What Do You Do When You’re Out of a Job?

I recently received a call from the President of a firm with whom I worked as a consultant for a teambuilding project. After many years in the upper levels of management and at an age where employment is most difficult, his position was eliminated. He was perplexed as to what he might now do. His desire is to continue being productive in the work place but opportunities appear to be limited.

Unfortunately, this scene is repeated many times each day with men and women of ages much younger than my former client. In some cases, there are better or equal opportunities for re-employment. In others, workers struggle to survive. The competitive nature of business has produced a cynical workforce and an insecure future for many workers. It’s a tough world!

What can a productive worker over fifty do when he or she finds themselves out of a job? To help the executive from my former client, I offered the following questions for him to answer. If you find yourself in a similar situation or to be better prepared should this occur in the future, why not go through the exercise of answering these questions? The data generated just might make you see your true value or potential weakness.

 

  1. What strengths do I bring to prospective employers that would enhance their effectiveness?
  2. Do I want to go in business for myself or do I need to work for someone else?
  3. What do I truly enjoy doing and what fields offer me job opportunities where I would be doing what I truly enjoy? (This can be an entirely new direction)
  4. Examine every facet of your career. List every position you’ve held and what you did in those positions. Search through the list for the most viable skills used during each phase of your career. What industries, businesses, or fields do I qualify to work in? What positions might I hold?
  5. Develop a narrative stating why you would make the ideal employee because you possess those skills. If you wish to become self-employed, why would someone hire a person with your skills?
  6. Can I take my experience and skills to the competition?
  7. How much do I need to work to survive financially? Forty hours per week?  Twenty?
  8. Do I have other business experiences, hobbies, skills that would be useful in an entirely new career? What fields would that be?
  9. Is there someone with whom I might partner in a business venture?
  10. Ask a trusted friend what they think you might do. Then, make a list of every person you know that might help you find employment. Start working the list.
  11. Do I have the tenacity to make things happen in my life? How is my attitude about myself and the possibilities of finding just the right job at my age?

 

Desiring to be productive when options appear to be few can be discouraging. But rather than wallowing in your own pity, pick yourself up and check out your value. This exercise just might prove to be the beginning of a whole new adventure in your life.

 

Billy Arcement, MEd is a Professional Speaker, Leadership Strategist and President of The Results Group. He wrote the book, Searching for Success, now internationally published. He co-authored, Journeying on Holy Ground—Christian Strategies to Reach Your Personal, Professional, and Spiritual Destiny.   ©2012. All rights reserved. Use by permission.