Money on Your Mind: Preparing for layoffs during a recession

11 years ago, America suffered one of the worst recessions in history leading to the loss of more than eight and a half million jobs.

Now, with economists once again warning of a possible recession, workers are starting to wonder: Is it time to polish that resume?

In today’s Money On Your Mind, FOX 46’s Diana Alvear sits down with a career coach to help you recession-proof your job.

“When you are not necessarily fully engaged, it is noticed by management,” says Blair Lee, a holistic career coach in Charlotte.

“Unfortunately it could make you more susceptible to being laid off if you’re not shown to have that passion in what you’re doing.”

Lee says if you’re not engaged at work, it’s time to figure out why.

“Look at where you are as opposed to where you want to be. Are you on the right path in your career? Are you on the track you were expecting to be on? Or have you kind of veered a little bit. And is that a good or bad thing?”

In other words, now that you’re assessing your current job situation, it’s also time to make changes or brush up on skills that will give you a competitive edge. The economic uncertainty could be the perfect motivator to push you to pursue what you really want.

Next, get social starting with LinkedIn.

“A lot of recruiters don’t even look at resumes, they go through and search LinkedIn to see who might be a good candidate,” says Lee. “So it’s in everybody’s best interests to make sure that your profile is up to date, you’ve got a nice smiling picture, that looks kind.”

Don’t forget to include words that will make it easier for recruiters to find you. It’s what’s known as SEO (search engine optimization). Lee says having the right words will allow you to become a top candidate in searches.

Have expertise you can share? Write posts that offer advice or insight in your industry to present yourself as a resource.

“And you want to make sure you’re active on LinkedIn as well. Not just set and forget but again, actually going on there and interacting with people, providing value, whatever insight you may have about career.”

Sorry introverts, you also have to socialize in real life. Fortunately, Lee says the Queen City is tailor-made for networking and creating new connections.

“Charlotte is such a transient area. There are so many people moving here, wanting to get to know new people and meet new people and grow their networks. It’s an easy place to without having to go out of your way to get out there and meet new people.”

What if you DO get laid off? Lee says the preparation you do now will pay off as opposed to spending hours applying for jobs online. She says beware of spending too much time on online employment sites.

“It is the resume black hole,” she says. “80 percent of jobs posted aren’t real jobs. So keep that in mind and for that reason, you do not want to spend 80 percent of your time applying to jobs online. The other statistic shows that of the hires that are made by companies, 80 percent of them are through networking, sphere of influence, etc. They’re not even through the job postings.”

Finally, there’s no way around it – unemployment is tough and often demoralizing. You will have some very hard days, but as hard as it gets, Lee says it’s absolutely crucial to get out of the house and keep up your health.

“If you go sit in your house and you lament that no one’s hiring or whatever, you’re just going to dig yourself into a deeper hole. Really it’s just getting around people, even if you’re an introvert, it’s finding those things you like to do and surrounding yourself with those people to uplift you. I mean it’s hard but that mindfulness, that meditation and yoga, is a wonderful thing and it works. There’s a reason why people do it.”

So work on your network, ready that resume and stay positive. You’ll be better off no matter what happens. If you think it’s time to revamp your professional image or resume, you can find contact information for Blair Lee on Diana Alvear’s Facebook page. You also will find a free worksheet that focuses on the four main areas jobseekers should work on when looking for employment