It's tough out there. People are losing their jobs every day. No one is immune (except maybe people who work from home). Not teachers nor truck drivers. Layoffs can affect everyone. Even you. You never know when your company might tell you to hit the road.
That's why it's important to stay flexible in your career. There was a time not that long ago when people find a job and stick with it for their entire careers. People would work the same job decades. And why not? Times were different; companies were loyal to their employees.
Those days are gone. Today companies don’t think twice about letting go of some employees to save a few dollars or please their investors. Heck, even some of the country's oldest and most-respected companies have made headlines recently for letting go longtime employees.
It’s sad, really. And it might make you feel like you have no control over your career. But the truth is, you do. IF you stay flexible.
But what does that mean, "Stay flexible" ?
Well, it means three things, really.
First, it means that you should always be open to new possibilities. Even if you've worked in one industry or one job for a decade, you should be open to taking a job in another industry. Been an English teacher your entire career? Great, you've got a lot of skills that can pay off (big time) in other industries—sales, public relations, journalism and work from home jobs, for example. Think about it. You've got options, if you’re open to them.
Second, it means you have to know what else is out there. Take a little time from every now and then to peruse online job boards. Search jobs that require the skills you currently use in your career. You’ll be surprised how many different options you have.
Third, it means being ready to roll when (or if) you get laid off. Have a backup plan. Start implementing it now. Get your resume ready. Start making contacts in other industries. Because when the time comes and you need them, you’ll be glad you planned ahead.