The Highlands Company Blog

Find Your Footing: Maintain Confidence in a Time of Layoffs

It’s no secret the job market is in flux. Oracle, Asurion and Invitae are among the long list of companies whose announcements of layoffs have made headlines recently. Giants Ford and Walmart made the list as well. Layoffs are happening at small, midsize and large companies … public and private companies … well-established and startup companies. Job security is hardly guaranteed these days.

But fear not: the future of your career is within your control.

HAB to the Rescue: Move Forward with a Clear Vision

No matter the trajectory of your current position, you may have more control over the situation than you realize, beginning with your outlook. Whether you desire to remain in your position or are facing a layoff, you can take steps to move forward with clarity and confidence.

One of the most empowering tools for career development and success is the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB). This objective, psychometrically validated aptitude assessment measures your natural abilities, offering you a road map for pairing these innate tendencies with right-fit occupations. When faced with career uncertainty, you can rely on the results of your HAB to shore up your placement with your current employer and also to discover new career opportunities.

How Can the HAB Help You Stay Employed?

You like your job. You like having a job and the security it brings. In these uncertain times, retaining your employment status may be the most effective course of action. But is job retention within your control? Yes and no. Companies are usually forced to lay off employees for financial survival. In this regard, employees don’t have much say in the matter.

Career resilience and making yourself as retainable as possible is within your control! If keeping your job is of utmost importance, the following are going to be crucial to give you the best advantage:

  • Stay relevant: Knowing your strengths in the workplace gives you an edge. The Highlands Ability Battery can help you learn about—and directly apply—your natural abilities, helping you stay relevant and giving you the push to take on additional responsibilities that draw upon your strengths.
  • Increase your value: Your boss needs to eliminate 10 of the 20 positions in your department. What contributions do you make to the company? To your team? By leveraging your strengths, you can increase the value you bring to the table, making you a less likely candidate for a layoff.
  • Position yourself well: It’s Monday morning and your boss tells you your department is being eliminated. “Thank you for your service, and best of luck to you.” But what if there is another alternative to gathering your belongings in a cardboard box on your way out the door? Knowing your natural abilities allows you to position yourself as a highly qualified candidate to transfer to another department within your company. The language in your personalized Highlands reports can help you clearly articulate your talents.

How Can the HAB Help You Land on Your Feet after a Layoff?

Whether your company closes its doors, eliminates your department or shows you the door, you have many choices. Pursuing them requires a positive outlook and an openness to exploring new opportunities. Even if retaining employment at this company was not in the cards for you, a bright path forward is possible.

This is merely a transition period.

Transitions provide opportunities for change. The possibilities can be exciting! New company? New job/role? New career? The Highlands Ability Battery can help guide your career exploration, steering you toward roles and work environments where you will likely thrive and achieve career satisfaction.

Through customized reports and an in-depth feedback session with a Highlands Certified Consultant as detailed below, you will gain a deeper understanding of your natural abilities. When you make choices with this powerful knowledge, who knows? Maybe you’ll pursue your best-fit career and reap a lifetime of reward—and discover that the layoff was a blessing in disguise.

Explore the HAB: 3 Steps to Ultimate Self-Discovery

The HAB is comprised of three distinct steps. Let’s explore them.

1. Take the Comprehensive Assessment

The HAB is unique in that it measures your abilities based on performance rather than perception. Taken online in a comfortable environment of your choosing and on your own schedule, you will complete 19 work samples or virtual tasks within a set amount of time.

The HAB measures basic human abilities in the following categories: Personal Style dimensions which are predictive of behavior patterns, Driving Abilities which power all that you do, and combinations of Specialized Abilities which influence how you take in, process and recall information.

For the complete list of abilities measured by the HAB- Click here.

The results of the HAB are then compiled in personalized reports and analyzed and reviewed with a Highlands Certified Consultant.

2. Get Personalized Reports

A variety of customized reports are available detailing the definition, interpretation and application of your results. While abilities are the same regardless of the report generated, there are nuances in describing the application of the results for Students, Adults and Leaders. The type of report you receive varies based on your purpose for taking the HAB.

Based on extensive research on the abilities and decades of experience in career development, the Highlands Company has identified more than 60 ability patterns or combinations of abilities with recommendations of occupations that provide an outlet for the expression of those abilities.

The Highlands proprietary Ability Patterns describe how your abilities interact. Discovering your Patterns can help you modify or enhance your current job, change roles within your field and identify similar roles in other industries. While patterns are not tied to a single occupation, they reveal your natural approach to serving in various roles and completing responsibilities.

This alignment is the key to success—personally and professionally.

Using statistical analyses, a list of Ability Patterns closest aligned with your abilities are identified and listed in your Highlands Career Exploration Report.

In reviewing your Ability Patterns, you will:

Discover eye-opening work implications: Are you an Analytical Hands-On Problem Solver? A Performing Communicator? A Group Influencer? A Practical Pragmatic Brainstormer? Your Career Exploration Report will include a list of patterns with a “clear” or “somewhat clear” match with your abilities. The detailed description for each  Ability Pattern provides a plethora of information to arm you with powerful self-awareness. Understanding what makes you function at your highest level can be game-changing. This portion of the report succinctly describes how you work best (for example, solo or in groups, quickly or more slowly) and the types of people and work activities with which you are most comfortable (and uncomfortable!), among other useful information.

Understand the building blocks of the pattern: Each pattern is made up of building blocks. Foundational abilities—those that are strongest in a pattern—are at the base. Influencing abilities are layered above them. Together, a pattern outlines specific approaches you apply to your work and determines areas and roles for which your natural abilities are well suited.

Explore lists of right-fit career options: Each Ability Pattern offers a list of careers to explore that are suitable for that pattern. These occupations require abilities that overlap the natural abilities measured in the HAB. A hot link to O*NET Online, the U.S. Department of Labor’s occupational resource center allows professionals, students, researchers and more to explore career descriptions.

See what it all means: Each pattern is accompanied by a graph that shows your ability score relative to the range of scores for each ability associated with each pattern. This provides a visual representation of the degree of “fit” with each of your abilities within each pattern.

(Want to see a report? Check out this Highlands Career Exploration Report sample.)

3. Explore (and Implement!) In-Depth Feedback

Finally, it’s time for the most revealing aspect of the program: the debrief. This 2-hour in-depth feedback session with a Highlands Certified Consultant —either in person, by phone or by video conference—will leave you feeling empowered by the insights you’ll gain about yourself. Your knowledgeable, highly trained consultant will break down the results from the HAB, explain what they mean, and help you apply what you learn to real-world situations you face, such as increasing your resiliency in today’s market or mapping a course for your next career if you’ve just been laid off.

You can survive—and learn how to thrive in—today’s ever-changing job market. If you’ve been part of a layoff, know that it is possible to soar on the other side, letting your natural abilities lead the way. Empower yourself with a deeper understanding of you!

Visit the Highlands Company today to learn more about the Highlands Ability Battery and the many benefits of working with a Highlands consultant. Receive an in-depth, personalized overview of all things you and take charge of your future.