The sad fact for most modern workers: If you can be replaced for
cheaper, you will be. But with these tips from Laurence Shatkin, author
of “2011 Career Plan: The Best Moves Now for a Solid Future,” you can always bounce back.

Get involved in networking organizations. Look for networking groups that have a broader membership than those in career transition: ExecuNet, which has chapters across the country, is a group that brings executives, recruiters and business leaders together for discussion in-person and online. Leadership organizations can also be great networking groups. For example, Toastmasters, which helps people become comfortable with public speaking, is a way to meet people from many different industries in your community.

2 Use your alumni network. The term “alumni” can apply to different groups: your college, high school, sorority/fraternity or people you worked with at a former employer. Mobilize them all. Alumni associations can provide a wealth of contacts and resources for job hunters. Have you caught up with a college roommate lately? Use LinkedIn or Facebook to find out how they are and where they’re working. You could find a potential advocate for a target employer. If not, you’ve at least reconnected with an old friend.

3 Volunteer your expertise. Use your knowledge in a field to help others, and it can benefit you in your job search. Employers want to hire people who are highly regarded in their fields. Volunteering provides the opportunity to build a reputation in an industry while making key contacts.

4 Be curious wherever you go. As you’re networking or just running errands, be aware of what’s going on around you and ask questions. Curiosity usually leads to discovery. That can mean meeting someone who will lead you to a potential job. If you’re shy about touting yourself, asking people about their jobs, careers or interests can be a way to expand your network in new and surprising ways.

5 Remember, it’s a small world. With so many people in so many industries displaced in the recession, it’s highly likely you will know people at potential employers. Previous work experience with someone on the inside can be a major advantage.

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