Prepare for the best by first preparing for the worst.

layoffs cartoonThis is a guest post by Krisca Te. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.

Staying employed during an economic downturn is a challenging task for anyone.

Business firms around the globe are scrambling to cut down their overhead costs, and manpower salary is usually one of the most obvious targets for their downsizing measures.

Employee salary and benefits are a constant and rather large expense in the budget of companies. Viewed from this perspective, it’s easy to see why companies choose to just let go of their people when they want to reduce their operating costs. They’d rather contract out the work or turn to automation instead of paying for regular in-house employees.

The layoff scare

Staff members usually see this coming—there are telling changes in the company’s cash flow patterns such as less bonuses, lower petty cash allowances and smaller funds for employee gatherings. With entire industries going under all around the world, working individuals are aware that financial constraints can really push the management to take drastic steps towards budget minimization.

Nobody is 100% safe from the prospect of job termination.

However, you should still keep working well while you’re still on staff. After all, the dark cloud can pass overhead and you’d still stay employed with your current company along with the rest of your co-workers.

Here are some things you can do while you wait to hear from management about their financial strategy this year:

1. Remove personal files from your computer

Implementing a layoff is hard for management, so they want to make this as quick and painless as possible. They usually give employees only an hour or less to clear up their personal things, including non-work files on the company PC.

It would be wise for you to copy your personal documents into a flash drive and take photocopies of your printed personal files so you can leave quickly and quietly.

2. Brush up on your interview skills and update your resume

If you’re really going to be laid off from work, you should get ready to look for a new position elsewhere.

Don’t wait until the last minute before pulling out your dusty work files to put in fresh and relevant information on your resume. You and your co-workers will all be vying for vacancies at other companies, so it’s good to have a head start by having your most recent resume polished to perfection.

3. Let your family and friends in on the situation

You might be inclined to keep the impending layoff a secret from your loved ones because you don’t want them to worry, but this actually bad strategy on your part. Let them support you through this difficult time in your career. Besides, they might know about job openings at other companies, and this can be a good starting point for your job search.

4. Save your money

Cut down on your personal costs as soon as you suspect that a layoff is near.

You have to have as much ready cash on hand if you will eventually be unemployed and will have to rely on your severance package for your day-to-day expenses. If you haven’t built up a considerable savings account yet, try to do so before you are finally let go.

5. Take time to learn new marketable skills

You may have been with your current company for several years now, which means that you have been working on the same things for a while. Your skill set has been unchanged, and this means that you’re not very desirable for a new position.

Enroll in a class to acquire new marketable skills to increase your chances of being hired.

6. Keep up your work efficiency

Not knowing whether you can keep your job in the long run is a very troubling feeling, but don’t let this affect the quality of work you put out for the company.

As long as you’re still employed, you have to give every single task your best shot if only to give your immediate superiors the impression that you are loyal as well as hardworking even under extreme circumstances. Your work ethic will also rub off on your co-workers, so if you’re sloppy and depressed, you’ll just pull them down with you into the pits.

7. Keep calm

It’s very easy to freak out and panic as you wait for official management action on the financial crisis it is currently facing.

You’re likely to lose more than a few nights’ sleep because you keep mulling over your available options again and again. However, you should not let your panic get the better of you. Do what you can as long as you’re still employed, but brace yourself for whatever might happen in the future.

About the Author

Krisca Te, when not out building relationships with other bloggers, can be found reading blogs that tackle personal development. She is also a personal finance freak who is currently working with Australian Credit Cards, a blog based in Sydney, Australia that has written about optimistic delusion and low interest credit cards.

Next, read The 25-Point Layoff Success Checklist You Hope to Never Need.

Subscribe to JobMob via RSS or email and follow me on Twitter for more layoff survival tips.

Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Kimba Green

    8. Change all profile email address to your personal email. Also include subscription to blogs or associations.

    9. Start requesting recommendations for your LinkedIn profile.

    10. Take a few of your personal belongings home each day. Downsize.

    11. Clean your emails. Remove all personal emails and addresses.

    12. Write up the time line of your jobs success.

  2. Mits

    This is silly but I left a part-time job for a full-time job just last week. It’s for an american electronics company but now there are rumours on the news that the company may leave the UK as it is doing so well? My question was it foolish to leave my last job? What should I do if this is the case?

  3. saeed

    i am very pleased to find me a job and guid me which way i can fid a job.

  4. Jonathan

    Step number 1 hits home for me. That should be the first thing one should do if you hear talks about a mass layoff. Don’t wait for the last second and go on a race with your co-workers in finding a new job. Going head to head with your co-workers or friends for one job won’t do you any good even if you do get the job.

  5. Jacob Share

    Kimba- thanks for adding the extra tips. Awesome.

    Mits- look for signs around your new company about its rumoured downfall. Ask your new manager what to think of the rumours too. One good sign that the rumours are off- your hiring. Companies that are about to make drastic changes will usually freeze long-term hiring until the changes are done.

  6. Kate

    This is a scary situation, but it’s important to be the first to know.

  7. NIgel

    One change i would make is to put item 5 at the top of the list. You never know when you access will be curtailed.

    1. Jacob Share

      Good suggestion, Nigel, you’re absolutely right. Done

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