I have been laid off and lost my Job!

I want to Improve my Job Prospects and pursue some Further Education Course!
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The Pages that will Help You Cope with and Handle the Loss of Your Job
Lost the Job: The First Steps to Recovery

After You Lost the Job: Assessing your Financial Position

Self Assessment of your Abilities when you are looking for a new Job

Lost your Job:
How do I find a new one? -
Some Rules to Help you
Lost the Job: What income (unemployment benefit) can I expect
Lost the Job: Make an Expenditure Budget

Lost the Job: Saving your Home - A Survival Guide when Foreclosure Looms

Lost the Job: Some Tips for coping with a Job Loss and avoiding Depression

Lost the Job: What will further Education bring me?

How to write a Resume
How to master an Interview

The Ten Rules you should not break, when looking for a Job

HR Evaluation and Testing
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After the Job Loss:

Further Education, the Key to a better Job?

Many people think that "being laid off" and having lost a job, is a good time to get involved in some further education, in order to improve future job prospects. In principle, that is an excellent idea. However, there are some serious issues, you have to think about. A selection of those are shown here:

The costs of your proposed education course.
The length of your intended course and how completing a course fits in with your family life
The quality of the course and of the institution, where you intend to take the course
The direct relationship and relevance to your prior experience and education
Your age and the remaining length of your working life.

Clearly, the costs of your intended education course, at a time, we presume of potential financial hardship, is an important issue.

If you live in "financial plenty", it will be okay, but otherwise you have to think long and hard, whether you want to spend essential money on an educational adventure that may or may not bring you better job prospects.

The very last thing we would recommend, would be that you take out some expensive student loan, or multiple loans, to pay for further education. Remember, in addition to course costs, there will be the costs of going to the institution, the costs of books and maybe, even laboratory costs for certain courses.

Obviously, the choices depend on your own circumstances. What makes sense for a nurse with an LPN, when she, or he, at any age under 45, wants to "upgrade" and complete a Bachelor nursing degree, does not necessarily make sense for a manager at 55, wanting to complete some expensive "standard" or "executive" MBA, most likely at a third rate, or online university. He, certainly will never make his money back!

So should one only undertake further education, when there is a payback? Or should only "youngish employees" think of additional education?

"No", in both cases, adamantly: "no"! If you want to pursue education for the sake of education and, can afford to do so, by all means go ahead! It is a laudable undertaking. But, just passing a few courses with meaningless multiple choice tests in the end, is not what education is about! And, it is certainly not what you want. Getting technical training, rather than the pursuit of intellectual dreams, is obviously a good thing. But, you have to consider carefully, what it will bring you in terms of future prospects. Doing an accounting degree when you have been a bookkeeper with lots of experience, will certainly help you.
You should also consider that all degrees are not necessarily equal. The economic boom, and now, the slow down, have resulted in a large number of non accredited institutions being founded, offering courses and meaningless degrees at high costs to students. Try to stay clear of them! The quality of the course, the institution and the qualification is paramount, when you spend money that could be used elsewhere!

If you are expecting to find employment in a serious job and, your future employer, or his human resources manager, has studied at a good local, or national, university, he or she is not likely to be impressed by lesser qualifications. So, if you do invest your time and money into a degree, make sure you go for QUALITY.

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What kind of education should you go for?

They key educational goal, during your period of unemployment should be to acquire SKILLS, not general education. Skills are most useful, if you acquire them in areas, where you already have experience and, where you can build on a solid foundation of experience. State universities and community colleges often offer "one-off courses" that can be a great help.

For instance, if you are a human resources manager, something like public speaking, interviewing techniques, resume writing and evaluation, or leadership evaluation courses, may be interesting and useful. The costs in these colleges tend to be reasonable and, you don’t have to commit more than a few weeks to the project.

You have to be selective and, then put some thought into what you are going to pursue and, why you want to do that.

We are in no way against education and training. On the contrary, the problem is often, that people are not well enough trained to withstand the onslaught of competition coming from globalization. And, if you can improve your position and your future value to an employer through further training, do so, quickly and efficiently! But select wisely, and with some goal and with a plan.

The Summary

Here are some issues that should keep you on the "right path". We are sure you find many more that apply to your particular circumstances. Make a list and it will help you to do the "right things", right!

Do not go into debt, in order to pursue some further education
Stay clear of "degree-mills" and unaccredited (or "vaguely" accredited) Institutions!
Build on your existing skills and do not pursue courses that are the results of "fads"!
Look at possibilities outside colleges, for instance by creating a reading list on a topic, and then buy the books (second hand, whenever possible) at amazon.com or similar bookshops. This type of learning requires discipline and a well thought-out plan!

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Some Book Recommendations from amazon.com

Often, skills like "making a good presentations" or "improving communications" are often more valuable in business, then getting another degree. Here are some more books that might be helpful:

One of the options that might be attractive to you is taking up a specific book on a skill, then looking around for some courses for that skill (to get a formal piece of paper), then to use the book, the course and most importantly, the reading list of the book, to acquire the knowledge. One of the real problems with college courses is that teaching staff has great difficulties parting with their recommended reading lists, if they even have one!

Most courses, unfortunately, rely on a single text book and not much else. But, in order for a course theme to be useful in the real world, outside the academic environment, you want to read different views and approaches to the topic. One way to do it, is to create your own reading list. This takes a bit of work but is really worth it. Just follow a few simple guidelines:

Decide on a "core-book" for a course or topic. You might have to spend a little time in a bookshop and look at the table of contents (on amazon.com, this is often possible on-line), make some notes and look at the list of references and recommended books in the back.
Make a list of secondary books on the topic. Again start with the "core-book" and select a few out of that reference list. On amazon.com, they have a good feature, which is usually noted as "People who liked this book also looked at these books". They are usually, but not always, relevant, so, use your judgement! Sometimes these secondary books are important comments on the issue.
Make searches on Google or Yahoo, on the internet. But be aware many thing you pick from the internet have their limitations. The fact that it is written in a blog, does not by necessity mean it is either true or useful. Often "opinions" are handed around, that have little support in reality and you never know who wrote it!
Organize your reading list on the basis of
The Core-Book and Primary Material
Comments, Critical Comments and Secondary Material
Support Material (maybe historical background of how this issue or event came about etc.)

Use your judgement and common sense! Remember, the aim is to walk away from this effort with a good understanding of the issues, not some "know-all attitude", that you had thoroughly researched the topic and are now an expert!

We wish you good luck and if you have any questions write us an e-mail, we will try to answer it, if we can!

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