Q: Losing my job hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew the company was in bad shape, but the owners kept silent about bankruptcy proceedings until yesterday. I feel betrayed, because I kept doing as much work as I could to help the business, even on weekends, only to realize that in the last few months I’d wasted my time. I don’t feel that I can trust an employer again.
A: The owners probably remained silent until the end, hoping that if everyone kept working, the company wouldn’t shut down. Conscientious employees like you gave them reason to hope. If they’d announced that the situation had become perilous, employees might have fanned out, dooming the business’ prospects.
I’m certain all of you, if you look back, should have suspected something. There must have been hints that the business was imploding. Reviewing them will help diminish the shock.
Why don’t you get together with former co-workers to share information and coping strategies? Meet might spawn a job-hunters’ group that will enable all of you to trade leads and job-hunting experiences.
Q: I’m looking for industries with opportunities. I keep reading that Industry X will have numerous openings by the end of the year or in 2014, but predictions don’t always come true. Where would you suggest a person look to get out of an industry that’s receding?
A: Opportunities are all around you, but you have to be able to fit in them.
Internet-based businesses draw on people from wide-ranging backgrounds, from marketing to recruitment. The military always needs good people, some even in their early 40s. Agriculture, which includes the food industry, is constantly looking for something new or better. Research it to identify a channel that’s growing. Get a job or business created for yourself in a niche that compels you.
If none of these appeals to you, identify industries where your occupation or skill set fits. Learn the language of your Plan A and Plan B industries so you communicate like an insider. Take any courses you need to get up to speed or persuade a staffing company to place you as a temp where you can learn all you need to know.