Monday, November 7, 2011

Layoffs are coming: preparing at work've been feeling the tension at work.  You've noticed the executives having secret meetings.  You've googled your company and the news is not good.  The signs are there, layoffs are coming.  Now, how do you prepare yourself?
  • Start expanding your on-line presence.  If you don't have a Linkedin account get one.  Linkedin is a good way to network with people in your industry.   There are lots of user groups started by Linkedin members.  Find one related to your industry and join. 
  • Build a list of references.  Ask for references from your supervisors, managers, colleagues, and subordinates.  Return the favor and be a reference for others.  Be sure to get your reference's personal contact numbers.
  • Quietly remove personal items from your place of work.  Remove items like family photos, certificates, awards, personal decorations, etc.  If the axe falls you may not have a lot of time to pack-up your personal items.  In some cases you may not have any time.  After receiving notice of termination you may be escorted off the premises by security.  The company will then have someone else pack your personal belongings.
  • Create your own personal parachute.  Find out what kind of severance package your company offers.  See if any outplacement assistance programs are available.  (If you live in Maryland check out the Professional Outplacement Assistance Center at 
  • Contact your state office about unemployment benefits.  (This is especially important for workers in religious organizations.  Many of them are exempt from paying unemployment insurance.  You may find that if you are laid-off you will be ineligible for unemployment benefits.)
  • Get your resume ready.
  • Check out your health benefits. Find out what your COBRA costs would be.  Attend to your health while you have benefits.  This is the time to get any needed medical procedures done.
  • Buy a flash drive and download any personal files and anything you have written.  Download any letters or memos you have written.  If you've developed any Excel spreadsheets or programs download these also.  BE SURE NOT TO DOWNLOAD ANY PROPRIETARY DATA.
  • Update your skills.  Look into your local community college for any courses you can take.  Or look for projects that you can work on that would help you learn new skills.
The work world nowadays is a difficult place.  You are responsible for your own career and professional well-being.  You may not be able to control when a layoff is coming or if you get laid-off.  But you can take steps to make sure your landing is as soft as possible.

Information for this article was taken from the following sources:
Layoff preparations at work  Susan P. Joyce
How to Prepare for a Layoff  Cubicle Curtis

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