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NYU Career Management Expert Gives Tips On Surviving and Thriving After Downsizing or Layoffs

March 20, 2008


With the recent collapse of financial giant Bear Stearns, employees at this and other companies who have been downsized or laid-off need to know what to do to move forward, and manage their careers for the future.

Emily Westerman, associate director, Office of Career Management at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (, is an expert in career management, planning and development.

Below are Westerman’s tips for employees -

All Levels of Employees

  • Take some time to re-evaluate and reassess your situation.
  • Westerman suggests that you ask yourself: “Do you want to stay in Financial Services? If so, in the same role?”
  • Before deciding on Financial Services, ask whether there are other careers you had considered?
  • Think about all the skills you have acquired. Which do you most enjoy using? What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Higher-Level Executives and Junior Employees (Non-Administrative)

  • One of the most important things you can do, says Westerman, is to “stay connected!”
  • Get involved in community activities
  • Think about volunteering — this is a great way to utilize your skills, develop new skills and expand your network
  • Join professional associations in your target industry or career area
  • Think about doing consulting or contract work

Advice for Higher-Level Executives

  • Consider joining a board of a professional association, community organization, or nonprofit organization.
  • Take advantage of professional development opportunities
  • Attend seminars, conferences, workshops
  • Consider taking a continuing education course in a subject in which you have always been interested, to test the waters and to expand your network

Advice for Junior Employees

  • Westerman suggests that you ask yourself, “Has going back to school been in the back of your mind?” If so, have you thought about what degree you would pursue?
  • If you are currently in school part-time, think about switching to full-time

Advice for Employees in Administrative Roles

  • Evaluate whether you want to continue to do administrative work. If so, assess where you need to update your skills. Think about what other industries in which you would like to work. What types of technology systems does that industry use?
  • If your former company offers education voucher as part of severance package, take advantage of training opportunities.
  • If you have been thinking about other careers, this might be a good time to make the change. Do you need further school or specific training?
  • Temp work is a good way to test the waters in other industries.

All Levels of Employees

  • Network! Make a list of everyone you know (past and most recent professional colleagues and clients, friends and families, acquaintances) - reach out to your network and let them know your situation
  • Allow time for activities that re-energize you
  • Surround yourself with people who support you
  • Reach out for help when you need it!

About Emily Westerman
Prior to working at NYU-SCPS, Emily Westerman was assistant director in the Office of Career Services at Yeshiva University in New York. Prior to that, she worked in the Department of Career Services at JP Morgan Chase. Since March 2002, Westerman has had adjunct appointments as instructor and career counselor for the NYU-SCPS Center for Career, Education, and Life Planning. Emily earned her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Albright College, and her M.A. in Counselor Education from Fairfield University. She also has an SCPS Certificate in Adult Career Planning and Development. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and the Association of Career Management Professionals, where she served as a board member and officer for three years.

MEDIA CONTACT: For press inquiries only, and to obtain contact information for Emily Westerman, please contact Carmen Tong at 212-992-9103 / or Ken Brown at 212-998-9119 /

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
School of Continuing and Professional Studies

Type: Press Release

Press Contacts:
Ken Brown | (212) 998-9119
Cheryl Feliciano | (212) 992-9103

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