Practicing Career Hedging? Jittery Job Market

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<strong>New York &mdash; Feb. 11</strong><br />The wild swings in the stock market coupled with already announced job cuts have made it clear that no one is completely safe in their current job no matter what industry they are in. &ldquo;The employment climate on Wall Street is edgy, to say the least,&rdquo; said Robert Graber, founder of, &ldquo;but this unrest also creates an environment where savvy professionals in any field can position themselves as forward thinkers who are too valuable to lose.&rdquo;<br /><br />Graber notes that market gyrations are valuable career wake-up calls, reminding us to avoid complacency. &ldquo;No matter what your professional game plan is &mdash; to weather the storm in place or to seize the moment to move ahead &mdash; you must take some action now.&rdquo;<br /><br />Graber suggests you think like you have just been let go. &ldquo;Getting &lsquo;axed&rsquo; is such an unpleasant scenario that people push it out of their minds,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;but it can help in creating and refining an &ldquo;axe-tion&rdquo; plan as well.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;What missed corporate goals or deficiencies suddenly jump to mind?&rdquo; Graber asked. &ldquo;What would you do to correct them? Are there any efficiencies that you would suggest? Use these as a way to formulate productivity and cost-savings strategies that you can bring to management. If you are serious about remaining with your current firm, you should be thinking of ways to increase your standing as a bottom-line conscious individual.&rdquo;<br /><br />Graber also suggests you use the hypothetical firing as the basis for some what-if planning and the creation of an &ldquo;axe-tion&rdquo; list just to be safe:<br /><br /><ul><li>Do you have enough savings to carry you for at least six months of unemployment?</li><li>Is your resume up-to-date and are your references current?</li><li>Do you have copies of favorable performance reviews?</li><li>Is your network of contacts viable? Have you contacted them for any reason in the last two months or so? Is your network list on your personal Blackberry or iPhone and recently backed up? </li><li>Have you maintained contact with your college/grad school alumni association?</li><li>Are you a member of your industry/trade association?</li></ul><br />&ldquo;The job market is cyclical,&rdquo; Graber explained, &ldquo;And we have seen these types of corrections before. You can seize this moment to enhance your stature at your firm and make your case for indispensability while also being cautious and preparing for the worst. It&rsquo;s the basis of hedging.&rdquo;<br />

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