Yesterday New England's largest grocer, Stop & Shop, announced it's closing down a distribution center in North Haven, CT leaving 850 soon-to-be laid off people. And the same day Ford Motor Co., announced 25,000-30,000 layoffs this year. Combined with GM's recent news about 30,000 layoffs that's a lot of people who will be hurting.
Unfortunately for America this kind of scenario is becoming all too familiar. The workers at Stop & Shop were said to be in shock, many feel they were "deceived". "Stunned and furious" were some of the other adjectives used to described these hard working employees, many of whom had worked there for over 20 years.
But I was not as surprised as the people who work there. You see, the American economy is under going a profound change in the way it works. Unfortunately many Americans have yet to discover this fact.
Gone are the days when you will work for the same employer for 20 years and collect a pension to retire early.
There is no company loyalty anymore. Workers are just an expense to be reduced at the company's leisure.
I don't mean to sound harsh but that's the way it is today. Every worker, particularly those who have been at one employer for many years or who work in an industry that is shrinking, need a backup plan. You need to think about your next job, before you leave your current one.
You must become your own career manager because no one else will. That means being prepared at all times.
- Have your resume constantly updated and ready to go at a moments notice.
- Brush up on the latest job hunting skills (reading this blog regularly will help)
- Stop specializing...todays worker must have multiple skills for today's job market.
- Always be learning. Learn whatever new skills you can on the job. Volunteer for new projects.
- Learn on your own... the internet is a vast resource for everything you need.
Everyone needs a (career) Plan B.