Monday, April 6, 2009
Go with the Flow
If you are among the many who have found themselves laid off from a long-term job, be prepared to welcome change in the future. Companies that are laying off lots of employees are not just trying to limit their economic risk. They are trying to morph themselves into a more viable configuration for the future. In most cases, they will never bring back the same employees that they once considered essential. If they do engage in substantial hiring in the future, they will probably be looking for employees with different skill sets, and employees who will start at the bottom of the compensation ladder, rather than at the top due to seniority. Even now, there are firms and industries that are hiring, and you always have the option of handling your situation by starting up a venture of your own. Your best approach is to face your future as having great but different possibilities from the past. You should network with past associates, and monitor business and national/international news to identify trends toward new kinds of companies and jobs. If you are set to interview a new potential employer or a potential customer for your new venture, take advantage of modern technical capabilities to prepare yourself. In the old days, a smart job applicant would try to get a copy of the annual report for a company at which he was interviewing. Now, you can learn all about that company or potential customer through searching their name and key activities/products on the Web. Do all you can to walk in knowing something specific about the company so that you can engage in knowledgeable conversations with the interviewer. Being able to give them specific compliments about their business is a big plus. It shows your interest, and it gives them the feeling that you will be able to join the team without as much training expense as other candidates. It is a lot easier for potential employers and customers to communicate with people who already know something about their businesses, and it makes the meeting less awkward. There is an element of fear on the part of the employer, because there are many liabilities and hidden costs in selecting improper employees. If you search company information well, there will be more comfort in your interview, and the company's sense of "Stranger - Danger!" will be allayed.