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How To Get Prepared For A Layoff – Layoffs are a common feature these days and the news like so and so company axed more than 100 staff or employees, makes every employee feel scary about losing a job. Even you might feel scared about losing job anytime.
This clearly indicates that layoffs really do suck, but given the unstable condition of markets and business, they are no more a surprise. So it is better to be prepared for a potential layoff rather than looking for a guaranteed job security.
What is in your hands is to take proper measures or steps to reduce the chances of getting laid off. Keeping this basic concept in mind it is better to notion to stay prepared always for the likelihood of getting laid off.
I personally feel that getting geared up for a potential layoff in future is just like framing and preparing your own will. Although it is much unproblematic to keep the entire task away and just think that you do not need it.
But it is much frightening to find yourself jobless one fine day in the future, and then you will be more contended if you have planned few easy things in life.
This article will provide you a brief preview of how to be prepared for a potential layoff in forthcoming days.
Are you getting the vibes of potential layoff or facing the threat of losing the job? Be it the rumors doing the rounds – or just in case you have completely reliable information regarding restructuring in your organization, it is the right time to get ready for it.
This thought of losing your job can be true even if you feel that your job is completely safe. Whenever any firm undergoes an acquisition, internal reorganization or a merger, the things are found to be happening at very faster rate.
It can bring in unexpected as well as very frequent alterations within the company. The best solution to handle such situations is to be well prepared just in case you are asked to leave the job.
Below you can find some really helpful and simple steps for getting well prepared for a sudden job loss. As the saying goes
“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”
Step 1: Conserve Some Cash
Be it a meager amount, but you should start saving some cash while on the job. The only and the key reason why you need an emergency fund is the potential of losing the job. If you haven’t thought about saving, then this is the right time to do so.
Just save whatever you can every month. According to an advice given Dave Ramsay, the king of debt-reduction, to a radio show caller he should stop spending additional money on the credit card bills, rather should start stockpiling cash.
What’s the reason behind this advice? The unions might go for a strike and the caller might go out of job or without any pay for at least a month’s time. Thus he will be requiring enough money to sail through the regular expenses for a month or so.
So if you weigh up the situations at job, then considering the risk, it is suggested that you divert some money to savings right away.
For some time stop paying extra amount on the debts as well as try reducing the spending wherever you can. However, it is not advisable to start contributing towards the retirement account.
Step 2: Be Ready with Resume and References
It is although sad and painful, but losing a job suddenly is hurting. Being an employee, some have better intuitive power and can see it written on the walls or can smell it, while others are not capable of doing so.
Thus, whenever a sudden layoff hits, you can be ready with an updated and brand new resume, to start with the job hunt as soon as possible.
Always keep in mind that you are making a re-entry into the market and would be standing against the lot who is already unemployed or have been out of work for months together.
Take help from friends or consultants to prep the new resume, it will also help in analyzing and finding who all can be called for solid references.
Search the network established with your past co-workers, to find if anyone can be of help or any other firm that is hiring.
The best thing is that by establishing references and past connections the chances are more that you will grab an exciting opportunity even prior to your requirement. Bingo go for it!
Step 3: Take Care of Unemployment Benefits
Due to the sudden layoff if you get a nice severance package or benefits, do not start spending it on a vacation trip. Just give yourself some time like a week or two to decompress and then seriously start looking for a job.
Seat a deadline to fetch a job before the severance package ends or runs out. Since this period is unpredictable, so it can also take few months or may be a year.
Make sure that you apply on time for the unemployment benefits properly, by taking help of online submission or form filling if it is available as it is quick and easy to do.
However, it is suggested that do not depend totally on the unemployment benefits. In case you are an employee who has been laid off involuntarily, then you will qualify for state unemployment benefits.
But these benefits will not be equal to your monthly earnings they will just match a portion of your earnings, so it will fulfill your needs just for a month or a week’s time.
The worst part is that unemployment benefits are taxable. So just imagine if you are unemployed and are unable to afford approximately 35 percent of each cheque as taxes, the amount you will owe after getting all the benefits would be very hefty.
So it is wise not to rely totally on the unemployment benefits received.
Step 4: Create Branding Materials
Once you start networking with people after layoff or start applying for fresh job opportunities, everyone will ask for your resume. Create a string brand that is you through a smart and effective LinkedIn Profile.
You might need to submit a cover letter for the desired job vacancy. Be it any field make sure that that both the hard copy as well as the online portfolio is being updated and carries your recent job as well.
Do not wait. Being prepared will help in avoiding last minute scrambling, when you meet or catch up with someone who asks for your resume.
Taking enough time to update the credentials when asked for resume will create a poor brand image of you. While updating the resume just do critical analysis just do a critical analysis of the entire portfolio and keep in mind few points like:
- Is my resume readable?
- Does it have a concise and entire career’s summary?
- Does it have bullet points indicating your education, work, technical skills along with the awards etc.?
- Can you figure out as a layman your area of expertise?
- Have you checked it for grammatical or formatting mistakes?
Step 5: Look Out for Warning Signs
Large businesses indicate some kind of warning signs through public communication. Most of the publically traded firms inform their shareholders about the profit issues or business downturns.
The best way to look for warning signs is by adopting the tactic of listening to both the bad as well as good news. This will help in making sure that you do not miss out on bad news messages as you have been just concentrating on the good messages.
Once you spot the bad news try to get it personalized – How is that news going to affect the area in which you work or your job? In case you are unable to translate it to your perspective, just take help of your firm’s management.
Simply said “Do Your Homework.” Once you get it clarified with people inside as well as outside your firm and collect various point of views, decide whether it is the warning sign or not.
However, in case of smaller firms or businesses it is tough to detect. Even if the company is smaller but good at communication and well run, then listen to the communication messages very carefully.
For example any activity which needs money expenditure would be the first one to be stopped or cut back in smaller organizations. So, although small firms do not display the warning signs easily, through smart observation, you can easily detect them.
Obviously, there might be companies that do not give out any kind of warning signals for potential layoffs. I know some people who have been promoted or got raises in a week and the very next week they have been laid off.
Step 6: Stay Away from Tussle
Usually when the layoffs are round the corner, the relationships in the office might get uglier. Even the stress levels of your co-workers would be at an all-time high and even the there might be speculations related to who will be the first one to be laid off and who will stay.
Even you might get tempted to get involved in this kind of gossip. It is better to stay away from malicious or any kind of negative conversations.
Analyzing and talking about the upcoming layoffs is just going to raise your anxiety levels moreover, keeping apart from co-workers is never in your best interest.
Just think that the co-worker, about whom you are hitting around through gossip columns, might be the person whom you will ask for job reference the other day.
Last but not the least being part of the gossip sessions or getting bothered about the impending doom is just going to divert your attention from your topmost priority – Your Job. So it’s suggested that you better stay away from any dispute.
Step 7: Make Everything Run Smooth with layoff
If there’s any time to prove your worthiness or to put your nose in a grindstone, then this is the right time. To alleviate the stressful atmosphere around the workplace is to make sure that everything around the office is running smoothly.
One thing more ensures that your boss or immediate supervisor gets to know about it. Your work should be efficient as well as should get compete within the allocated deadline.
Once this is done pick up few extra tasks by taking initiative, mainly the one’s which will make your boss’s life much better.
While you are working on this A-game, make sure that it does not go unnoticed or without any acknowledgement. During regular meetings with your boss ensure that your boss get’s to know about all the new tasks you have undertaken.
For example give him a brief outline regarding all the projects you have completed and undertaken recently or if it is related to sales the amount of money you have brought in for the organization.
This will help in justifying your salary to the immediate supervisor or your position to the higher management within the company. Do not be reluctant to blow your own trumpet as it is the need of the hour.
The best way to keep the cycle running is to prove to the organization how profitable and beneficial you are to the company.
While making decisions about which employees to keep and which ones to part with, the companies consider lots of factors.
Although all these factors are not under your control, but by being prepared for the potential layoff and working on the relationships you can turn some of the factors to your benefit very easily.
Through a combination of hard work with shining luck, you can easily retain your employment as well as sanity even during the layoff season.
Tough times don’t last forever but tough people do.
Layoffs can be tougher, but stay calm and do not panic. By simply analyzing and getting prepared you can firstly increase the chances of not being laid off or make the best use of your work connections. Stay away from the rumors of layoffs but be attentive to the warning signals.
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