If You Get Your Marching Orders?
|By Mark Keith, HVS Executive Search
This article first appeared in HOTEL Asia Pacific
You get the call from the director of human resources, and your stomach sinks. "Thanks for all your great work for the company," she says. "But, things being the way they are, we have to let your go. I'm sure you understand."
Most people, when they lose their job, are traumatised. The shock, coupled with fear and anxiety, leaves them feeling vulnerable and hurt, and often shatters their confidence to look ahead with certainty.
But, today, it's a harsh fact of life that you could be laid off - and it's something you should plan for so that, if it happens, you will be ready to view it as an opportunity rather than a disaster.
A sound basic rule is that it is easier to find a new job when you already have one but, if you do find yourself unemployed, it's a lot easier to cope if you have already planned for the eventuality.
"Coping" usually boils down to having funds available to manage the crisis, and having thought about your course of action in this "what-if" scenario.
Rather than taking an "it can't happen to me"
attitude, you should start organising your "disaster contingency plan"
now - just in case the unthinkable happens to you.
Allocate a portion of your personal financial portfolio to your disaster fund, allowing for at least six months' rent and living expenses. Select in advance a handy bolt hole - a comfortable and affordable location to regroup and recharge your batteries while looking for a new job.
With such a back-up plan in place, it is less stressful to consider the various courses of action and to plan accordingly. It also allows you the luxury of choosing carefully your next career move.
Unfortunately, a career downward spiral often happens when a poor choice is made during times of desperation or stress. This can lead to a catastrophic career event getting even worse and developing into a career meltdown, destroying in one cruel, fell swoop all the previous successful years.
Almost as bad as losing your job is being stuck in the wrong job.
As many readers are probably all too aware, good jobs can turn bad, a new boss can turn a dream job into a nightmare or a particular position might be leading you nowhere.
Whether you find yourself jobless, stuck in a
dead-end rut or contemplating your next move, it is essential that you
take a strategic approach to planning your career.
When asked about their career plans, many hoteliers respond in terms of merely "the next step", "the next promotion", or "the move to a company that offers a more favourable career opportunity".
When questioned about how they envisage the next 10 years, a common answer is: "Well, let's take one step at a time".
This usually indicates a lack of strategic career
planning, which is underscored by many of the thousands of resumes that
have passed over my desk over the years.
Career positioning contains all the elements of a good marketing strategy. Here are some guiding principles:
The last word goes to a successful executive on the secret of his success: "If you want to get run over by a train, you have to be on the railway tracks".
Mark Keith, MD of HVS Executive Search based in Hong Kong, has more than 25 years’ experience in international human-resource management, including senior positions with the Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels, Holiday Inns Worldwide, Mandarin Oriental, Inter-Con-tinental and Hilton.
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