For those dealing with a layoff or recovering from a job where they were bullied or harassed, there may be an understandable tendency to dwell on the negative experiences of the recent past. But ultimately, if they want to turn things around, they’ll also want to envision the possibilities for something better.
This is much easier said than done. Nothing is more frustrating and even infuriating than to be told that it’s time to “get over it” or to “move on” from a horrible experience at work. Indeed, that experience may be with someone for a long time. Job loss, bullying, and harassment leave their marks.
And yet, the ability to look ahead is a key to finding that better place.
During the 2+ years I’ve written this blog, I have identified a number of books, websites, and resources that may be helpful to those who are forging solutions and options that will move them toward a better place. I thought it might be useful to collect them, as well as a few others I haven’t mentioned, in one post. Here goes:
Inspiration, letting go, moving on
Career envisioning and job hunting
Richard Bolles’s What Color is Your Parachute? is a classic career guidance and job hunting manual, updated yearly. Go here for Bolles’s website.
Personal career coaching may help you define a better path. For example, Career Planning and Management in Boston offers career counseling services for individuals (link here). Principal and co-founder Dan King (and member of the New Workplace Institute advisory committee) has posted a host of excellent advice columns on the website, including “Fight or Flight: When Your Job Becomes a Nightmare” and “What Do You Want To Be In Your Next Life?”
Quitting, defining your role, and connecting
Among Seth Godin’s many great little books, The Dip (2007) helps you decide when to quit or hang in there, Linchpin (2010) helps you to define an indispensable role for yourself, and Tribes (2008) teaches you how to lead and connect. Godin’s website (with lots of free goodies) and blog can be accessed here.
Starting a business or non-profit
Starting your own business or non-profit organization is hard work, but it may be an attractive option for those who have a great idea and a desire to call their own shots.
SCORE offers free, confidential, small business mentoring and training. Go here for the SCORE website.
The federal Small Business Administration is another helpful resource. Go here for the SBA website.
Boston University offers a four-course online certificate program in entrepreneurship. Go here for the program description.
The Free Management Library has a helpful page on starting a non-profit, here.
Especially if you’re considering a career switch, obtaining additional education and training may be advantageous. My advice is to consider all the options, taking the one that gets you there effectively, in the least time, and spending the least amount of money.
In elevated order of time and expense:
Learning what you need on your own is the most cost-effective approach. Three books — Ronald Gross, Peak Learning (1999) and James Marcus Bach, Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar (2009), and Anya Kamenetz, DIY U (2010) — are helpful resources.
It’s possible to learn a lot on your own. For example, I recently blogged about Josh Kaufman’s Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business (2010) and his accompanying website.
Non-credit courses, taken at a local college, adult education center, or online, can give you introductions to new vocations and professions and teach you needed skills.
A certificate program can be useful in terms of both education and credential value, while requiring less time and expense than a full-blown degree. Colleges and universities (in person and online) offer certificate programs, as well as some adult learning centers.
A degree program can provide immersive study and a valuable credential, but it also can be expensive and time-consuming. Investigate this possibility thoroughly. Many people can get where they want to go without obtaining a new degree. But if you want to enter certain professions, such as teaching, nursing, law, and others, a degree program is the standard door opener.
Temping as a bridge strategy
Too many companies treat temporary workers shabbily. However, temp work can be regarded as a bridge to something better. You’ll find helpful information about the overall temp job market (here), pros and cons of temping (here and here), and temping strategies (here).
For freelancers, temps, and other workers in non-traditional positions, the Freelancers Union may be an important source of information and support. Go here for its website.
These resources just begin to scratch the surface of the good stuff that is out there for people. If you find yourself ready to consider your next steps, I hope that some of this will be helpful to you.