Layoff Survival Guide - Do You Have The Career Management Horsepower It Will Take To Survive?

In a recent survey of over 662 career seekers, some disturbing trends identified that MOST career seekers don't have a clue what career management skills they have or what those skills are! As a result, it will be difficult for these career seekers to succeed.

In fact, only 71% of the respondents recognized they had any career management skills at all! That's why they are particularly vulnerable to future layoffs

Before skipping to the answers, try your hand at identifying YOUR career management skills.

List your Top 3:




Now, let's compare your answers - and your survivability - to these respondents.

Simply by reading this, you are gaining horsepower versus your competition! You'll begin honing some competitive edges ? and hopefully, it may be enough to survive through (and possibly avoid) future layoffs.

What are the real career management skills necessary for success and how does your competition stack up?

Let's check out the facts:

Top 5 Career Management Skills

1) NETWORKING (internal): ? Always building contacts and relationships within your chosen profession and in your industry these may turn out to be your very best source for new possibilities especially to stay in the industry where you are. SPOTTING OPPORTUNITIES ahead of your competition through these contacts is a critical career management skill.

Only 10% of respondents had networking as a career management skill. Leaving 90% missing the boat and on the block for future chops.

2) NETWORKING (external): ? Always build relationships outside your profession. These may serve as the entree to new possibilities. Just think, these individuals may PROVIDE CLUES to upcoming opportunities.

No one differentiated the distinct differences between internal and external networking?but it is critical in survival strategies.

3) HAVING A CAREER PLAN: How can you arrive at a destination without having the course charted? A careening career is a "career by coincidence". Not the way to survive in the current economic and business realities.

Only 1% of the respondents recognized identified having a roadmap or blueprint for their own career as important. Many thought business planning was a critical skill but not necessarily for charting their career.

4) KNOW THYSELF: If you are to market yourself, then you must be able to objectively view the assets and liabilities you have. It must not be blinded by rosy glasses or dark ones, but you must sustain inspection with a powerful microscope. In fact, because we humans possess so many personal filters, this process is nearly impossible without the aid of some professionals who can view you objectively. These professionals will invariably see things in you that you can't see in yourself ? both plusses and warts.

Again, only 1% of the respondents got this one. If you don't know the details of the product you are marketing, how can you effectively market it internally (or externally if you don't follow the steps above)? An objective third party that is trained and sensitized will make sure you don't miss any "key features" in the unique product you are marketing named "YOU".

5) KNOW YOUR COMPETITION: If you are to market yourself ? you must realize that you are not competing in a vacuum! Your skills and capabilities will be stacked up against many others in the company and it's not always the most qualified who stays or who gets promoted. It's always the one who markets themselves the best!

No respondents got this one but it is critical to success.

How did you do? Did you get those career management skills correct ? or did you struggle? Are you vulnerable or are you on track? Awareness of these skills will help you chart a course through potential layoffs and keep you way ahead of your competition.

The final score:


Everyone else ? second place and off the field.

Bruce Benskin is a regioinal manager for R.L. Stevens & Associates Inc. For over 24 years R.L. Stevens & Associates ( has been the Nation's most successful privately-held firm, specializing in executive career searches generating quality interviews through both advertised and unadvertised channels.

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