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Prepared For A Job Change? 5 Strategies That Can Help

Prepared For A Job Change? 5 Strategies That Can Help

While the height of the financial crisis may be behind us, job layoffs are still making headlines these days. Companies including IBM, EBay, American Express, and Walmart have all had large-scale layoffs since the beginning of 2015.

As the Greek philosopher Herclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” My question to you is, are you ready for it?

Job security is an illusion in this day and age, and, as a career coach, I talk to many clients who’ve experienced this fact first-hand. A bull market becomes a bear; technology renders jobs obsolete; rock-solid clients move on.

Do you have a back-up plan if your employment situation should change suddenly? Here are 5 strategies that can help empower you on the job – whatever changes may come your way:

1. Stay Current With Your Network. Reaching out to your network on a regular basis, rather than only when you need them, will help create a reliable source of support and reference – especially if you need to make a job or career change. If you haven’t connected in a while, touch base with former bosses and co-workers, happy customers, colleagues from trade or volunteer organizations – anyone you consider to be a part of your network. Keeping in touch at least every four months helps to keep your network fresh.

[Related: Dramatic Career Change, Minus the Drama]

2. Keep Your Resume/ LinkedIn Up To Date. There’s tremendous power in having a resume that’s always ready to go, as well as a LinkedIn profile that’s complete and current – even if you don’t plan on leaving your job any time soon. The update process can help you take stock of what you do and do well, and, as a result, you’ll have a renewed level of confidence that’s beneficial whether you stay in your current job or suddenly need to start interviewing.

3. Promote Yourself. Many of my coaching clients feel as though they’re bragging if they promote themselves, or manage up within their office or beyond. While that’s understandable, informing managers and colleagues, both within and outside of your organization, of your accomplishments, with humble confidence, can open up new doors and plant seeds for future success. If you don’t tell them, they may never know. You are your own best PR agent!

4. Ignite Your Entrepreneurial Spirit. Regardless whether you have your own business or work for an organization, it pays to think like an entrepreneur. By staying relentlessly curious, on the cutting edge of best practices, and a passionate problem-solver – as entrepreneurs must routinely be – you strengthen your skills and marketability should you need to make a change.

[Related: The Career Risk You Don't Know You're Taking]

5. Become An Expert. When you get your name and ideas out into the world, you’re building a strong foundation beyond your current job/ place of employment. Write a blog, start your own You Tube channel, contribute articles to trade publications. Becoming known as an authority in your field can help open new doors if a job change is required.

I encourage you to expect the best, but be prepared for anything when it comes to job security. Having a growth or exit strategy in place can give you added confidence, as well as tremendous peace of mind.

Caroline Dowd-Higgins authored the book "This Is Not the Career I Ordered" now in the 2nd edition, and maintains the career reinvention blog of the same name. She is Executive Director of Career & Professional Development at the Indiana University Alumni Association and contributes to AOL Jobs, CNN Money, the British online magazine – The Rouse and More Magazine online. She is hosting and producing an online webisode series called: Thrive! about career & life empowerment for women. She hosts the international podcast series Your Working Life- on iTunes. Follow her on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.