportunity if one presented itself? Include your thoughts in the comments.
7-time layoff survivor Brenda L. Peterson, The Layoff Lady, waxes poetic on layoffs, job transitions, & career resilience.