Job reorganization has placed older, more experienced executives and managers at risk as new corporate structures emerge. How to fix resume weaknesses.
Many older executives and senior managers find themselves in a position of expendability as the new order of corporate business emerges. Fear of layoffs or being fired became a reality in the chaos of 2008 and continues even today as many older mid-level executives and senior managers are finding that their services are no longer needed.
Job Change Environment
Management models of the 70s and early 80s rewarded performance with promotions to progressively higher positions and associated pay grades. A degree was not crucial for many of these positions, and those that worked hard and demonstrated leadership skills were rewarded with higher functions. Promotions were based on communicating, empowering those they worked with, and getting the job done. Execution and achievement delivering profits trumped degrees. The achievement was the prerequisite for many management positions.
Job Requirements: New Order
Fast forward to the new order for re-entry into the workforce, and one will find that the base requirement is a bachelor’s degree. Experience is okay, but for an application to be considered, a degree was a requirement. Many who found themselves laid off after years of service discovered that when applying for equal or even lesser status, they were first asked for their educational credentials. Management was hit especially hard; the positions posted, for any management level, now include the caveat that a degree in some related discipline was required.
So what are those that had to leave college before earning that degree to do? There are more options than you think, but time is of the essence. Do not pine over the reasons for dismissal or gripe that someone less qualified and with many years less inexperience is now more talented than you to apply for a position. Take action.
Government Assistance: Not a Dirty Word
Here are a few steps that the newly laid-off can take. Even financial aid is available for those seeking it to offset the cost of continuing education and achieving a degree.
Apply for unemployment, by all means. It is there for some short term help. The critical phrase is short term; benefits do not last long, especially with a mortgage and bills to pay.
Seek help from your state’s Department of Labor. It is geared to getting people back to work and can offer aid in job searches, educational training and specific certification funding. The states administer government funding for these programs, and a process has to be followed. The process takes some time, so do not procrastinate. Apply as soon as possible.
One myth is that while receiving unemployment benefits, one cannot attend school. By registering with a state department of labour, education can be pursued while receiving unemployment benefits.
Most layoffs are enormous, involving several positions that can be over a broad range of departments. Usually, this means eliminating the work held, which puts the worker in the classification of a dislocated worker. As a dislocated worker, one has the right to apply for assistance without penalty of household income. Since many families are composed of two-income earners today, this is an important distinction.
Employment: Training Options
Start the process. The steps required for receiving aid for a career change, additional training, or certifications are regulated and take some time. Just because the assistance is there does not mean it is readily accessible. The procedure may be lengthy and laborious and does require some perseverance. The quality that made you a good manager or executive will be needed now. Persistence and gentle pressure are necessary to make the aid available. Keep at it; the funding is there if one pursues it.
- Step one: Register for orientation
- Step Two: Career compatibility testing
- Step Three: Identify career tracks.
- Step Four: Write a plan for achieving a career, including educational requirements
- Step Five: Identify educational facilities approved for education or training to qualify for a career. Meet with academic advisors of the institution or training facility to make sure that you have a proper track for completion of their program.
- Step Six: Submit a plan for career training along with documentation of approved programs and their costs.
- Step Seven: Approval process: once a career plan has been approved, the project must be approved by a panel of appointed officials for funding.
- Step Eight: Apply for admission into the educational facility or training you have been approved for.
- Step Nine: Apply for financial aid in addition to the funding to be received from the Department of Labor.
- Step Ten: Get started now!!
The process of re-entry into the marketplace as a valuable, income-earning, and productive citizen is not fast, nor is it easy. Persistence must be exercised as well as preparing for a positive presentation. It is not very different from preparing for a critical expression that would have made your former employer more money. The qualities that have made you a good employee in the past must be applied to make your new life a reality.