When your company closes

American Factory is a documentary available on Netflix, produced by the Obama’s. It follows what happens to a GM factory and its employees after the plant was shut down. In 2008, I worked as a career consultant at a number of GM plants that were downsizing or shutting down (sometimes with little warning) and understand the trauma that people went through. Many of the union members were lifelong employees and thought they would retire from GM. I found that the people who were flexible and could shift paradigms (who they were, what they could do and where they could do it) found new jobs more quickly. For example, one client found a new job after giving careful consideration of his skills and where they could be used. We put together a new resume based on the job description at a public works site, highlighting accomplishments that aligned with their needs. He was able to regain employment fairly quickly by thinking “outside of the box”.

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