If you’ve been laid off, pivot your skills into a new career

Some folks assume they’ve hit a dead-end when the business during which they’ve constructed their career downsizes, quickly closes or shuts down.

But “there’s no reason to lose hope,” stated Kenneth Johnson, president of East Coast Executives, a recruitment agency based mostly in Harlem. “Individuals in any industry can learn to pull out their transferable skills and use them to get a job.”

The exhausting half is figuring out what you need to provide. You’ll have to open your thoughts to how your skills might apply to jobs off your radar, and be keen to ask for assist.

The excellent news is that many individuals have completed it efficiently. Here’s proof.

Acting out

March 13 was a horrible day for 34-year-old Jay O’Neal. A manufacturing carpenter on the “Stomp” touring present, he was furloughed.

“At first we thought we might be able to continue by April 15, but the pandemic kept looking worse,” stated O’Neal.
At first, O’Neal collected unemployment, however then a pal referred to as and instructed him about a chance internet hosting digital team-building occasions for

O’Neal, who alternates between constructing units and appearing, felt he’d make a good match. During a Zoom job interview, he was requested to share a story that he thought of superior. The thought behind the query, he later realized, was for the corporate’s administration to seek out out “if you’re cool enough to go camping with.”

O’Neal was first supplied the job as a freelancer. Training consisted of familiarizing himself with numerous team-building actions, together with camp-style icebreaker video games and s’extra making (members have been mailed s’extra kits forward of time).

O’Neal now leads as many as 5 digital occasions per day and is a full-time worker.

Jay O'Neal, a former production carpenter for
Jay O’Neal, a former manufacturing carpenter for “Stomp”Jay O’Neal

Midlife career change

Don’t inform Beatrice Sampong Evans you could’t get began in a new career when you’re over 50. When the 57-year-old was laid off from her job as an operations supervisor at a Midtown outsourcing agency in April, mentors instructed she take a while earlier than she started her job search to determine what she’d love to do subsequent.

“They encouraged me to think about what would really excite me,” stated Sampong Evans.

That’s one thing that the Bronx resident hadn’t completed earlier than, since she had been content material together with her work. As a part of her career-exploration course of, she attended a webinar that included presenters like Kenneth Johnson. At the occasion, she realized that what you excelled at in your earlier jobs doesn’t have to lock you in.

“We teach people to pull out their transferable skills and help them understand that those skills can help qualify them for other opportunities,” defined Johnson.

The employer presenting on the occasion was Johnson Security Bureau. Sampong Evans preferred what she heard from Jessica Johnson-Cope, the corporate’s president and CEO, so she adopted up with a letter and her resume. She now works on the agency as a expertise administration specialist and earns greater than she did in her earlier job.

“You have to be open to coaching, willing to connect to association networks and be passionate about doing something new,” stated Sampong Evans. “Just because you’ve been doing one thing well for years doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed in something else.”

Food for thought

The coronavirus pandemic offered Hisham Elhag with a new alternative. The 23-year-old had been a catering captain at Hungry, a business- and event-catering firm, and was working in Virginia. When places of work closed, there was all of the sudden nobody to cater to. That is, till Hungry’s administration staff received a new line of enterprise, serving New York City’s aged who couldn’t depart their houses because of the pandemic.

“My boss asked me if I was willing to move to New York City,” stated Elhag. Though he was “extremely scared,” he agreed, particularly for the reason that alternative was between getting a rise in pay or being furloughed.

Today, Elhag lives in decrease Manhattan and manages a crew delivering 1.5 million meals to shut-in seniors throughout town.

Finding the inexperienced

For Enrique Herrera, a 23-year-old resident of the Upper East Side, the pandemic pulled his job as a carpenter’s apprentice out from below him. The key to job safety transferring ahead, Herrera determined, was having a vocation that’s in demand and good for the planet. “I decided to learn to do work that supports green lifestyles,” he stated.

Luckily for Herrera, he certified for paid coaching by means of Intervine, a New York program that trains low-income neighborhood members to work inside inexperienced infrastructures. Over a 10-week interval, he took programs together with development, web site security and photo voltaic PV set up. He additionally earned certifications after coaching.

When Herrera accomplished the lessons by way of Zoom, he was awarded a paid internship with Bright Power in decrease Manhattan, which works to enhance constructing effectivity and decrease constructing emissions for a greener planet. He hopes to get employed as a everlasting worker.

“I can’t wait to become more hands-on and get out on the field,” stated Herrera.


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