Monday, February 27, 2023

Victim of Layoffs? Don't Burn Bridges, Focus on Development

Source: Flexjobs

Eleanor Pringle has written a good column for Fortune titled, "Do’s and don’ts of layoffs: These are the things you should never post on LinkedIn if you lose your job."   

Pringle has some sound advice.  Naturally, she appropriately recommends "leaving well" - that means no burning bridges, no calling out companies or colleagues who you believe may have mistreated you.  She stresses that posting while upset is a recipe for disaster. Pringle has some other sound recommendations, including advice about leaning into professional development opportunities, such as short courses.  She writes:

DON’T waste time while you’re not working.  Not got a job? Prove you’re proactive and post about it. Alistair Stirling, adviser at Stirling Careers Consultancy, said he always encourages his clients to do volunteer work and short courses while they’re on the hunt for their next role.  He explained that not only does it give people something to talk about –either on interviews or on platforms like LinkedIn– it shows you’re not just sitting around at home.

I agree with the recommendation regarding development.  I would stress, however, that everyone should be developing a plan for lifelong learning, if they do not have one.  It's not something that should wait for the unfortunate circumstance of a layoff.   Each person should be thinking about a stream of development activities, above and beyond the training provided by one's company.  Many of these development activities don't cost much money, if at all, these days.  Others do require an investment.  These opportunities should sometimes be about practical skill building ("I'm going to learn how to code...").  However, other opportunities should be just about stretching your perspective and stimulating your thinking on an important subject ("I'm going to read this book about motivation...")   

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