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Job Doc

Make the most of your layoff-notice period

Q. I was told my company will be eliminating my department in the second quarter of 2013 and, while I am needed until then, I should begin looking for a new job. I appreciate the warning, but I am incredibly stressed out about my job search. Any advice for those of us who are looking forward (not by choice) while working full time?

A. The good news is you still have a job. The bad news is you know when it will be over. There are a few pieces of advice that can make the transition time work to your advantage.

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Be angry, sad, disappointed — away from the office and colleagues. With your family and most trusted friends, talk about the experience and impact and start looking forward.

Develop marketing materials. You have two full-time jobs now: finishing up at your company and finding a new position. You’ll need to develop an effective resume, update your LinkedIn profile, and research recruiters to contact. And that is only the beginning.

Do the math. Your plan to reemployment may be an equation. Take the estimated number of people you need to meet (140) to get a job, divide that by the number of weeks you have left at your company, and determine how many people you need to meet each week. Stick to that schedule.

Keep a professional and positive attitude, demeanor, and schedule at your current job. Stay committed to the work you do. Make sure all comments about your professional contributions, support of the organization, and colleagues are positive.

Be flexible. Your manager needs things from you, and you need a great reference. You may see the opportunity to enhance your resume by gaining additional experience. Volunteer to help; ask your manager for the chance to learn a new skill.

Capitalize on the positive aspects of the situation. Your department was eliminated, but your employer needs your help and expertise to make the transition. There is a high degree of trust here, demonstrating that you will deliver what is expected of you — just like you will for your new employer.

Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston, and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
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