4 career survival do's and don'ts

The worst time to come up with a job strategy is when you're desperate. Here are some tips to help you think ahead.

Do have other sources of income
Depending 100% on your day job for income makes a layoff or pay cut potentially catastrophic. Consider ways to supplement your income. Many tradespeople and professionals hire themselves out on the side. Consider teaching an evening class or coaching a local team. You may be able to rent your basement, that unused condo locker or parking space.

Don’t put off learning new skills
In order to make the most strategic career move possible— or to maintain value in a current role—make sure all your skill sets for your job and other comparable positions in your industry are complete. If there’s one kind of software you never learned, or a report you’ve never tried to write, use the safety of your current role to gain experience.

Don’t wait until you’re desperate to update your profiles
Posting interesting articles and industry news to your LinkedIn account, Twitter and Facebook shows that you are highly engaged in your job. That’s attractive to current and future employers. Updating locations, awards and certifications before your job situation becomes dire not only exposes you to new job opportunities but also keeps you from looking suspicious when you’re actively looking for work. Same goes for Linked In recommendations: request them slowly and steadily to avoid raising red flags with your employer.

Do keep your leads warm
Now more than ever, job hunting isn’t about grabbing for the limited number of openings that are posted when you happen to be looking. The opportunities that will exist when you’ve been terminated are just a small fraction of the potential career moves that existed in the six months or year prior. So be proactive about your career, even if you’re content with your current position. Uncertain times are good for goal setting, researching industries, going to hear speakers and thinking about next steps.