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Layoffs: a Career Development Opportunity

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux 

professional man carrying box through an empty office space

Inspired by someone calling the rash of corporate restructuring the ‘layoff season,’ I realized that this can still be a time of strategy. Instead of putting your head down, hiding, and hoping not to get caught up in the wave, consider your choice to be the path of invisibility or the path of career development.

Reigniting Your Career

I often hear about people who did see the writing on the wall that change was coming to their company. What they did do to prepare? Often, they had done nothing. They reach out to me after the wave of change pushes through, choosing to stay in the confines of comfort for as long as it was an option.

Career Coach Tiffany Dedeaux sitting in contemplation in a Seattle-area park

During the time when I transitioned to my natural hair, it was the manifestation of a goal one year in the making because I wanted to limit the impact my hair care had on my budget. It was working out to about $300 a month because every six weeks I would find myself in the salon for a touchup to a straightening relaxer or a tightening to my professional braids. Here is what I learned about rewilding my hair that can now help you in your career:

Commit the time it takes to achieve your goal. 

There is a lot of work that goes into becoming an overnight sensation. For me, it took more than a year of letting my hair grow out to get to the point where I knew what the plan was, and I felt comfortable in taking it over. Since there is no guarantee on how much time you have, begin outlining your way forward while there may be less pressure rather than trying to force a plan later.

Research what you need to know to perform the tasks. 

Woman carrying her baby while working from home

I spent 12 months picking hairstyles and reading how to pull them off. The other side of this is that it’s important to share what you know so that others can find their own way forward. I am not sure if I would have had the confidence to care for my own natural hair had I not watched YouTube videos of people doing just that. Decide what skill you need to add to your toolkit and learn best practices from your network. Even better, discover what you have to teach, and begin sharing your expertise.

Decide how you want to accomplish your goal. 

For me, I had to pick a hairstyle, for you it may be looking at how you want to inhabit a new family role or new career. Once you decide on a skill, tool, or direction, it can be easier to determine the next steps.

Career Coach Tiffany Dedeaux cheesing for the camera

Practice what you need to do to be successful. 

I occasionally had to replace a twist to keep my style looking neat. Finding success in each of those practice twists gave me the confidence to take on my entire hairstyle. Once you learn to take a step, inside or outside the same company, it can be easier to run toward your next role.

By establishing and implementing a plan to advance your career you empower yourself to own whatever change comes.

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