Managing Your Career in a Difficult Economy

Here’s some food for thought as we navigate through these difficult times.


The sobering developments at Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual, Wachovia, AIG, and UBS have served as a catalyst for many to examine their current work situations and future career management strategies. Here’s some food for thought as we navigate through these difficult times.

Make sure you have electronic copies of your previous performance reviews.

While you’re at it, ensure your letters of recommendation and non-proprietary samples of your work are also backed-up. These documents will prove invaluable when you update your resume and other personal marketing collateral. The input from your supervisors and clients can help you build an accomplishment-focused resume with a clear value proposition.

Audit your online identity.
Do a Google search on yourself by putting your full name in quotes and review the results. Would it be easy for a hiring manager or recruiter to find you online? What type of information is reported about you? If you don’t exist on Google, or are hard to find online, consider creating online identity profiles on tools such as LinkedIn, ZoomInfo and Ziggs. And be sure to update your bio on Ladders.

Organize and reconnect with your contacts.
Start examining your rolodex and consider using electronic contact management systems such as Jibber Jobber to begin developing an efficient, systematized strategy for reconnecting with contacts.
Be responsive to recruiters.
Rather than feeling like “fresh prey” acknowledge the situation as a possible win-win for both you and the recruiter. Even if you are not the right fit for their open opportunity, you may be able to help them fill their pipeline for other positions. By building the relationship now, you are more likely to be considered for relevant openings in the future.
Get your finances in order.
Examine your fixed and variable expenses and if necessary, make decisions regarding your assets. Consider hiring a financial advisor to help you make the right decisions.
Schedule appointments with healthcare providers.
Take care of basic check ups now while you can still count on your benefits coverage.
Maintain open communications with your family.
It’s important to be transparent about what is going on in your industry or company, even with young children. Explain your situation in an age-appropriate, non-threatening way; both teenagers and small children are able to make small sacrifices when they understand a situation.
Buddy up with someone who truly understands your situation.
Whether it is a colleague, friend, mentor, spouse, support group, or career professional, try to create a dialogue with someone who can share your concerns, offer advice, and act as an advocate for your career goals.