Work-Laid Off in 2009, Now What?
The negative effects of the current economic slump have touched the lives of many top working professionals in the Middle East as well as their families throughout the past year.
According to the Bayt.com 2009 Job Situation in the Recession Survey, 65% of professionals in the Middle East feel insecure about their jobs and 59 % of professionals in the Middle East know someone who has recently lost their job.
Moreover, according to the same HR Survey, 43% of Middle East professionals (including top professionals holding top jobs in UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan and Morocco) belong to Middle East companies that have already experienced some degree of downsizing. It is true that the Middle East job market has been quite unsettled of late especially if you are one of the top professionals in banking jobs, finance jobs, real estate and property jobs or engineering and construction jobs who have found themselves looking for greener pastures of late, but as thorny as things may seem, being involuntarily unemployed does not have to translate into agony, lack of confidence or self-hatred. Change has never been trouble-free, whether it be on the personal or professional level and with the right post-layoff plan, the job search process can turn out to be less overwhelming and much more fruitful and even enjoyable than expected.
The below are 7 Top Tips from our Bayt.com Career Experts to make every working professional’s post-layoff plan both smoother and more effective.
Tip 1: Make sure you are fully comfortable with the fact that getting laid off is neither a disgrace nor a crime
Even the most seasoned and talented executives at some of the world’s most prestigious companies have not managed to maintain their roles during the globally mounting wave of layoffs. It’s not exclusively you, an enormous number of working professionals worldwide have been affected. As a matter of fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Current Population Survey” , the number of people in full-time employment in the United States fell by 6.1 million (5.0 percent) from 121.9 million to 115.8 million, between November 2007 and January 2009.
Tip 2: Weigh up your Finances
Calculate how long exactly your funds will allow you to stay out of a job. It is crucial for you to get that figured out early on in order to avoid surprises and unpleasant hurdles later on. Keep in mind that being on a budget does not have to be a punishment: view it rather as a provisional pre-emptive measure that will allow you to take more control of your personal and household spending for as long as you need. Whether you seek a job in Qatar, Kuwait, the KSA, the UAE or elsewhere in the GCC or Middle East bear in mind that it may take a while before you are firmly ensconced in your new role, especially if you are targeting the industries that have most retrenched, and in the meantime costs of living in the Middle East have not shrunk with your reduced income. The good news is that salaries in the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and elsewhere in the Middle East have not plummeted to date either according to the 2009 Bayt.com Middle East Salary Survey so when you do land your new job you may well be able to resume previous spending habits providing the role is in the same field and in a similar capacity.
Tip 3: Assess your Career Objectives
Would you consider your lost position a “job for life” kind of job vis-à-vis job responsibilities and scope of work? Would you consider your former company an “employer for life” kind of company vis-à-vis workplace culture and activity focus? Or do you reckon this is the long awaited opportunity for a radical career change? Take the time to perform a “Career Aspiration Analysis”: Undergo a couple of self assessment quizzes, (many good ones available on the Middle East’s #1 jobs site Bayt.com dissect every detail of every job task you enjoyed or resented, examine the set of exceptional skills that you possess and talk to everyone you know who holds a position of potential interest to you to learn about lateral move potential and what that would entail. Only once all the above has been accomplished, will you be in an ideal position to select your target employer niche and engage in an effective plan to achieve your chosen career goal.
Tip 4: Update your resume
You are now fully aware of the kind of job and the kind of employer that you wish to target. You also have an outstanding assortment of key skills that you need to highlight without a doubt. Reshuffle your resume with only one thing in mind: “I am the best candidate for this job and the best candidate for this company”! You know it, we know it, let the employer know it. Make it visible in your career objective statement, your career highlights and your list of skills… Be Remarkable, show that you add value and let your CV stand out! (Do you need help in writing your CV? Our seasoned Bayt.com professional career services team is ready to assist you)
Tip 5: Set layoff objectives
Your resume is ready! You now need to set actual objectives; you need to engineer a layoff calendar of sorts. Being out of a job does not mean you have earned the right to completely halt being productive. As a matter of fact, what you have earned is a brand new title: “Proactive Job Hunter”, meaning you’re on a full time schedule, 5 days a week with 2 days off for the weekend, just like any other working professional you know. Make the job hunt your full time job, set daily and weekly targets for yourself and make it a point to meet these targets (i.e.: Send out resumes to 25 potential employers in Dubai today, read 1 useful business book this week, etc…)
Tip 6: Consider complementing your exceptional skills
Tip 7: Follow a wise networking strategy
A “proactive job hunter” is naturally entitled to lighten up and unwind after a fruitful day of hardcore job search. Unwind wisely! Don’t miss out on family reunions, friends’ gatherings or professional seminars if you wish to, but keep in mind that every networking opportunity can also be a business opportunity (or placement opportunity in your case). Market yourself astutely as the high-flier professional that you are, get the right contacts and get to work professionally following up on every promise and point of contact the following day!
Hard work pays eventually and with the determination and follow-up required, you shall, before you know it, once again make the much cherished transition from proactive job hunter to successfully employed professional! Best of luck!
This article and all other intellectual property on Bayt.com is the property of Bayt.com. Reproduction of this article in any form is only permissible with written permission from Bayt.com.
Please login to post a comment.