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Emergency preparedness and your job search

Many people have an emergency preparedness checklist - but what's missing from most of them?
Many people have an emergency preparedness checklist - but what's missing from most of them?

Having recently witnessed the spate of wildfires here in the San Diego area and seeing all the evacuations that took place, it occurred to me that there was a lesson in there for job seekers – or for anyone who might someday become one.

There were clips on the news showing people loading up their cars, undoubtedly with the items so often published on line under the heading “what to take with you in an emergency”. What kind of items? Clothes, medications, irreplaceable pictures, a few treasured items, and important financial documents. You’ve seen those lists at one time or another, I’m sure.

OK, so what’s missing from those lists? What could you possibly need down the road (or now for that matter), that isn’t necessarily a good thing to trust to memory alone? Employment information! Things such as a digital record of your employment history, your salary history, a list of your business contacts &/or professional references, and oh yeah… your resume. For the currently employed, many of these items can have value. For the unemployed, they are absolutely essential.

To have these things gathered in one place is not difficult, nor is it much of a financial burden. Storing all of the above on a flash drive gets the job done simply, easily, and effectively. You can use one you’re already using to store important financial data, or you can purchase a small one for very little money, and dedicate it to your employment information only.

Once you have that flash drive, copy and paste everything pertinent to your professional life onto it from your computer, and you’re ready to go. True, you do have to remember to update it now and again as things in your professional life change, but that’s not terribly difficult to do.

After you’re done creating or updating your employment flash drive, simply store it with the rest of your emergency preparedness kit so it doesn’t get forgotten in the mad dash to get out. Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but you’ll sure be glad you have it should the need arise. With things like this, the Boy Scout motto is the way to go: “Be Prepared”. At crunch time, it sure beats the alternative.