How many times have we seen these words over the past fortnight?  Lehman Brothers, Bradford & Bingley, AIG, RBS, Outplacement - it just goes on and on.  But hold hard.  Outplacement?  Is that failing too?  Quite the contrary!  If you get offered outplacement support, when your job is made redundant, take it.  Outplacement aims to help people get a better job and sooner.  If you are employed but worried about your job, don′t just bury your head in the sand like an ostrich.

With the financial markets in disarray and the effects of the shift in that influential industry as yet unknown for the rest of the market place, is there anything of comfort for workers?

Yes there is.  We can use the experience of our past, combined with the knowledge of ourselves, and prepare as best as possible for any eventuality.  We can, in other words, be practical.

We can identify the transferable strengths we use at work, such as business & technical skills, market knowledge and work traits.  We can examine what we have now, in our tool kit of survival skills which are marketable.  We can check, ruthlessly, to see if they still serve us well.  If we were thinking to become part of an industry currently in tatters, perhaps we might reconsider that ambition.  Or, alternatively, we might go out to find opportunities where none previously existed.

In the light of evolving techniques for CV writing and the job-search, we can refresh and polish up those resumes and examine them with the cold eyes of someone else′s expectation.  Then, if necessary, massage or rewrite them.  If, in the examination of our career history and what we have achieved, we find our path forward is no longer as clear as once appeared, we can even consider retraining for a change of career.

Difficult times require acts of bravery.  As Joseph Campbell* said:

"Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging."

*The Hero With A Thousand Faces