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Layoffs: 3 Tips to Prepare for One

Ask anyone who has faced a layoff, and they’ll tell you a stable job is not to be taken for granted. We like to think our jobs are secure, but all too often budget cuts and other management decisions take us by surprise. In fact, hundreds of layoffs were recently reported at Boeing and several Indiana companies like Roche Diabetes Care, Carrier Corp., United Technologies, and Rexnord. As much as the economy has rebounded in recent years, layoffs are unfortunately still a reality for many. We can’t constantly live in fear of losing our job, but we can make a plan and be more prepared. We’ve got three practical tips that are sound advice for anyone, but especially those whose job may be in jeopardy.

  1. Look at Your Budget

People experience many emotions when they lose a job—fear, anxiety, anger, and even depression. The last thing you need is a money crisis on top of an already-stressful ordeal. When you’re hitting the panic button, a money cushion will take a huge weight off your shoulders. Take a peek at your finances to ensure they’re in order. We recommend you:

  • Make a household budget. Mint and Everydollar are free, just punch in your numbers.
  • Save three to six months of living expenses if possible. Pull out a calculator and figure out how much you need to get by for a few months, then protect that money in a hands-off savings account.
  • Consider trimming the fat off current expenses to stockpile extra cash faster. Figure out what you can live without and get rid of it.
  • Get a part-time job or do freelance work to beef up savings, if possible. Many people are able to exercise skills and passions that their “normal” jobs don’t allow this way.
  1. Polish Your Resume

Ideally your resume should be updated regularly, but if you haven’t touched it since you landed your job, now’s a good time. Add any recent job experiences, title changes, volunteer work, and skill updates. If you get laid off, you’ll be glad your resume is ready to go without any additional work needed. Same goes for your LinkedIn profile: update your job history, polish any rough edges, add a professional photo, and upload relevant media to catch a recruiter’s eye.

  1. Network

Start networking before a layoff happens. Meet (or communicate digitally) with people inside and outside of your company, attend networking or other special events, and keep in touch with well-connected contacts and previous employers. Ask friends and family to keep an ear open for new opportunities. Utilize social media tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to make new connections and nurture existing ones. You never know who might open that next job opportunity door for you.

Layoffs are scary, no doubt. But it’s important to stay calm and think logically instead of letting anxiety, fear, or anger guide your decisions. Chances are your situation isn’t as bad as it feels. So if a layoff comes your way, take a deep breath, make a plan, and embrace the next adventure in your journey. If you or someone you know needs to start looking for that next opportunity, get in touch with our friendly recruiters. We’d love to help.

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