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Jun 03, 2016 03:03PM ● By Laurie James

Do you know someone who has recently lost their job or been forced to retire from a career that they loved? As our oil and gas economy continues to create job and career changes for more people than we’d care to think about, here are some appropriate steps to keep you armed and fabulous!

A career change has an emotional toll. I’ve witnessed great commission-only sales people who have lost their jobs in this cycle with no explanation from the employer. That makes no sense!

Get prepared for that next great opportunity – one step at a time:

Update Your Résumé: Have a professional look it over to make sure that the format, content, and overall information is relevant to today’s successful job seekers.

Craft a Killer Cover Letter: While it’s true that an employer may not even look at the cover letter (or email note – called an e-note), having that information ready to turn in on the interview will give you a competitive edge.

Update Your References: Be sure to ask each reference for permission to be included on your reference list. Surprises are a bad thing in a job search!! List this information for each reference – Name, Job Title, Company, Contact Phone, Email, and how long you’ve known that person. Then, forward a copy of your reference list and current résumé to each reference so they can check for typos. Lastly, give each of your references permission to forward your résumé out (discreetly or overtly) to appropriate networkers. This will enhance your job seeking experience.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile: Don’t be scared of this part. Just know that about 400 million people are already utilizing LinkedIn as a professional way to network with potential employers or potential new clients! If you don’t know how to use LinkedIn, find someone who does…yes, it’s that important!!

Practice Your Interviewing Skills: The best way to learn is to go on practice interviews. Find a professional to coach you on what works. There’s plenty of free information available, so figure out what works for you!!

This is part of your journey! Embrace everything you do, as every step will make you stronger and more valuable to the right employer – at the right time!

Finally, know that we’re all in the same boat! Some of us are paddling pirogues, while others are manoeuvring yachts. Our situations may be slightly different, but the end result is the same…figuring out a way to successfully navigate these rough waters. Your One-Stop Career Shop


About the Author: Laurie J. James is one of the only 16 Master Career Directors globally. She co-founded and presided over the Professional Resume Writing and Research Association from 2000-2004. PRWRA rebranded to Career Directors in 2005. Laurie has created 10,000+ job-winning resumes in her career. She is a credentialed resume & LinkedIn profile writer, seasoned public speaker and award-winning career image coach. Visit her at