August 27th, 2008 | 6:00 am

Ask-A-Recruiter: In Crisis Mode, You Still Need Career Planning

filed under Ask A Recruiter

Contributed by Caroline Ceniza-Levine of SixFigureStart

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I just got laid off so I’ve been applying to as many jobs as I see posted or hear about, but none of them seem quite right. Can I afford to wait for the right opportunity?

If waiting implies doing nothing until the exact dream job arises, then, no, you cannot afford to wait. But even when you are laid off and in need of another job quickly, applying to everything in sight isn’t a good strategy either. You might think that stepping back and taking time for career planning is a luxury. In fact, career planning is a necessity that can both minimize current harm and prevent future damage. In a time- urgent situation, such as a job loss, career planning needs to balance coping with the present while building a foundation towards the future.

Time. You need time for your search –to think about your next moves, to research ideas, to follow up on leads. You also need time for self-care during this bewildering and sometimes frustrating situation. Your career plan should also include planning your future time. Calculate your severance, savings and other means of support to see exactly how much time you have. Then, schedule search time, self-care, and planning into your calendar.

Money. You need money to invest in supplies, networking events, training, and research. You also need to stretch your money over the length of your unemployment. Your career plan should also address money issues of your future job — compensation requirements, your market value in today’s market. Adjust your budget to account for your new reality – your need to save and buy time, but also your need to invest in your search. Calculate how much you could bring in with temp or consulting work, and factor that into your time and money plans if that is a feasible option.

Energy. You will be pulled in different directions – research, interviews, networking, getting by day-to-day. You need to prioritize what to do and when. Your career plan should also address your future priorities, playing to your strengths of when you are most energetic and productive. Block out the challenging parts of your search when you know you are most productive.

Emotions. You need to stay motivated, be focused, and remain patient. Your career plan should also incorporate your emotional needs for your next job — what gets you excited to get up in the morning? Schedule down time to stay in tune with your emotions and give you a chance to refresh.

You control your time, money, energy and emotions – use them all. Harness all of your resources to plan for your future job and get through your current situation.

Unexpected career crisis? Work with former recruiters who know what employers want, with personalized, 1:1 coaching from SixFigureStart. Contact Caroline Ceniza-Levine at 212-501-2234 or [email protected] for a complimentary coaching consultation.

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