Lessons to Learn From Involuntary Job Separation

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<strong>Boston &mdash; March 4<br /></strong>More employees in the workforce today have experienced an involuntary job separation &mdash; as part of a cost reduction or reorganization, unsatisfactory performance, poor fit for the job or interpersonal reasons. With layoffs and announced cutbacks increasing so far this year over 2007, it&#39;s important that people learn some critical lessons from a separation so they can readily pick themselves up and gain new employment as quickly as possible, according to ClearRock, an outplacement and executive coaching firm headquartered in Boston.<br /> <br />&ldquo;For whatever reason an employee is released, most never see it coming,&rdquo; said Annie Stevens, managing partner with ClearRock. &ldquo;An involuntary separation can be particularly difficult to get over if it isn&#39;t part of a cost reduction or other organizational reason and is related to one&#39;s performance, capabilities or personality.&rdquo;<br /> <br />ClearRock recommends employees learn these lessons from an involuntary job separation:<br /> <br /><ul><li><strong>A job is not a career. </strong>&ldquo;A job is comprised of the duties you perform and the responsibilities you have for a particular employer. Your career, however, is the sum of all the jobs you have held, your accomplishments with these employers, your educational achievements and your acquired learning. Jobs come and go, and the average employee can expect to be involuntarily displaced several times during his or her career,&rdquo; said Stevens.</li><li><strong>Performance matters.</strong> &ldquo;Indications of unsatisfactory job performance, such as mediocre or worse performance evaluations, should be warning signs that everything is not well, and your job security may be in jeopardy,&rdquo; said Greg Gostanian, managing partner with ClearRock.</li><li><strong>You may not have seen these potential warning signs</strong> that your job was in trouble:</li><ul><li>Your supervisor and other colleagues didn&#39;t make direct eye contact with you as often as they once did.</li></ul><ul><li>You failed to achieve the one or two most important tasks you were hired or promoted to do.</li></ul><ul><li>People in other departments knew more about what was going on in your area than you did.</li></ul><ul><li>You stopped being invited to important meetings or being consulted about future plans.</li></ul><ul><li>You were discouraged from traveling or joining trade associations.</li></ul><ul><li>You ignored your own potential professional and personal shortcomings.</li></ul><li><strong>Keep your career network up to date. </strong>&ldquo;You must always be prepared if something unexpected should happen in your career. Keep your resume updated, stay in touch with people you may need to network with if unemployed, and continually make new potential networking contacts at trade associations, community meetings and other events,&rdquo; said Stevens.</li><li><strong>Don&rsquo;t rush into a search for a new job if you&rsquo;re displaced.</strong> &ldquo;Consider not only what you can do for a living, but what you want to do as well. If performance-related reasons for your being released were a factor, you may need to update your skills, change your attitude or try to transfer your experience to a career for which you are better-suited,&rdquo; said Gostanian. </li></ul>

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