Mary Katherine pulled into the parking lot and smoothly backed into the slot that had her name stenciled on the wall. She felt her job security was solid with the recent promotion to Marketing Director, which was working out better than expected. Her department respected her, and they were moving all the marketing projects on time or ahead of schedule. Life was good.
When she read the email this morning from John, her boss and VP of Marketing, asking her to meet him at 9:15 this morning, Mary Katherine figured he had another new project for her. Little did she know that the bottom was about to drop out of her world. He started the meeting cheerfully enough with lots of praise for her work and suddenly his tone changed to deadly serious.
John said the Board of Directors had decided to eliminate her entire department and outsource their activities to a west coast marketing agency. Talk about stunned. Mary Katherine’s head was spinning. What to say to her department staff? Where would she start to look for a job? She had been with the firm for 12 years.
The truth is job security does not exist. There are too many factors beyond your control. You alone are responsible for managing your career. Update your resume now because:
(1) A hastily crafted resume does not serve you well. Often people write about their current job rather than focusing on advancing their career to the next level. When you write in haste, you usually miss valuable achievements and improvements contributed during your tenure.
(2) If you have not updated your resume lately, you may not be positioned to take advantage of the changes in technology, new networking techniques, and social media that currently influences today’s resume writing, hiring practices, and job searching.
(3) Your resume is your personal marketing tool. Is it focused, branded and targeted towards your career goals? Have you crafted personal branding that represents you and what you have to offer clearly, succinctly, and compellingly?
If you have been in your job for any length of time, you have likely made valuable suggestions, expertly managed your responsibilities, received training for new business techniques, introduced new procedures or represented the business professionally to contribute to the bottom line. Most likely, you successfully communicate and interact professionally with your peers and associates. All of these experiences and attributes have value, they just have to be quantified, clarified and packaged to support your career objectives.
Consider the possible factors beyond your control — the economy, market shifts, company finances, payroll cutbacks/layoffs, changing customer demand, changes in business philosophy/management/leadership, changes in industry standards/laws, mergers/acquisitions/shutdowns, competitor encroachment, product obsolescence, etc. Need I go on? Where is the job security?
You should write or update your resume before you have an urgent need for one to create a document that best represents your attributes and accomplishments. This is not an easy or quick task. Even very accomplished people sometimes have trouble describing their own attributes and unique value proposition to hiring authorities. Keep in mind the resume is your “ambassador” when you are not present, it must stand out to get you the interview so that you can “sell” your unique value.
If you were faced with a sudden job loss, would you be prepared? I am Brenda Goburn Smith, Resume Writer and Career Strategist. I would be happy to help you clarify and package your gifts, talents and passions.