What to do if you lose your job - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

What to do if you lose your job

Millions of Americans have had their careers derailed by the recession. And for a lot of people, it may be time to choose a different track. But how do you do it? Our communications coach has some helpful hints.

"With jobs so difficult to find, many people are looking for work outside their usual fields," explains Coach Marcia Brandwynne. "Changing your career path may be difficult. But it can be done. And if what you've done for most of your career is no longer in demand, then it must be done in order to compete in this tight job market. What you need is an action plan."

You want to determine what other types of work you could do. The first step in doing that is to look back at your work experience and ask yourself several questions. For example: When did I have the best job? What made it the best job? List as many reasons as possible. What about that work gave it meaning? What did I do well in that job? Did I feel valued? Was that important to me? Was I a leader? Did I feel better as a team member? This research into yourself will help guide you in your search for a satisfying and sustainable job.

The next step is to look at what you love doing in life. What magazines do you read? What books do you pick up? What locations give you a sense of well being? In other words, what are your interests? Imagine the kind of work environment you want to be in. Everybody has interests that spark them, so make a list of yours and see where it leads you.

Now the third step is to combine your capabilities, your interests and consider how they can be applied together.

"When I did this exercise a few years ago, I realized that what I like most was giving people advice, counseling them," says Coach Marcia. "So I decided to go back to school and became a certified life coach. Today, I advise people in a private practice and use my background in television news to coach others here on America Now. I made a career change and so can you, as long as you put time and energy into discovering what your next career should really be."

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