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How to Prepare for Losing your Job

Updated on July 15, 2017

Always Be Prepared!

I work for a large company and I have gone through countless downsizes, re-organizations, mergers and divisional closures. However, I was lucky enough to survive most of them and as much as I love my career I have seen my friends, the community, the business and many others suffer through these tough times. It’s a very emotional and demeaning experience to go through, but there are ways to prepare as best as you can to make it through a job loss.

It’s a awkward time and I get that but we all suffer from this economical shift we are facing today. After hearing my co-workers and/or friends talk about “what to do now,” this triggered a thought that all people should know what to do if they are laid off or fired during these challenging economical times. This article is structured to help people who have been caught off guard when losing their jobs, for the ones that felt it was coming and then the ones that are working towards the change of losing their job and obtaining a new career.

I think being prepared is important, regardless if you feel comfortable in your current job, make sure you have done the right things to prepare for a potential layoff. For you and your family, this is very important!

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Below are the advice tips that have worked for me and others. These tips should help you get back on your feet and bounce back from a job loss. To minimize the stress and negative fallout to prepare now for the possibility of a layoff.

Stay Focus – you should never stop looking for potential opportunities Various businesses and/or companies are always looking for new innovative personnel. I would recommend that you have your resume updated to date every three months. Even if you feel comfortable and secure in your current position with your company, still keep your resume current and make passive job searches twice a year. This does two things, keeps you out there looking for a job and it keeps you updated on the jobs within your experience (and how you can improve at your current position but knowing the changes in the job market). You should always stay focus on the surrounding possibilities within your job arena and businesses similar to yours. Be a passive job hunter and be happy at your current position.

Keep Emotions Out of the Work Place – If you are going through a layoff at your company, keep your emotions in control. Fight for what you believe in, for what is right, but make sure you present facts, not just emotional nonsense. This is critical to everything you do, factual information will always prevail in business, and emotional blubbery will never win you any point’s present facts and only facts!

Demonstrate Your Worth – I am not talking ego here, I am saying that if “you don’t toot your own horn, not one else will.” Do want you can to show your manager or management group the value your provide to the company. For example, if you are an excellent sales representative, have one of your customers write a letter to your manager, telling him why you are a good sales representative. This is not the time to be modest, so make sure you document your contributions and ensure that your boss understands how much harder her/his job would be without you. Promote yourself, indirectly to your manager and team through positive communication, like emails, letters, and phone calls and through other personnel. Business is business so show your worth to the company.

Get Organized – if the rumors are out there about the layoffs are coming, then get organized. Start by taking home some of your important possessions in your office;

  • Pack up pictures – leave one or two for display but take home the rest
  • Make copies of work samples, performance reviews and other key business documents you need, take home or store on home computer
  • Make sure you transfer all your contacts to your personnel computer
  • Bring home your personal items (pictures, paperweights, etc.)
  • My philosophy is “only keep enough personal items to fill up 1 box” reduces the “packing time” and you only have one small box to carry out if you are let go

Have a Backup – if you hear the rumors about lay offs within your company, start planning for emergency funds referred to as a “back up” plan. Try and put as much as you can from your paycheck into an “emergency savings account.” Financial planners recommend that you should have enough funds in your emergency “backup” account to cover your living expenses between 3 and 6 months. Hopefully, if you do not get laid off or lose your job, this money will help pay off some bills, reduce some credit cards, and manage your money better. Have a plan to reduce expenses monthly to live appropriate just in case you lose your job.

Do Company Research – find out what kind of severance packages your company has offered to past employees. Chance are some of these colleagues have survived previous rounds of job cuts and can give you some insights on what to do and what to expect. Hopefully, your company is generous and you will have no reason to panic but reason to plan appropriately is a must!

Always Be Positive – occasionally layoffs make it better for the person because they find better jobs, it is business and when this happens sometimes they need a change in their life or just simply wasn’t doing the right career profession. Lay offs and being fired is emotional and never easy but do know that change can be a good thing. Be positive, look at the bright side of opportunities, and just be as positive as you can. It will work out, if you stand firm and stay positive at all times. All companies like and hire “positive” people. I can’t repeat this enough, when talking with your friends or past colleagues, if you are negative that vibe will hurt you (when your friends are looking to help you find a job). Don’t hurt your chances, be positive, act positive and stay positive, you will suceed!

Your Benefits, From Your Company, Use Them – Once the rumors start, if you have not done this, then start;

  • Scheduling your check-up or annual appointments for you and your family
  • All dental, physicals, and medical issue appointments, setup asap
  • This is a benefit to you as an employee, from your company, so get it done
  • If you got a flexible spending account, turn in all outstanding claims to avoid forfeiting any balances
  • Know exactly how much vacation, sick days and floating holiday time you have used and make sure you get credit for what you haven’t used (track this prior to your exit interview or lay off)

Network – I think anyone working nowadays must network for continued business opportunities. With this fragile industry, networking is critical and it’s best to always put forth much effort in finding a new job. Network through the following channels;

  • LinkedIn – Great way to stay in touch with past colleagues and make new colleagues. A lot of companies are linked into this website too so you will want to make sure you have a very professional page for yourself, with recommendations from past employers and other businesses.
  • Plaxo – A lot of professionals are on Plaxo website, you can link to these professionals, whether they are, physicians, corporations, sales teams or many other companies, it’s great to stay on top of the job market with this site.
  • Facebook or Twitter – yes this website will help you find new colleagues that know other colleagues that could help you find a job. Networking is vital in this day in age, so make sure your connected and networking.
  • Talk to headhunters, corporate recruiters and former workers, get these opportunities started asap.

When lay offs or companies are merging the business of reducing personnel, the best course of action is to stay positive and place yourself in a strong position of helping all that are involved, including personnel and the business itself. Be an asset to both groups (ones being let go and ones that are doing the letting go). Be a resource and remember this is hard an anxiety is high but try to avoid it. This is a business and most companies don’t like emotions, so keep your emotions out of it and be as professional as you can be. Life and work today is an uncertain thing. Make sure that, if the time comes and you are facing the chopping block, emerge with a positive attitude and you will find a new job. Through your preparations, networking and being positive you will find the job you want, the business you want to be in. It will be worth it to you and your family.

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    • profile image

      destiny 6 years ago

      these are so funny that they made me cry so hard thy are so funny:)

    • Ladybird33 profile image

      Ladybird33 6 years ago from Fabulous USA

      Neverletitgo, thank you so much for the awesome comment!

      Ashatt, thank you and I hope it has helped and will help others too!!

      C.J. Wright, thank you for the great comment! Love them and appreciate it!!

    • profile image

      C.J. Wright 6 years ago

      Great article. Very practicle information.

    • ashatt profile image

      ashatt 7 years ago from GA

      super helpful :P

    • Neverletitgo profile image

      Neverletitgo 7 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Very smart writer.

    • Ladybird33 profile image

      Ladybird33 7 years ago from Fabulous USA

      James, thank you so much for reading and comment...much appreciated.

    • James McV Sailor profile image

      James J Mills 7 years ago from Northern California

      Good hub Ladybird.... staying positive after a layoff is critical (But NOT easy) to getting that next job. JM

    • Ladybird33 profile image

      Ladybird33 8 years ago from Fabulous USA

      dejajolie, thank you so much for reading and liking my pumps! :0)

    • dejajolie profile image

      dejajolie 8 years ago from New Jersey/New York

      Great Hub, perfect timing....luv the pumps!

    • Ladybird33 profile image

      Ladybird33 8 years ago from Fabulous USA

      Thank you morewrite, much appreciated!

    • morewrite profile image

      morewrite 8 years ago

      This is a great hub . keep up your great writes.

    • Ladybird33 profile image

      Ladybird33 8 years ago from Fabulous USA

      Philip, thank you for commenting, it's horrible what you and many others have faced.

      Jane, I am sorry about your husband, so sorry, my best of luck to you both!

    • Jane@CM profile image

      Jane@CM 8 years ago

      Good information. My husband was laid off in August along with 300 of his co-workers. Its been a long road. The key in your article (for me) is be prepared financially. You MUST have funds saved just in case - and doing that has helped buy my husband more time to find a job that is the right fit for him. Save, save, save!

    • profile image

      philip carey 61 8 years ago

      I'm facing a probable layoff before Christmas. I wake up at 3 a.m. at least once a week and worry sick about it. Anyway, good advice on this hub.