Career Trends: Been laid off? Create a new future!

5 min read

Edition: July 10th, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

If you have been laid off or your growth has stopped, here are some ways to create your new future. (Image Credit: Getty)

The pandemic, rapid adoption of digitisation and changing business models have divided professionals into haves and have-nots.

The ‘haves’ are on the fast track for growth like a software developer whose career has taken off with the increased demand for her skills from both new and traditional companies. 

The ‘have-nots’ are unable to find jobs or have got poor increments or have no promotions to look forward to. Like a customer service executive or a machine operator whose jobs have been replaced by chatbots and automation.

If you have been laid off or your growth has stopped, here’s how you can create your new future:

1. Highlight your Marketable Skills

  • The first thing you need is marketable skills on your resume.
  • These are skills that are easily understandable, measurable, acquired through education or experience, that you can put on your resume or LinkedIn profile. List your marketable skills.
  • Now identify your skill gap. Look at postings on job boards and LinkedIn profiles of similar but successful people.
  • If you have a basic working or theoretical knowledge, put it on your resume and accept a lower-paying job to gain experience.

2. Develop Valuable Transferable Skills

  • Transferable skills are skills that you can develop, i.e., communication, problem-solving and teamwork. These are more valuable and guarantee greater opportunities and growth but are tough to measure.
  • Assess the Linkedin stories you share about yourself and what others share about you. This exercise will take time and effort. 
  • Ask someone else who has interviewed people or led a team, to share their thoughts on your stories.
  • Prioritise these skills and stories as per the need of the role or promotion you seek, and practise telling them to an interviewer or your manager at appraisal time.

3. Re-evaluate your Journey and Goals

  • Skills are the steps to progress. To find the right direction you need three things — your goals, the journey and your enthusiasm.
  • Having an ambition and progressive milestones is critical because the growth in role and salary will show you whether your skills are marketable or not.
  • If you have failed, then either the market has changed and you need new skills or your learning has stagnated and you need to update your skills. 

4. Sort out your Workplace Preferences

  • If your journey is impossible, you will not reach your destination or even the first milestone.
  • From your past experience, make a list of people you loved working with and others you detested.
  • Similarly, list down workplace conditions that you liked or hated. Look for repeated patterns.
  • Make a list of all the features that make it impossible for you, including moving to certain geographies or working with certain managers, firms or industries.
  • Use this list to focus only on the roads you can travel. 

5. Keep your Motivation Levels High

  • Don’t run out of fuel for the journey. Your fuel comes from short and long term motivation, which lie in what interests you and what energises you.
  • To identify your interests, look at how you spend your free time, what you talk about, what tasks at office made you forget the clock and what roles you dream of.
  • To find what energises you, list down people and institutions you admire and respect. The values and missions common to them are what matter to you for long term motivation.
  • Use your interest and energy lists to decide on the industries and firms that work best for you. 

6. Increase your Chances of Getting Hired

  • EDUCATION: Formal education includes degrees and diplomas that you put on your resume and are relevant to your new goal. A full-time course with a good brand is the signal the job market prefers. 
  • CERTIFICATION: The next best thing to a degree/diploma is a certificate course. Offline and online courses include management programs or specialised skills. Prioritise based on brand and success of past students.
  • APPRENTICESHIP: The fastest and best learning comes from working under experts who like to mentor. They are usually found in firms specialising in delivering the related service. Sometimes the only way in is through an internship or an unpaid role. 
  • ON THE JOB: Create a learning opportunity within your own role and firm. Get a new project approved where you will learn and experiment with the new skill you need and deliver outcomes.
  • AT HOME: This requires self-learning and thus time and commitment. Study on your own and execute projects with the new skill — like a website/blog/ designs. Be ready to show your output and impress a decision-maker. 

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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