It’s Not Too Early To Start Your Career Check-Up

With Christmas sales and decorations rolling out before even Halloween, people may be wise to follow the lead of retailers and conduct a career check-up now instead of waiting for around New Year’s, according to Venturion.

Besides getting a jump on those waiting to make job-related resolutions for the new year, there is another important reason for making an early start – the upcoming election.

“Many employers are waiting for the results of the election to decide which direction their companies will go – expand, contract, or stay the same. For workers, that means their employer and others may be hiring and promoting, cutting back and laying off, or remaining flat. This may present opportunities for career advancement and getting a new job, or added pressure to hold on to a current job,” said Don Huse, President of Venturion in San Antonio, a leading coaching and leadership development/consulting firm.

“Those who wait until the end of the year to examine their careers and performance may miss out on post-election prospects or may even be out of a job by then without a plan,” added Huse.

Although most people make some type of job-related New Year’s resolutions, only about one in four conducts a thorough career check-up each year, according to Venturion career consultants.

Venturion recommends including the following elements in a career check-up:

1. Assess the viability of your current job. “Your assessment should include business-related and personal performance evaluations. How secure do you feel in your job? Will there be opportunities for growth or do you anticipate cutbacks? How are your own job performance and relationships with your boss and colleagues?

“If you are happy with your current employment, it is still worth assessing your skills and the needs of the company. Find ways to be proactive and look for areas you can contribute so you can raise your visibility and help your company. As things improve, you may be increasing your chances for a promotion and greater responsibility. However, you may have to escalate a job search if your security is low or make urgent adjustments if your performance has been lacking,” said Huse.

2. Gauge your own marketability. “What is the demand for your skills and how are industries and job functions in which you have experience performing in this economy? Study job postings for occupations in which you already have experience to determine what the marketplace is for your talents,” added Huse.

3. Evaluate your employment brand and skills portfolio. “Are you up to date on the latest technology and new developments in your field? Have you strengthened your employment brand and value proposition – the skills and accomplishments that differentiate you from others and add value to employers? Those with the best employment brands and skills portfolios will be most in demand,” said Huse.

4. Examine your personal preferences. “Are you happy in your job and with working for your employer? Do you like your line of work or want to change fields? Do you want to cut back to part-time, expand to full-time, or go back to school to learn another field or get an advanced degree?,” asked Huse.

5. Build and update your professional network. “About 7 out of 10 people get their next jobs through networking, and many job openings are not posted or advertised and have to be uncovered through personal contacts. Continually expand and target your career network and keep them updated on any developments or changes in your employment. Serve as a resource to your networking contacts, too, by exchanging job leads and information and making referrals and endorsements,” said Huse.

6. Expand your social media presence. “Many employers are now recruiting directly from social networks such as LinkedIn, so it’s vital that you amplify your online presence. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is essentially your resume and is continually updated. Showcase yourself as an expert in your field with an impactful headline and description and searchable key words that reveal the breadth and depth of your experience and skills. Develop a Facebook page devoted to your career and reach out to networking contacts via Facebook and Twitter,” added Huse.

How To Get Hired By More Selective Employers

As companies have become even more selective about who they are recruiting, job-seekers need to learn the latest “must-do” ways to succeed with pickier employers, according to Venturion, a talent management firm based in San Antonio, Texas.

Among the tactics job-seekers should use to deal with changes in employers’ recruitment and hiring practices, according to a Venturion survey of 184 organizations throughout North America, are:

– Be prepared for more numerous interviews and for hiring decisions to take longer.

– Sharpen your skills at being interviewed by teams or panels of an employer’s people as well as being screened by telephone.

– Convincingly communicate your teamwork skills and your commitment to excellent customer service.

– Emphasize your experience that is related to the current opportunity, within the company’s industry, and how you achieved results similar to the company’s desired goals and objectives.

– Build and update your social media presence, especially on LinkedIn and Facebook.

– Increase searching for openings that are posted on the websites of potential employers.

– Acquire referrals from the targeted employer’s workers.

“Hiring has improved this year over 2010, with 54% of employers in the survey indicating they have added workers. However, companies have become much pickier in the types of employees they want, and job candidates need to adapt to these changes,” said Don Huse, president of Venturion (

These are the top “must-do” ways that applicants can succeed with more demanding employers:   

– Be ready to undergo more interviews and a longer search process. 32% of surveyed employers said it is taking longer than in past years to bring people on board as companies conduct more interviews to confirm they are selecting the best candidates. “There is a greater supply of qualified candidates than there was last year as more people are looking for opportunities in an improved job market. That means employers can afford to be extremely choosy about who they decide to hire. Do not become discouraged by the number of times you may have to interview for a job and bring a high level of enthusiasm to each one,” said Huse.

– Be prepared to be interviewed by multiple people at the same time. 
41% of employers are more often interviewing candidates in teams or using panels of their employees. “Conduct mock interviews and practice connecting with several people at the same time instead of just one interviewer. This is a chance to demonstrate how well you work in teams and seek input from others by including everyone in your responses. Adopt a conversational tone, remain relaxed, and smile throughout,” said Huse.

– Convey your suitability to work well in teams and with customers. 71% of employers in the survey want employees who are team-oriented, and 63% are seeking candidates who are customer-focused. “Companies are looking for people who work well together and realize how important customers are in this challenging economy,” said Huse.

– Rehearse being interviewed by telephone. 54% of employers in the survey are more frequently screening employees by phone than last year. “Be prepared to make the most of the limited time you will have and don’t repeat what is on your resume. Highlight your achievements and results related to the position and the skills that set you apart from others. Stand up while talking and have a list of bullet points prepared. Close by inquiring what the next steps will be and ask to meet in person,” said Huse.  

 – Round out your social media presence. 44% of surveyed employers are more often recruiting candidates via LinkedIn and 19% are more frequently using Facebook. “Make sure your online profile is essentially your resume and is continually updated. Showcase yourself as an expert in your field with an impactful headline and description and searchable keywords that reveal the breadth and depth of your experience and skills,” said Huse.

– Persuasively communicate your related experience and the results you have achieved for similar types of employers. 77% of employers said they are looking for people who have experience in their industries – the No. 1 quality survey respondents are seeking – and 62% want candidates who have a track record for achieving similar types of goals as those related to the open position.

– Seek out opportunities on the websites of prospective employers and obtain referrals from the employer’s workers. 36% of organizations are using their own websites more often to recruit candidates, and 32% are more frequently relying on their employees’ recommendations when hiring.



Why You Should Step Up Your Job Search During The Holidays

Job-hunting during the holiday season is a great way to gain a competitive advantage over those taking a break and putting their searches on hold until next year, according to Venturion, a global coaching and leadership development and consulting firm.

The holiday season is a prime time to search for and network your way to a job or new career. Employers continue to interview and hire during the holidays. Among the benefits of persevering with your search are: less competition, newly budgeted positions that need to be filled, holiday parties and events that can be used as networking opportunities, and people in an overall more relaxed and celebratory mood.

“Rather than slowing down, the holidays are a great time to step up your job search. December and January are among the busiest months for hiring, and a number of these new hires were interviewed during the holidays,” said Don Huse, President of Venturion.

Following are some of the benefits of continuing your job search during the holidays and ways to take maximum advantage:

— Less competition: “There is generally less competition for roughly the same number of jobs. So, a higher percentage of job-seekers may find positions with fewer people actively looking,” said Huse.

— Better access to decision-makers: It may be easier to connect with decision-makers during the holidays. They may have less hectic schedules and even answer their own phones due to vacationing secretaries and receptionists.

— Newly created openings: “Jobs posted during the holidays may be urgent and need to be filled quickly. There also may be positions that have just been budgeted for the upcoming calendar year and have not been extensively posted or advertised yet,” said Huse.

— Jump-start the new year: Managers with fresh goals for the new year want talented people on board in early January to help them achieve their objectives and targets.

— Holiday parties & events: Holiday parties and events at schools, community, religious, and other groups present opportunities to network. “You can mention that you are exploring career options and would like to get their advice. But don’t pull out you resume at a holiday party. Instead, try to arrange a follow-up meeting or conversation, and reference what you discussed at the event,” said Huse.

— Holiday greeting cards: Send personalized holiday greeting cards to potential employers you have recently interviewed with and networking contacts. Fill them in on any change in your status.

— Social networking groups: Use the holidays to participate in conversations or in discussion groups on LinkedIn as well as expand your online network. Offer to give recommendations and ask your connections if they need an introduction to any of your contacts.

— Reconnect: The holidays are a good time to reconnect with former co-workers, bosses, and friends in personal meetings or via personal cards and notes with an updated resume.

In the Heat of Summer, Don’t Cool Off Your Job Search

summer_heatVenturion urges job seekers to maintain their activity during the summer months, rather than relaxing their efforts. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25% of all annual hires occur during the third calendar quarter (July, August and September). Venturion points out several key advantages for job seekers who heat up their search during the summer.

Don Huse, President of Venturion, points out, “Summer timing is better than most people are aware. July begins the third business quarter for many companies, and others start their fiscal years in July. Some have budgeted to hire additional people and are looking for qualified candidates now. Many people also wait until summer to change jobs so they can relocate when their kids are out of school. This creates opportunity with the company they’re leaving.”

Another advantage to heating up a job search during the summer is that job seekers will face less competition for prime positions. The quieter pace of these months often offers managers more time to concentrate on individual candidates. The relaxed pace of summer is also better for trying to create dialog with company decision makers.

Important Strategies for Summer Job Seekers to Employ

Venturion also highlights key strategies for summer job seekers. Don Huse recommends focusing on engaging high value contacts (those in the companies and industries of interest). “Because business slows down during the summer, it can be easier to meet with people who were too busy earlier in the year. Face-to-face targeted contact development is the most effective job-search method, accounting for up to 70% of all hiring,” he adds.

The company also recommends job seekers put in appearances at events, including barbeques, outdoor parties, picnics and others because these can be the perfect time to let others know about a job search. However, Huse urges caution. He says, “This is best done low-key. Do not come on too strong at social events. These activities are most appropriate for giving a 15-second overview of who you are, what you’re looking for and requesting a future networking meeting or follow-up phone call.

Volunteering with nonprofit, educational and children’s groups during the summer can also be a good way to spread the word. Not only does volunteering help build a network, but it provides the means to gain additional experience in a new field. It can also bring job seekers face to face with hiring managers and other decision makers who are also volunteers.

For job seekers with an ill-defined brand, the summer months are the opportune time to sharpen that brand and their unique value proposition. Individuals should focus on how they are different and how that difference impacts potential employers. Huse recommends job seekers polish their verbal message so that people they meet have a clear picture of their character and their goals.

Social media can be an invaluable tool during a summer job search, particularly LinkedIn. Use these unique options to line up in-person networking meetings, make new connections at targeted employers and learn about their needs and the types of people they’re actively hiring.

Job seekers should not lose sight of the importance of taking advantage of family opportunities during the summer and spending time with spouses and children. However, they cannot afford to miss the advantages that summertime affords a job search.

To learn more or get help with career management, visit Venturion at

About Venturion: Established in 1998, Venturion specializes in career transition, executive coaching and leadership development. The company’s unprecedented success with individuals pursuing technological, professional and managerial positions in today’s highly competitive job market is recognized throughout the industry.

How Employers Can Develop The Top 8 Qualities They Want In Employees

How can employers develop the top qualities they want most in their workers?

Venturion canvassed its consultants to formulate 37 specific strategies employers can use to develop desired competencies in workers. The recommended approaches are in response to inquiries received after uncovering the Top 8 Qualities Employers Desire in Workers in a survey the firm conducted earlier this year.

According to that survey, the top 8 qualities employers most want in workers are:

1. Being a team player (selected by 71% of surveyed companies)
2. Satisfy customers/clients (chosen by 68%)
3. Motivate and engage others (65%)
4. Achieve their most important objectives (62%)
5. Work smart (60%)
6. Work hard (57%)
7. Add value (52%)
8. Contribute to improving the bottom line (48%)

“The surest way to build these qualities is to establish a culture that supports them and provide the resources to grow and develop them. Demonstrate that these qualities are valued. Include them in performance reviews and consideration for raises and promotions – and recognize and reward employees who exemplify them,” said Don Huse, Managing Partner of Venturion, a leading global coaching and leadership development/consulting firm.

“In addition, offer managers behavioral interview training so they will have the skills to select people with the right characteristics that fit the organization and are essential to its success,” Huse added.

Venturion recommends the following ways to develop the desired qualities in workers.

Quality #1: Being A Team Player – Place greater importance on achieving team outcomes. “Look for ways to partner employees on projects and concentrate on assembling compatible teams. Rate how well each employee works in teams as  part of their performance reviews,” said Huse.

Quality #2: Satisfy Customers/Clients – Have another employee shadow each worker when they meet with customers or handle client relations. “Share stories of employees’ outstanding customer service, acknowledge and discuss the successes. Feature stories in company publications and newsletters. Ask workers to write brief summaries after successes happen so the steps that were taken can be captured,” Huse added.

Quality #3: Motivate & Engage Others  – Encourage employees to engage others in a project or assignment. “Request examples from workers of times they were motivated and/or engaged by others. Assign employees to teams and direct them to measure how well they keep each other motivated,” Huse stated.

Quality #4: Achieve Critical Objectives – “Managers must be clear and follow up with objectives and employees need to regularly check in to confirm what they are since organizational needs – and individual objectives – can change quickly. Conduct weekly roundtables to lay out the top objectives and reinforce them throughout the week via email,” Huse said.

Quality #5: Work Smart – Discuss the circumstances when working smart is needed and working hard is the desired approach. “Working smart means you’re more likely to reach your goals. You can start working smart by enlisting the help of others, taking care of the most important things first, and stop multi-tasking,” said Huse.

Quality #6: Work Hard – Communicate that the organization will not tolerate poor and marginal performers. “Don’t give employees a raise or recognition simply because they put in extra hours unless the outcome is worthy of being rewarded. Today, working hard is about taking risks and doing things others would rather not do,” said Huse.

Quality #7: Add Value – Encourage employees to leave their usual comfort zones and help resolve problems that may be outside of their job descriptions.  Adopt an “open idea” policy that there are no bad ideas and no one will be criticized. Schedule regular “brainstorming” sessions.

Quality #8: Contribute To Bottom Line – Many employers do not share the bottom line with employees and they remain unaware of what it is. By disclosing some general financial information, workers will get a better picture of what is going on and how they may have an impact on it.

“When employers are deciding who has a future in their organization, the highly motivated results oriented people are in. Complainers are generally out,” Huse adds.

The 8 Qualities survey was conducted in April and received responses from 174 employers.

10 Ways to Stand Out

Whether you’re looking for a new job this year, aiming to get a raise or promotion – or are worried about just hanging on to your present employment – you need to demonstrate that you have some or all of the qualities and characteristics employers are seeking.

Most people make some type of career-related resolutions at the start of the year without paying much attention to the qualities employers are looking for and ways they can differentiate themselves from job-seekers and co-workers, according to Venturion, a leading coaching and leadership development/consulting firm.

“Career-related resolutions tend to focus on what employees and job-seekers want, rather than the skills that employers are demanding today,” said Don Huse, President of Venturion “People will be more successful in their jobs and job searches by validating that they are the best fit.”

1. What have you learned lately? “Employers are seeking workers who have made a commitment to continuous learning. Companies want to hire and have on board employees who have tomorrow’s knowledge today. Learning can include courses you are taking and degrees you are pursuing, participating in webinars, attending technology expos and trade shows and online software courses. Relate what you are learning to how this can make you a better employee or a great hire,” said Huse.

2. Value proposition to employer. Companies want to know how, specifically, can you or are you adding value to them. Be sure you have adapted your message to your employer or the company you are targeting regarding your value by tying it into the current goals and mission of the organization. “Too many people keep ‘selling’ their skills to employers in an outdated framework. Be sure your value is considered current and relevant to the employer,” said Huse.

3. Outstanding communications skills: Employers are becoming more dissatisfied with the communications skills of their employees and job candidates and are placing a higher priority on both written and verbal skills. “With Tweets, texts, blogs, and PowerPoint proliferating, fewer employees and job applicants are good writers. Some employers are amazed that employees cannot write a coherent report or even a complete sentence. Don’t only sharpen your presentation skills, but improve your writing, too,” said Huse.

4. Teamwork. Being a team player is the number one quality employers said they are looking for in applicants and workers in a Venturion survey. With workforces still lean, 7 out of 10 employers said being able to accomplish goals with others is the most important quality they desire. “It is key that you be viewed as a collaborative problem solver, so be sure to volunteer to be part of cross-functional task forces,” said Huse.

5. Excitement and enthusiasm. Companies want people who are enthusiastic and excited about working with them and doing their jobs. “Be able to articulate what about the company’s product or service inspires you and how you can demonstrate that in your daily work,” said Huse.

6. Flexibility. When discussing the goals for the coming year with your manager, look for opportunities for cross-training to provide coverage in your department during vacation, sick leaves, etc. Employers appreciate workers who keep focused on meeting the organization’s goals, especially when resources are stretched.

7. Anticipate. Being able to anticipate possible needs or problems is highly valued. “Companies reward people who see that there will be a resource gap, bring it to management’s attention and propose some possible solutions. If you are interviewing for a position, share a story about a time that you did this in your career or explain how you would do this if hired,” said Huse.

8. Persuasiveness. Ability to win over others, including customers and colleagues, is in demand. Persuasive employees know how to craft their messages to meet others’ needs and, at the same time, accomplish their objectives. Since most work today is accomplished by obtaining information and support from peers in other departments, the ability to influence and persuade is a critical skill.

9. Leadership. With most companies developing their future leaders from within their organizations, rather than recruiting from outside, they are looking for workers with high leadership potential. “Future leaders are those who take initiative, don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, and find ways to be positive even in challenging situations. Management wants to hear potential leaders say how things can be done, and how problems can be solved, not why things won’t work,” said Huse.

10. Authentic. 
While it is important to adapt to an organization’s culture, it is also essential to demonstrate who you are and what makes you unique as a person and employee. Be clear about what your special talents, skills, and contributions are and how you believe those things make you more effective.

Consider Changing Careers to Beat High Unemployment

Even though the U.S. economy has added an average of about 180,000 jobs per month for the past two years, the unemployment rate rose in January. One reason the unemployment rate has been going up or remained unchanged, despite more jobs being created, is because many job-seekers are not finding work in their careers and do not know how to properly switch fields, according to Venturion.

“One of the factors behind the unemployment rate going up to 7.9% is that more people were looking for work. However, since many were not able to find positions in their usual careers, they remain unemployed,” said Don Huse, President of Venturion in San Antonio, a leading coaching and leadership development/consulting firm.

Instead of holding out for an exact fit, job-seekers and those looking to start a new career should use the skills and experience they already have and transfer that to another career, Huse added.

Venturion offers these tips for transferring your skills and experience to another or second career:

1. Identify the skills you already have. Think of your career as a compilation of skills and competencies in which you have expertise and which may be attractive to another employer. Break these down into specific individual skills – administrative, marketing, sales, information technology, and customer relations, for example. If possible, use career assessments to best identify your competencies and interests.

2. Put the highest emphasis on skills in which you excel. “Employers are looking for people who stand out in their skill areas and who have a record of achievement and making a difference when using them. Focus on the things in which you excel and who would benefit from you doing it for them,” said Huse.

3. Concentrate on those skills in which you have quantifiable achievements and success stories to tell potential employers. You need to reassure the hiring person that you can readily transfer your skills to the new position and you have a track record in these areas and have been able to make a difference when using them. You will need a highly focused resume that will highlight your transferrable skills and achievements for your new career direction.

4. Determine the current demand for these skills. Follow the monthly job reports that the federal government issues for the country and your state to discover which careers are creating the most jobs and where demand for your skills would be greatest. “Review major job boards, compile a list of jobs you like, and review job by job which deliverables they are looking for that you already have. Note which requirements predominate and make sure those terms show up on your resume and cover letter,” said Huse.

5. Transfer your skills to another industry. One of the easiest ways to change careers is to remain in the same function, or work you perform, but switch the industry in which you do it. It is particularly important for those in industries that have been contracting, such as real estate and manufacturing, to switch to industries that are expanding such as health care, construction, hospitality and tourism, education, information technology, insurance, retail and banking. “Often, people do not know which industries to target other than their own and how to effectively position themselves as viable candidates. Also, search in industries that are closely related to the ones where you have the most experience, such as all related financial services industries, including brokerage firms, credit unions, banks, mortgage companies, and financial planning,” said Huse.

6. Learn the language of your new second career. You need to learn the terms and trends of your new career. Read trade-related publications, websites, and blogs to learn to “talk the talk.”

7. Talk with others about your new career. Form your own personal board of directors with family, friends, co-workers, and others who will provide support, honest feedback, and strategies to move forward and vital information. Seek out a professional career coach who can serve as your mentor and guide you through these volatile times. A career coach will also assist you with the right format for your new resume. Inform your career network that you are looking at opportunities in other fields and you are interested in learning more about these areas. Find out if they know anyone in the new careers and could arrange a meeting or provide referrals.

8. Consider acquiring the necessary education and training. This is especially important when the transferability of your skills might be in question. Explore making a career change where training is provided. If it’s a new field to you, volunteer at an organization that does what you think you would like to do. Find out if it’s for you and start to gain practical experience in that field,” added Huse.

Venturion president Don Huse appears on NBC affiliate KXAN in Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The holidays may be a time of cheer for some, but for others it may signal a time to look for a new job.

Don Huse of Venturion talked to anchor Brian Sanders on Sunday morning about the fact that companies may be cutting personnel at what is often viewed as the happiest time of the year.

Often the signals are there: a boss who makes less eye contact; less face-to-face time with a manager; receiving a poor evaluation when you’ve had good evaluations in the past; and extensive department cutbacks.

Be prepared, Huse said. Offer to work in a contract basis for your company. Know your company’s severance policies and request outplacement services if they are not part of your severance packages.

Whether or not the top termination warning signs apply, employees should continually update their resumes, build and maintain their career networks, and keep their professional knowledge and skills current.

There are also measures employers can take to ease the transition of departing workers until they find new jobs. A Venturion survey of displaced employees the firm has counseled during the past two years validates the value of providing outplacement career counseling services.

After receiving outplacement assistance, more than six times as many displaced employees reported having excellent or very good job search skills than before they entered the programs.

“Terminated employees continue to enter a very challenging job market. Some have not looked for new employment in several years and their job-search skills are rusty or outdated,” Huse said. “Other former employees are experiencing their first reductions in force and need additional resources and support to cope with the stress and anxiety.”

Companies can provide outplacement career counseling to departing employees to ease their transition.

“Outplacement assistance upholds the morale of workers who remain as well as those who are displaced. It reduces employees’ anxiety and reflects corporate social responsibility,” added Huse.

And evaluate whether you want to continue on your current career path or strike out on your own.

“Many people are too upset and emotional after losing their jobs to quickly launch a search. Give yourself some time to re-assess your career and determine what you want to do next. Conduct a thorough career check-up and develop an action plan,” said Huse.

Holiday parties may not be the time to ask for job leads, but it could be a time to gather business cards. People you mingle with may be your step to your next job.

Tips For Workers & Employers Facing Terminations

Reductions in force have been increasing in recent weeks as more employers adjust their workforces to meet current and anticipated demand. The end of the year is a more precarious time for employees who may be most vulnerable to reductions in force as companies reduce costs to get a fresher start next year.”Although employees do not have much control over their company’s financial situation, rather than complaining about the situation and feeling like a victim, there are ways workers can decrease the chances they will be affected and steps they can take to correct performance-related issues,” said Don Huse, Managing Partner of Venturion in San Antonioa leading global coaching and leadership development/consulting firm. Venturion offers these tips to employees to decrease their risk of being impacted:
1. Outperform expectations in your job. “Go well above the minimum requirements and seek to make yourself indispensable. Demonstrate how motivated you are and gain a reputation as someone who consistently delivers more than expected,” said Huse.

2. Show you are a team player. Being part of a team is the number one quality employers desire in workers, according to an OI Partners survey. “This has taken on a higher priority since many companies are operating with leaner work forces and there is a greater need to accomplish goals through others,” said Huse.

3. Offer ideas that could help grow business or attract and retain customers. 
Be on the lookout for ways to increase revenue, profits, productivity and efficiency. “The more you do to help your company, the more valuable you become to them,” said Huse.

4. Be on time and dependable. “Follow company rules such as keeping your cell phone off during working hours and doing your job rather than excessively surfing the Internet. Don’t spread rumors or be an agitator. It is OK to ask relevant questions, but do not become the company malcontent,” said Huse.

5. Be positive and supportive. “It is contagious and encourages others to do the same,” said Huse.

6. Keep on top of the latest technology and new developments in your field. Take classes or workshops to stay current with advances in your profession and in other areas that have an impact on business.

7Set yourself apart. “Do something that will give you added recognition, such as write an article for a trade publication, or be a speaker at a conference. Volunteer to lead a special project, task force or charity drive to showcase your ability to take on responsibility,” said Huse.

If you are among those employees being impacted, OI Partners-Venturion recommends following these steps:

– Explore whether you can work for your company as a contract or freelance employee.
– Determine what severance pay and benefits you will receive.
– Utilize career counseling you are given.
– Request outplacement job-search assistance if it is not part of your severance package.
– Familiarize yourself with your company’s severance policies, especially if you qualify for any enhanced severance formulas that use a combination of your age and seniority.

There are also measures employers can take to ease the transition of departing workers until they find new jobs. An OI Partners survey of displaced employees the firm has counseled during the past two years validates the value of providing outplacement career counseling services.

Six-Fold Improvement In Job-Search Skills: After receiving outplacement assistance, more than six times as many displaced employees reported having excellent or very good job search skills than before they entered the programs. Only 12% of terminated workers rated their job-search skills as excellent or very good before receiving outplacement compared with 78% who ranked their abilities that way afterward – an increase of 650%.

‘Good’ or ‘Average’ Job-Search Skills Not Good Enough: Displaced employees who rated their job-search skills as only good or average before receiving outplacement significantly upgraded their knowledge. 78% of former employees reported they had only good or average job-search skills before receiving outplacement, compared to just 21% afterward – a decline of 73%.

“Terminated employees continue to enter a very challenging job market. Some have not looked for new employment in several years and their job-search skills are rusty or outdated. Other former employees are experiencing their first reductions in force and need additional resources and support to cope with the stress and anxiety,” added Huse.

“In such a competitive job environment, it is not good enough for terminated workers to only have ‘good’ or ‘average’ job-search skills. Their job-search skills must be equal to or exceed their career knowledge and experience in order to be able to successfully compete and gain new employment,” Huse said.

Companies can provide outplacement career counseling to departing employees to ease their transition. “Outplacement assistance upholds the morale of workers who remain as well as those who are displaced. It reduces employees’ anxiety and reflects corporate social responsibility,” added Huse.