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Working Notice - How do I Deal?

Q. I was told my company will be eliminating my department in Q2 2013 and that while I am needed on the job until then, I should begin looking for a new job. I appreciate the advanced warning, but I am incredibly stressed out about my job search. Any advice for those of us who are looking forward (not by choice) while working full time?

A. The good news is you still have a job. The bad news is you know when it will be over. People with a working notice know how hard it can be to stay positive during the notice period, and at the same time, have the emotional stamina to conduct a job search. There are a few pieces of advice that can make the transition time work to your advantage.

Be angry, sad, disappointed, and every other emotion you have to the separation news - away from the office and away from colleagues. With your family and most trustworthy friends, talk about the experience and impact and start looking forward. You will most likely revisit these emotions, and you may want to schedule meetings with your emotional support team.

Develop your marketing materials. You may want to consider that you have two full time jobs at this point. You'll need to develop an effective resume, update your LinkedIn profile, and research the right recruiters to contact. And you know that is only the beginning.

Develop a project plan and timeline. Your project plan to reemployment may be an equation. Take the estimated number of people you need to meet (140) to get a job and divide by the number of months of notice that you have and outline how many people per week you will need to meet. Follow the plan.

Keep a professional, positive, attitude, demeanor and schedule at your current job. Stay committed to the work you need to do. Everyone will have something to say about how people are "dealing with" the news. Make sure all comments about your professional contributions, your support of the organization's challenges and your colleagues are positive.

Be flexible. Your manager needs things from you, and you need a great reference. Staying positive and committed may lead to flexibility about the job search activity you would like to conduct during your working notice. You may also see the opportunity to enhance your resume by gaining additional internal experience. Volunteer to help; ask your manager for the opportunity to learn a new skill.

Hopefully you can ease the stress of the situation by controlling what you can and capitalizing on the positive aspects of the situation. One of the benefits of the working notice is that your "public statement" can be very clear. As a business decision, your department has been eliminated. Your employer needed your help and expertise to make the transition. There is a high degree of trust which your employer is demonstrating in you and you will deliver what is expected of you, and more - just like you will for your new employer.

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