“The company where I’ve worked for 30 years will be closing in March 2017. If I stay until the end I will receive a 6-month severance. How can I effectively use the next six months to position myself for a new career, and collect the severance – or is this the right approach? Thanks!” Jeff
Congratulations on getting a 6-month advance notice and then a 6-month severance. For a company that’s closing, you are being given a very generous exit plan.
Yes, I absolutely recommend you stay where you are and collect the severance. Think about it – for the next six months you will effectively be paid double your normal salary. Continue to do great work for the company as you’ve been doing.
- Start your job search preparation immediately. Do you want job duties like you have now or do you want to realign your skills? After 30 years with the same company you probably recognize more developed talents and ways those could work for you. You’re a different person now than you were 30 years ago, with new skills, more maturity and more value to offer. Create a clear focus for the ideal work in the next season of your life – whether that’s finding or creating work that is meaningful, fulfilling, and profitable.
- Update your resume. Make sure it’s a sales brochure for what you want to do – not just a chronological snapshot of what you’ve been doing.
- Identify 30-40 target companies and research those companies for need and fit. Don’t wait for a company that has “a position open” – any company is a prospect if they need what you do.
- Start an active job search by January 15th, 2017. Use a 3-contact approach: an introduction letter, cover letter and resume, follow-up phone call. That process will get you offers.
- Recognize the broad spectrum of work models today (employee, consultant, independent contractor, entrepreneur, and more). You get to choose which model fits you best.
Enjoy the wonderful window of opportunity you’ve been given for taking a fresh look at who you are, where you are and where you want to be. Unexpected transitions are often just the wake-up call we need to move to higher levels of success and fulfillment.