When Times are Tough - Page 2
As well as awareness, preparedness is also important. If the unthinkable happens, how ready are you to start a job search? How many of us have an updated resume, ready to go? Probably not as many of us as should. Having a presentation ready, updated resume, makes you more marketable, more quickly. If you think there is a good chance of a layoff, talk to employment agencies that specialize in IT recruitment and find out where the jobs are and what skills employers are looking for. You should also register with online job sites such as monster.com. Many of these sites allow a resume to be stored online without actually activating it. If you don't need to take the step of activating it, great. If you do, its there ready and waiting should you need it.
If you are unfortunate enough to get laid off, and you find yourself in between jobs, use the time wisely. Learn new skills and perhaps take new certifications or even just use the time to bring your existing ones up to date. Not only is this a good use of time, it keeps you in the loop and shows potential employers that you are still interested in developing skills and knowledge. Remember the things that got you into your first IT job? They still apply when you are looking for a subsequent position.
For all of us, the most important thing to remember is this. We work in one of, if not the, fastest moving and dynamic industries there is. But in the same way as any other industry we are subject to the whims and waves of the economy. Reminding ourselves of our disposability, and being prepared for the event should it happen are key career survival skills. It's no different in IT than in any other career field.
Drew Bird (MCT, MCNI) is a freelance instructor and technical writer. He is the author of a number of books including the IT Careers Guide published by Coriolis. Drew has been working in the IT industry for over 12 years and currently lives in Kelowna, BC., Canada..