By Jon L. Ten Haagen, CFP ®
Last week we discussed a number of situations on how jobs were lost or became obsolete. Are you in that group? Is your job becoming obsolete being replaced by new technology or advanced products?
In last week’s article I overlooked another aspect of my changing careers. Once I became a ‘stock broker’ I thought about how I could stand out from all the other ‘stock brokers.’ Well, I heard about this field called financial planning and attended Adelphi to become a Certified Financial Planner. It was a lot of work and time, but I will not be lumped in with all in the financial field who call themselves a ‘financial advisor.’ It is not a designation and has no meaning. Certified Financial Planner has become the gold standard in the financial arena. Yes, sometimes it takes hard work, time and some cost to achieve your goals.
Usually when you lose a job it is unexpected, however, this could be the best thing to motivate you to review and learn. Without the push from losing your job, you might not have taken a look around at the changing times – and they are always changing. Now, with no paycheck, give yourself a little time to reflect on what happened and where you can start to evaluate what now. Look outside the box.
File for unemployment if it was not your fault you lost the job. Check with human resources department of the old company and see what your options are for continuing health care coverage (Cobra?) or getting new coverage. You need to be covered. They may have a division which helps ex-employees look for new employment.
Your retirement plan (401k, 403b, 457) needs to be addressed. Will you leave it where it is with the company or roll it to an Individual Retirement Plan? Be careful and study where the best choice is. This is a major part of what you will be living on down the road. Seek guidance from a financial professional.
A budget and balance sheet (what money is coming in and where is it going out to?) – this is something you should be doing periodically as things and circumstance change. Where can you cut back on expenses and which are necessary?
See what you look like on the internet? Go on Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and other sites to see how you are presented. Are there negatives? Address them and see how you can erase them. Are these things you want a recruiter to see and read? Be sure all your posts are on the positive side. LinkedIn is the site professional’s use. Make sure your ‘resume’ is clean, to the point and positive. Reach out for help.
Check job listings on line and in the papers. Find offerings within the areas you want to work in and that are a good fit for your talents. Make your job applications specific to the arena you are qualified for. Your letter should state why you should be hired, why you are the best choice for the job.
Think about what salary you want and what you can accept. Look at your interview attire. Is it dry cleaned and ready to go? Go on the internet and look for sites explaining interviewing skills. Practice your approach to the interview until you are comfortable with the possible questions to expect.
Don’t get discouraged if you do not get the first job – remember this was good practice for you to get better with each interview. Again, don’t get discouraged. Remember how many jobs Abe Lincoln was turned down from and how many elections he lost until he finally became one of the best, in my opinion, presidents of the United States.
If you would like to discuss this article or any other topic please call me at 631-425-1966 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.