I’ve been told my job could be made redundant. I’m worried that there are jobs in my sector – hospitality – will be hard to come by in the next months. I work in head office as an HR manager, but all my recent experience has been in hospitality. I’m in my late 50s. I can’t afford to take early retirement. I need a regular income to pay the mortgage. I’m just worried that my age will not count in my favour and about how transferable my experience is when there will be many others in a similar position. I’m not sure which way to turn. Can you advise?
This is a good time to be realistic about the sector you work in and to focus hard on transferable skills. Fortunately, HR roles feature across most industries. Point yourself towards sectors which are less affected by the downturn, targeting specific employers where you think your skills and experience can make a difference. Don’t let your sectoral experience dominate your CV – focus on projects and issues which affect a wider range of organisations.
Check in with contacts early, and set up online conversations with people in new sectors so you really understand what organisations are looking for and the language they use to describe top performers. Time spent now focusing on organisational needs will pay off – translate what you do into items that appear frequently on employer shopping lists. The trick here is to communicate what you do well in language that organisations not only understand but can get excited about.
*John Lees is one of the UK’s best-known career strategists and author of 15 books on work and careers. How to Get a Job You Love (now in its eleventh edition) regularly tops the list of best-selling careers books by a British author and was twice selected as the WH Smith Business Book of the Month. www.johnleescareers.com