With the current economic meltdown thousands of employees have been laid off over the last few months. Many companies need to downsize and even though it isn’t a performance based decision most of the time it’s usually a cost cutting measure that leads to massive lay offs in the employment arena.
I recently went through a similar situation and know first hand how a lay off can really drop your confidence and also play a number on you. One usually is never prepared for a lay off but here are a following tips to prepare for any unavoidable situations.
Firstly lay offs are quick and usually one does not have the time to pack ones personal items or delete or retrieve your personal information on your work pc or laptop. Most companies don’t usually allow you to use your work pc or laptop for personal use anyways. What is the first law towards a lay off? Backing up your work!
No matter if you own a company laptop, pc or even a blackberry I always recommend you have a backed up copy at home just to save you from trying to retrieve your personal or contact information in the process of being terminated. One useful technique that I used to do was never store any of my files, work or any other related information on my work computers but instead stored it on my home hard drive and / or flash drive. I would back up my work every morning and evening. If you can get routine you wont lose such valuable information.
Secondly I always had a personal online ghost email and forwarded any important / personal or relevant information to my email from my work email. It is recommended not to use your work email for any of your personal contact but if you find an email relevant to your needs always send a copy of it to your ghost email.
The next thing on the agenda is always build a cash reserve. They recommend in the past to have an accumulation of 2-3 months wages to carry you through while you move on and find a new job. Personally I recommend saving a cash reserve for at least 6-9 months assisting you through our current economic hardship. This enables you to have financial security and you aren’t desperate to pick any job but the right job.
I always catch up and follow up with my references every 3-6 months. This keep’s you prepared and have fresh information or updated information on your references. I also would suggest to always be in touch with headhunters, recruiters and employment search engines monthly to keep you updated on what’s on the market. You might have the best jobs on the planet but there is this old saying from a wise man that once said, You are as good as your last day! One day you are in the penthouse and the next you are in the outhouse!
Preparation for a lay off goes a long way. Mentally being prepared is just one half of the battle, the other half is not taking it personally and getting back on your feet again. Don’t ever take it personally it’s just business!