Are you building a career where a layoff makes you unemployed or on the market?

I’m listening to the Oral History of the Daily Show.  One of the reveals is that Jon Stewart quit the show 2 years prior to his actual resignation.  He was convinced to sign on for one more contract.  His concern for his staff was one of the reasons he continued.  He worried for some – but not all – that layoffs would occur if he left and that would really hurt some of his staff.  For those he wasn’t worried about, it wasn’t for lack of care for them but rather he knew they would have other opportunities: they would be “on the market.”

Layoffs in the new world of work are seemingly inevitable. Building an invincible career means that layoffs – which those in Connecticut have become all too accustomed to – are not a terrible thing, just a disruption.  So, for example, while Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Samatha Bee, Jon Oliver and other Daily Show alum went on to big success post Daily Show (unrelated to Stewart’s departure).  Some lesser known correspondents have floundered after they left the Daily Show.  The first group had the opportunity to be “on the market” when they left.

In working with several of Career Counseling Connecticut’s clients recently, I could almost immediately see the difference when working with forty and fiftysomethings.  Many were terrified about rumblings related to Connecticut’s tenuous economic situation.  If they were laid off, they realized that the layoff would be long and job prospects would be uncertain.  Some were not so bothered.  They would be fine or more than fine.  They had built the skills/connections that simply meant they would work elsewhere if laid off.  These types were meeting with me for an affirmative career counseling session.  They were happy in their jobs but were planning their career path over the next decade as they knew disruptions were inevitable.

The key differentiator between the two groups: the “fit” for the career.  This is why it is so imperative to figure out your career path.  If you get it right, layoffs are just opportunities.