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My company is going to close -- what should I do now?

Career Exploration The Hiring Process The Local Job Market Job Training Success on the Job

Question: I’ve heard rumors that my company is going to close. I haven’t done a job search in years, and I’m scared. What can I do now, while I’m still employed, to make it easier? Answer: You’ve already taken one good step by finding the Frederick County Workforce Services (FCWS) website and asking the Career Coach. Congratulations! Be sure to click on the Job Seekers button to see all the resources we have available for your job search; also, check the News and Events link to see the schedule for our seminars. Next step: think seriously, starting right now, about what you want to do in your next job. Ask yourself this question: “Suppose my current job lasts for another ten years?” I know you think it won’t, but if it does, is that a good thing? If it doesn’t, would you really like another one just like it? Or would you be happier in a different job, or even in a totally different field? Please give this some serious thought. If your current job isn’t perfect, now is the time to think about where you’d like to go and how to get there. Life is too short to spend it at a job you hate. The answer to that question will shape your next steps. You’ll want to expand your network of business and personal contact people. Studies show that about 75% of job seekers find their jobs by networking, by just talking with people. (If you want more information on networking and how to do it, come to our “Networking Works” seminar; see the News and Events link on for the next date and time.) It’s also a good time to update your résumé (or start writing it, if you don’t have one.) Think about your most recent accomplishments that might be of interest to a new employer. Even if your job doesn’t end soon, this is a worthwhile project. Not only do you not necessarily know when you’ll find yourself out on the street; you also never know when the perfect opportunity will arise. What you do know is that when it does, your résumé will probably be needed in very short order. If you’ve updated it in the last six months, it’s fairly easy to add your latest achievements and news. But if it’s been ten years since you wrote it last, it’s going to take some time. You can come to our “Résumés and Applications” seminar to learn the current trends, and get your résumé critiqued by a Certified Professional Résumé Writer at the “Résumé Clinic.” Another useful thing you can do right now is to start researching companies. Talk with friends and family members about their companies (there’s that networking thing again.) Do some of their places sound like a good place for you? Maybe they can introduce you to their acquaintances in the field you’re interested in. Get on the Internet too, and check out company websites. Knowledge is power. Most of all, keep an open mind about all the possibilities a new career might offer you. Use your support system, including FCWS. Try to view the layoff, if it comes, as an opportunity rather than a catastrophe. It might be a chance to change your life for the better.