As we all know, the recent economy has displaced a lot of workers from career paths on which they had been for many years. At one time, my town had a lot of mortgage professionals; these days, my town has a lot of former mortgage professionals. If you now find yourself in this situation, don’t be discouraged; there are several ways to move forward.
Find a similar position at a different company
If you enjoyed what you were doing and want to stick with it, you’ll need to make a list of target companies that are still hiring people who do what you do. If you work in an industry that’s been particularly hard hit with layoffs recently, it’s especially important to include quantifiable achievements on your resume. You’re going to be competing for a limited number of available jobs—along with a lot of other laid off candidates—so you’ll have to prove to employers that you’re the best thing around.
Transfer your skills to a similar position
Many workers with very specialized skills have found themselves out of work. For instance, my friends in academia are often competing with hundreds of other candidates for one tenure track position. However, professors can do much more than just teach. Many work for institutions that have required them to become proficient in online learning platforms—skills which transfer easily to corporate training departments. Professors with a science background can review scientific textbooks or research papers that require advanced, specialized knowledge. Most people are qualified to do multiple jobs—you just have to create multiple resumes that highlight the skills and experience applicable to each position.
Turn a hobby or interest into your job
Some displaced workers face the difficult reality that their jobs have been outsourced overseas or that they will have to relocate in order to do similar work. For many people, this crossroads can present an ideal time to start your own business. Let’s say you’re a realtor hoping to start a career in photography. Call up everyone you know and offer to take photos of their pets, their favorite beach, or their family members. They’ll have wonderful photos, and you’ll have a portfolio with which to showcase your skills. The key to taking your career in a very different direction is in proving to employers or potential customers that you have the chops to do the new job.
These are just a few of the possibilities for workers who find themselves displaced from their careers. With the right strategy, it IS possible to move forward!