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It’s been a surprising week for folks in Memphis.  Like we’ve seen too many times over the past few years, companies are restructuring.  When they do, it impacts the personal lives of their employees.

Unfortunately, unlike previous generations, the luxury of having an entire career at one company is rare. Workers no longer stay at the same job for thirty years and then retire with a great pension and excellent healthcare.  In fact, staying at one company can often be looked at as a negative thing.  More value is often being been placed on breadth, rather than just depth, of knowledge.

This means employees must take charge of their own careers, and their own personal brands.  It’s as if each person is their own little company, working to stay competitive and stay in the game.

For those who have not adopted this perspective, layoffs like those seen in Memphis can be especially difficult.  You may be a top performer.  You may be loyal, and get along with your boss.  And, yet you were still impacted by this type of change.

Everything seemed normal.  You went into work one day like it was any other.  Unexpectedly, you were called into a meeting where you were notified that the company had changed direction, and you no longer had a job.

“What now?” you ask yourself.  After all, you haven’t updated your resume in years.  You don’t even know where to begin.

For those impacted by recent corporate changes, I recommend the following five steps.  (Heck, I recommend these even if you weren’t impacted!)

  1. Get business cards – Despite not having a job, you need to have business cards.  Consider ordering cards that only contain your name, phone number, and e-mail address.
  2. Perfect your elevator pitch – Practice explaining who you are, what type of job you’re looking for, and your professional background.  Get your pitch down to 30 seconds to quickly and concisely introduce yourself.
  3. Update your resume – Spend time updating your resume with your most recent position and accomplishments. Don’t forget to include numbers, such as the size of budget you managed, or the number of people you led.
  4. Start networking – Get out there and start meeting new people.  If you aren’t sure where to start, follow the networking events listed on my Copeland Coaching blog.  When you go to an event, make a goal to exchange business cards with 5 people.  It will help you to get started.
  5. Setup informational interviews – Reach out to those folks you meet, and setup time to talk.  These discussions are an opportunity for you to learn about a new industry or a new company in a low pressure environment.  It’s also a great way to network!

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to get started.  The longer you wait, the harder the process can become.  And in most cases, you’ll begin to notice that your old company has been a stressful place to work for a while.  Although you feel frustrated now, in time, you may find that starting over was the very best start of all.

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” –Dale Carnegie

I hope these tips have helped you.  Visit to find more tips to improve your job search.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


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